Abstract: The temperature control of a polymerization reactor described by Chylla and Haase, a control engineering benchmark problem, is used to illustrate the potential of adaptive control design by employing a self-tuning regulator concept. In the benchmark scenario, the operation of the reactor must be guaranteed under various disturbing influences, e.g., changing ambient temperatures or impurity of the monomer. The conventional cascade control provides a robust operation, but often lacks in control performance concerning the required strict temperature tolerances. The self-tuning control concept presented in this contribution solves the problem. This design calculates a trajectory for the cooling jacket temperature in order to follow a predefined trajectory of the reactor temperature. The reaction heat and the heat transfer coefficient in the energy balance are estimated online by using an unscented Kalman filter (UKF). Two simple physically motivated relations are employed, which allow the non-delayed estimation of both quantities. Simulation results under model uncertainties show the effectiveness of the self-tuning control concept.
2006 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.