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Advanced Controls and Cyber Physical Systems

Advanced controls support real-time management of complex systems with interdependent sub-systems. These controls enable carbon management and emissions reductions. To accelerate development of these advanced systems, NETL is developing a cyber-physical systems method for development of both hardware and controls. This effort relies on the lab’s extensive modeling capabilities, and development and operations of the Hybrid Performance (HYPER) facility.

Advanced Controls

Advanced controls move beyond linear and steady state approaches to dynamic process modeling, representing physical systems and processes with a combination of simple dynamic model elements and high-fidelity models for more complex system components. These high-fidelity models are developed, then reduced (simplified) and configured to run in real time (with time scales on the order of milliseconds) to represent the dynamics of the complex component within the system. Using reduced, fast running models in conjunction with estimation algorithms and other types of predictive algorithms, an overall control solution can be derived to enable model-based control for real-time processes.

These advances within the Sensors and Controls program enable control with fast dynamics for non-steady-state operation and inherently nonlinear systems.

Cyber Physical Systems

Energy and carbon management systems of the future will undoubtedly integrate multiple renewable power systems, energy storage systems, carbon capture (in order to supply stable power to the electric grid with greater efficiency), net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, and favorable economics. As these systems become more tightly integrated, the challenges faced by their control systems increase in complexity.

NETL has ongoing R&D focused on developing advanced control algorithms to meet the performance challenges of hybrid power systems that feature multiple energy components, carbon reduction technologies, and other assets. NETL uses hybrid virtual and physical—that is, cyber-physical—systems to develop and test advanced sensor and control technologies. The HYPER facility at NETL leverages software models integrated with operating hardware as a platform for testing and design of advanced energy system components, control method development, integration methods, and optimized sensor placement approaches.

Inherent in the operation of cyber-physical systems is the need for models that can respond to external stimuli (including physical, virtual, and combinations), sensors, actuators, and also contend with system behavior such as software scheduling and communication delays. A compounding factor on top of this high-level complexity is the need for models that operate at fast time scales approaching real time for complex components while maintaining sufficient physical fidelity, for which existing methodologies are lacking.

Meeting these challenges requires significantly advanced control compared with that offered by traditional proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control and needs to be more robust than linear model predictive control algorithms. To this end, NETL has supported extensive R&D in the areas of advanced controls, system identification, and real-time modeling.

Figure 1: HYPER Facility of simulated components comprised of the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System Model, Fuel Valve Model, and Gasifier Model. Operations Control Center shown.
Figure 2: HYPER Facility of real physical components comprised of a compressor, turbine, load bank, generator, post combustor, and air plenum.
Figure 3: HYPER Facility Control Room.


Additional Links and Resources

EDXThe Energy Data eXchange (EDX) is the Department of Energy (DOE)/Fossil Energy and Carbon Management's (FECM) virtual library and data laboratory built to find, connect, curate, use and re-use data to advance FECM and environmental R&D. Developed and maintained by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), EDX supports the entire life cycle of data by offering secure, private collaborative workspaces for ongoing research projects until they mature and become catalogued, curated, and published. EDX adheres to DOE Cyber policies as well as domestic and international standards for data curation and citation. This ensures data products pushed public via EDX are afforded a citation for proper accreditation and complies with journal publication requirements.

SAMIThe Science-Based Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Institute (SAMI) builds off NETL’s unique strengths in science-based modeling and research data curation and management capabilities. It also capitalizes on NETL’s world-class capabilities in high-performance scientific computing. This simulation science is driving breakthroughs in advanced materials design and discovery and reducing the cost and risk of carbon capture utilization and storage. More information about SAMI is available at its data exchange webpage.

EANETL’s Strategic Systems Analysis and Engineering group conducts a variety of energy analyses to identify and evaluate promising R&D opportunities. Check out their website for specific studies related to sensors and controls technology.

EACybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) To find out more about DOE Cybersecurity initiatives, check out the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) webpage.

BLOSEMBlockchain Technology BLOSEM is a multi-lab collaboration, led by NETL, that seeks to develop energy-sector guidance, standardized metrics, and testing environments for technology maturation of novel blockchain-based concepts for device security, secure communications, and grid resilience. Check out their website.

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