|The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) repository holds full-text theses and dissertations submitted for higher degrees at the University (including submissions from former Cape Technikon and Peninsula Technikon).|
Design of nonlinear networked control for wastewater distributed systems
This thesis focuses on the design, development and real-time simulation of a robust nonlinear networked control for the dissolved oxygen concentration as part of the wastewater distributed systems. This concept differs from previous methods of wastewater control in the sense that the controller and the wastewater treatment plants are separated by a wide geographical distance and exchange data through a communication medium. The communication network introduced between the controller and the DO process creates imperfections during its operation, as time delays which are an object of investigation in the thesis. Due to the communication network imperfections, new control strategies that take cognisance of the network imperfections in the process of the controller design are needed to provide adequate robustness for the DO process control system. This thesis first investigates the effects of constant and random network induced time delays and the effects of controller parameters on the DO process behaviour with a view to using the obtained information to design an appropriate controller for the networked closed loop system. On the basis of the above information, a Smith predictor delay compensation controller is developed in the thesis to eliminate the deadtime, provide robustness and improve the performance of the DO process. Two approaches are adopted in the design of the Smith predictor compensation scheme. The first is the transfer function approach that allows a linearized model of the DO process to be described in the frequency domain. The second one is the nonlinear linearising approach in the time domain. Simulation results reveal that the developed Smith predictor controllers out-performed the nonlinear linearising controller designed for the DO process without time delays by compensating for the network imperfections and maintaining the DO concentration within a desired acceptable level. The transfer function approach of designing the Smith predictor is found to perform better under small time delays but the performance deteriorates under large time delays and disturbances. It is also found to respond faster than the nonlinear approach. The nonlinear feedback linearisig approach is slower in response time but out-performs the transfer function approach in providing robustness and performance for the DO process under large time delays and disturbances. The developed Smith predictor compensation schemes were later simulated in a real-time platform using LabVIEW. The Smith predictor controllers developed in this thesis can be applied to other process control plants apart from the wastewater plants, where distributed control is required. It can also be applied in the nuclear reactor plants where remote control is required in hazardous conditions. The developed LabVIEW real-time simulation environment would be a valuable tool for researchers and students in the field of control system engineering. Lastly, this thesis would form the basis for further research in the field of distributed wastewater control.