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Keywords:

  • process control;
  • optimization;
  • model predictive control;
  • distributed control;
  • chemical processes

A method for the design of distributed model predictive control (DMPC) systems for a class of switched nonlinear systems for which the mode transitions take place according to a prescribed switching schedule is presented. Under appropriate stabilizability assumptions on the existence of a set of feedback controllers that can stabilize the closed-loop switched, nonlinear system, a cooperative DMPC architecture using Lyapunov-based model predictive control (MPC) in which the distributed controllers carry out their calculations in parallel and communicate in an iterative fashion to compute their control actions is designed. The proposed DMPC design is applied to a nonlinear chemical process network with scheduled mode transitions and its performance and computational efficiency properties in comparison to a centralized MPC architecture are evaluated through simulations. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59:860-871, 2013