Technical Report 2010-031

Constant is Optimal - a Strategy for Resource Efficient Control of a Class of Processes

Bengt Carlsson

December 2010

In this technical report we consider the problem on how to control a class of processes in a resource/energy optimal way. The optimization is done under the constraint that the mean value of the output signal (typically an effluent discharge) should be below a certain threshold. A key assumption is that the magnitude of the control signal is proportional to the quantity that should be minimized (for example, consumption of energy or chemicals) and that the process efficiency decreases with increasing magnitude of the control signal. We show that for a wide class of processes it is optimal to keep the input signal constant. The result is illustrated in a simple numerical example.

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