Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-1130
2019-04-02

A Look-Ahead Model Predictive Optimal Control Strategy of a Waste Heat Recovery-Organic Rankine Cycle for Automotive Application 2019-01-1130

The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) has proven to be a promising technology for Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) systems in heavy duty diesel engine applications. However, due to the highly transient heat source, controlling the working fluid flow through the ORC system is a challenge for real time application. With advanced knowledge of the heat source dynamics, there is potential to enhance power optimization from the WHR system through predictive optimal control. This paper proposes a look-ahead control strategy to explore the potential of increased power recovery from a simulated WHR system. In the look-ahead control, the future vehicle speed is predicted utilizing road topography and V2V connectivity. The forecasted vehicle speed is utilized to predict the engine speed and torque, which facilitates estimation of the engine exhaust conditions used in the ORC control model. In the simulation study, a reference tracking controller is designed based on the Model Predictive Control (MPC) methodology. Two variants of Non-linear MPC (NMPC) are evaluated: an NMPC with look-ahead exhaust conditions and a baseline NMPC without knowledge of future exhaust conditions. An Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) is used to estimate unmeasurable states inside the ORC evaporators based on exhaust gas and working fluid temperatures. The estimator is augmented with a disturbance model for offset free MPC tracking. Simulation results show no particular improvement to working fluid temperature tracking at the evaporator outlet via the look-ahead strategy. However, the look-ahead control strategy does provide a substantial reduction in system control effort via dampening the heavily transient working fluid pump actuation, enhancing pump longevity, health, and reducing pump power consumption. Furthermore, a simulated sinusoidal exhaust condition shows that evaporator under consideration inherently helps attenuate the fluctuating exhaust conditions due to its thermal inertia.

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