The Opportunity Cost of Modeling in Energy Systems

Robert Bitmead, UC San Diego

March 9, 2016, 11:00am - 12:00pm, EBUII 479


Abstract:  Model-based control forms the basis for many advanced energy management systems, yet the design and maintenance of the model itself can be an energy-intensive task. In order to fit good models to a system which changes over time, it is necessary to conduct occasional experiments, which need to be informative for fitting the model parameters. In such experiments, the control signal is used to excite the system by causing excursions away from static operating points in order to fit the dynamics. This is at variance from the usual controller operation to mask such dynamics. This dual purpose of the control signal - often called exploration versus exploitation - becomes an intractably difficult issue if one seeks the optimal control. In this presentation, a motivating example from power control in mobile wireless will be developed to explain the problem in optimal control. If time permits, a (suboptimal) example from building modeling for HVAC control will be presented outlining work with United Technologies Corporation.


Bio:  Bob Bitmead occupies the Cymer Corporation Endowed Chair in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. He holds degrees in Applied Mathematics and Electrical Engineering from Sydney University and Newcastle University, both in Australia. He is a control theorist with a long experience in control applications in many industrial sectors: sugar, steel, mining, telecommunications, aerospace, transportation, energy, and photolithography. His theoretical work is strongly informed and guided by these applications. He was the recipient of the 2014 ASME Rufus Oldenburger Medal, a lifetime achievement award in control and of the 2015 IEEE Controls Systems Transition to Practice Award. Bob is Vice-President for Financial Activities of the IEEE Control Systems Society. He was a member of the International Federation of Automatic Control Council from 1996 to 2002 and is currently chair of the IFAC Fellow Selection Committee. Bob brews his own beer and is an accredited and active Australian Rules Football umpire.

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