Computers & Chemical Engineering, Vol.113, 139-151, 2018
A simulation-based optimization framework for integrating scheduling and model predictive control, and its application to air separation units
The integration of dynamic process models in scheduling calculations has recently received significant attention as a mean to improve operational performance in increasingly dynamic markets. In this work, we propose a novel framework for the integration of scheduling and model predictive control (MPC), which is applicable to industrial size problems involving fast changing market conditions. The framework consists on identifying scheduling-relevant process variables, building low-order dynamic models to capture their evolution, and integrating scheduling and MPC by, (i) solving a simulation-optimization problem to define the optimal schedule and, (ii) tracking the schedule in closed-loop using the MPC controller. The efficacy of the framework is demonstrated via a case study that considers an air separation unit operating under real-time electricity pricing. The study shows that significant cost reductions can be achieved with reasonable computational times. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.