Reconfigurable Model Predictive Control for Multi-Evaporator Vapor Compression Systems

This paper considers the control of a multievaporator vapor compression system (ME-VCS) where individual evaporators are permitted to turn on or off. We present a model predictive controller (MPC) that can be easily reconfigured for different on/off configurations of the system. In this approach, only the cost function of the constrained finitetime optimal control problem is updated depending on the system configuration. Exploiting the structure of the system dynamics, the cost function is modified by zeroing elements of the state, input, and terminal cost matrices. The advantage of this approach is that cost matrices for each configuration of the ME-VCS do not need to be stored or computed online. This reduces the effort required to tune and calibrate the controller and the amount of memory required to store the controller parameters in a microprocessor. The reconfigurable MPC is compared with a conventional approach in which individual model predictive controllers are independently designed for each on/off configuration. Simulations show that the reconfigurable MPC method provides similar closed-loop performance in terms of reference tracking and constraint satisfaction to the set of individual model predictive controllers. Further, we show that our controller requires substantially less memory than the alternative approaches. Experiments on a residential two-zone vapor compression system further validate the reconfigurable MPC method.