Block Diagrams for Controls Systems
“How can we represent control process graphically?”
Control systems are a bedrock of modern day technology. However, sometimes it would be easier to see their processes if visualized. This can be done by using Block Diagrams, which shows each component of the control system in its natural order.
The LQR Function
“How can we create a control function with easy inputs?”
Modern control systems rely on matrix operations. There are multiple ways to create optimal varieties of this. One such way is to create a cost function which assigns different penalties to each input. This is known as the LQR Function and is implemented in a multitude of modern control systems around the world.
“What is an efficient method for pole placement in control systems?”
Pole Placement is an excellent way to stabilize a control system. But sometimes we may want an extra efficient way to do this, This is where we can apply Ackermann’s Formula, which automates it nicely for us.
“How can we modify a state-space to become more stable?”
State-spaces are often used in control system design to represent a plant. However, sometimes the system by itself is unstable. So how can we use our engineering mindset to solve this? Well, what we can do is introduce an extra feedback loop with some constants that modify the poles of the system such that they are all in the right-half plane. This is known as Pole Placement and is one of the most commonly used techniques in classical control.
Image credit http://ctms.engin.umich.edu
How IoT can help Wind Turbine Maintenance
“How can IoT help make sure that wind turbines are operational?”
The Internet of Things is on the rise. From building automation systems to fleet platooning, it can be found everywhere. But did you know that IoT can help Wind Turbine Maintenance? Well, it turns out that by placing sensors which can monitor the performance of internal components, we can predict when systems are going faulty. This will have monumentous implications with the ever-increasing supply of wind energy.
“How can we ensure a seamless transition when we turn a PID controller from manual to auto?”
Switching a PID controller from Auto to Manual can be very rough for the ongoing process. That’s why engineers have created Bumpless Transfer which allows it to happen completely smoothly.
Extremum Seeking Control
“Is there a control method that tries to sets a function at its extreme value?”
Control Theory is a deep subject. There seems to be a control method for every situation. And one of those situations might happen to be one where people are trying to keep a function at its extremum (the maximum or minimum absolute value). This Extremum Seeking Control allows for this to happen, and also gives it the privilege of heightened sensitivity reduction and disturbance rejection.
Distributed Energy Resources
“How can we have true localized energy generation?”
In the past, most energy was generated through large, expensive and environmentally intensive engineering projects such as nuclear power plants and steam boiler systems. But with the advent of renewable energy, such infrastructure can now be rendered obsolete. Since Renewable energy sources can work with a few separated units and does not cause drastic environmental harm, they can be positioned close to homes and offices. As such we can realize something known as Distributed Energy Resources, which will explode in the coming years!
Model Predictive Control for HVAC
“How can we implement Model Predictive Control for HVAC?”
Model Predictive Control has been applied to all sorts of situations, whether it be self-driving cars or autonomous building systems. So logically, something such as HVAC systems is another area of interest. Model Predictive Control for HVAC takes in parameters of such as heat and humidity and combines it with theoretical principles to have powerful predictive capabilities.