Computers & Chemical Engineering vol:61 pages:38-50
Nonlinear Model Predictive Control (NMPC) is a powerful technique that can be used to control many industrial processes. Different and often conflicting control objectives, e.g., reference tracking, disturbance rejection and minimum control effort, are typically present. Most often these objectives are translated into a single weighted sum (WS) objective function. This approach is widespread because it is easy to use and understand. However, selecting an appropriate set of weights for the objective function is often non-trivial and is mainly done by trial and error. The current study proposes a systematic procedure for tuning Nonlinear MPC based on multi-objective optimisation methods. Advanced methods allow an efficient solution of the multi-objective problem providing a systematic overview of the controller behaviour. Moreover, through analytic relations it is possible to link a solution obtained with these novel methods to a set of weights for a weighted sum objective function. Applying this set of weights causes the WS to generate the same solution as obtained with the advanced method. Hence, an appropriate controller can be selected based on the alternatives generated by the advanced method, while the corresponding weights for a WS can be derived for implementing the controller in practice. The procedure is successfully tested on two benchmark applications: the Van de Vusse reactor and the Tennessee Eastman plant.