Smart Manufacturing Using Control and Optimization
Energy management has become a major concern in the past two decades with the increasing energy prices, overutilization of natural resources and increased carbon emissions. According to the department of Energy the industrial sector solely consumes 22.4% of the energy produced in the country . This calls for an urgent need for the industries to design and implement energy efficient practices by analyzing the energy consumption, electricity data and making use of energy efficient equipment. Although, utility companies are providing incentives to consumer participating in Demand Response programs, there isn’t an active implementation of energy management principles from the consumer’s side. Technological advancements in controls, automation, optimization and big data can be harnessed to achieve this which in other words is referred to as “Smart Manufacturing”. In this research energy management techniques have been designed for two SEU (Significant Energy Use) equipment HVAC systems, Compressors and load shifting in manufacturing environments using control and optimization.
The addressed energy management techniques associated with each of the SEUs are very generic in nature which make them applicable for most of the industries. Firstly, the loads or the energy consuming equipment has been categorized into flexible and non-flexible loads based on their priority level and flexibility in running schedule. For the flexible loads, an optimal load scheduler has been modelled using Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) method that find carries out load shifting by using the predicted demand of the rest of the plant and scheduling the loads during the low demand periods. The cases of interruptible loads and non-interruptible have been solved to demonstrate load shifting. This essentially resulted in lowering the peak demand and hence cost savings for both “Time-of-Use” and Demand based price schemes.
The compressor load sharing problem was next considered for optimal distribution of loads among VFD equipped compressors running in parallel to meet the demand. The model is based on MILP problem and case studies was carried out for heavy duty (>10HP) and light duty compressors (<=10HP). Using the compressor scheduler, there was about 16% energy and cost saving for the light duty compressors and 14.6% for the heavy duty compressors
HVAC systems being one of the major energy consumer in manufacturing industries was modelled using the generic lumped parameter method. An Electroplating facility named Electro-Spec was modelled in Simulink and was validated using the real data that was collected from the facility. The Mean Absolute Error (MAE) was about 0.39 for the model which is suitable for implementing controllers for the purpose of energy management. MATLAB and Simulink were used to design and implement the state-of-the-art Model Predictive Control for the purpose of energy efficient control. The MPC was chosen due to its ability to easily handle Multi Input Multi Output Systems, system constraints and its optimal nature. The MPC resulted in a temperature response with a rise time of 10 minutes and a steady state error of less than 0.001. Also from the input response, it was observed that the MPC provided just enough input for the temperature to stay at the set point and as a result led to about 27.6% energy and cost savings. Thus this research has a potential of energy and cost savings and can be readily applied to most of the manufacturing industries that use HVAC, Compressors and machines as their primary energy consumer.