Performance analysis of fractional-order PID controller for a parabolic distributed solar collector

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9 Scopus citations


This paper studies the performance of a fractional-order proportional integral derivative (FOPID) controller designed for parabolic distributed solar collectors. The control problem addressed in concentrated solar collectors aims at forcing the produced heat to follow a desired reference despite the unevenly varying solar irradiance. In addition to the unpredictable variations of the energy source, the parabolic solar collectors are subject to inhomogeneous distributed efficiency parameters affecting the heat production. The FOPID controller is well known for its simplicity with better tuning flexibility along with robustness with respect to disturbances. Thus, we propose a control strategy based on FOPID to achieve the control objectives. First, the FOPID controller is designed based on a linear approximate model describing the system dynamics under nominal working conditions. Then, the FOPID gains and differentiation orders are optimally tuned in order to fulfill the robustness design specifications by solving a nonlinear optimization problem. Numerical simulations are carried out to evaluate the performance of the proposed FOPID controller. A comparison to the robust integer order PID is also provided. Robustness tests are performed for the nominal model to show the effectiveness of the FOPID. Furthermore, the proposed FOPID is numerically tested to control the distributed solar collector under real working conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE AFRICON
Subtitle of host publicationScience, Technology and Innovation for Africa, AFRICON 2017
EditorsDarryn R. Cornish
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538627754
StatePublished - Nov 3 2017
EventIEEE AFRICON 2017 - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: Sep 18 2017Sep 20 2017

Publication series

Name2017 IEEE AFRICON: Science, Technology and Innovation for Africa, AFRICON 2017


ConferenceIEEE AFRICON 2017
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityCape Town

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IEEE.


  • Fractional-order PID (FOPID)
  • Iterative optimization
  • PID
  • Parabolic distributed solar collector
  • Process control
  • Robust PID
  • Robustness analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Signal Processing
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications


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