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On Tuning and Practical Implementation of Active Disturbance Rejection Controller: A Case Study from a Regenerative Heater in a 1000 MW Power Plant

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journal contribution
posted on 26.05.2016, 00:00 by Li Sun, Donghai Li, Kangtao Hu, Kwang Y. Lee, Fengping Pan
Active disturbance rejection controller (ADRC) is emerging as a promising approach to deal with uncertainties, which has received many practical applications in motion controls. This paper discusses the issues that should be taken into account when applying ADRC in process industry. First, the strategies of bumpless transfer and anti-windup are introduced to make ADRC applicable for continuous production processes. Second, an automatic tuning tool, based on robust loop shaping, is developed to obtain a group of reasonable parameters that can guarantee the system safety when ADRC is put in loop. For robustness concerns, the maximum sensitivity function is introduced in tuning the bandwidth of the extended state observer (ESO). Third, a quantitative retuning strategy is introduced to avoid the proportional kick in set-point tracking. The simulation and laboratory experiments confirm the effectiveness of the proposed strategies. Finally, it is attempted to apply the ADRC controller to a regenerative heater in an in-service 1000 MW power plant. The field test well demonstrates the virtues of ADRC and indicates promising prospects for ADRC in industrial applications.