Large-Scale Non-Linear Dynamic Optimization For Combining Applications of Optimal Scheduling and Control

Logan Daniel Beal, Brigham Young University


Optimization has enabled automated applications in chemical manufacturing such as advanced control and scheduling. These applications have demonstrated enormous benefit over the last few decades and continue to be researched and refined. However, these applications have been developed separately with uncoordinated objectives. This dissertation investigates the unification of scheduling and control optimization schemes. The current practice is compared to early-concept, light integrations, and deeper integrations. This quantitative comparison of economic impacts encourages further investigation and tighter integration. A novel approach combines scheduling and control into a single application that can be used online. This approach implements the discrete-time paradigm from the scheduling community, which matches the approach of the control community. The application is restricted to quadratic form, and is intended as a replacement for systems with linear control. A novel approach to linear time-scaling is introduced to demonstrate the value of including scaled production rates, even with simplified equation forms. The approach successfully demonstrates significant benefit. Finally, the modeling constraints are lifted from the discrete-time approach. Time dependent constraints and parameters (like time-of-day energy pricing) are introduced, enabled by the discrete-time approach, and demonstrate even greater economic value. The more difficult problem calls for further exploration into the relaxation of integer variables and initialization techniques for faster, more reliable solutions. These applications are also capable of replacing both scheduling and control simultaneously. A generic CSTR application is used throughout as a case study on which the integrated optimization schemes are implemented. CSTRs are a common model for applications in most chemical engineering industries, from food and beverage, to petroleum and pharmaceuticals. In the included case study results, segregated control and scheduling schemes are shown to be 30+% less profitable than fully unified approaches during operational periods around severe disturbances. Further, inclusion of time-dependent parameters and constraints improved the open-loop profitability by an additional 13%.