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This brief presents the application of a robust nonlinear predictive controller to the distributed collector field of a solar desalination plant. The main purpose of the controller is to manipulate the water flow rate to maintain the collector outlet-inlet temperature gradient constant in spite of disturbances. The controller uses a robust dead-time compensation structure and a nonlinear model predictive control to cope with time delay uncertainties and system nonlinearities, respectively. Simulation and real experimental results are shown to illustrate controller performance.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2010