Research line

Automatic Control Image

The AUTOMATIC CONTROL line develops basic and applied research in automatic control, with special emphasis on modelling, control and supervision of nonlinear, complex and/or large-scale systems.
The group has acquired specific expertise in the application of advanced control techniques to environmental resources management, specifically in the water and energy fields.

Head of line: Maria Serra Prat

Head of line

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Modelling and control of complex nonlinear systems

In order to design controllers for complex nonlinear systems, it is fundamental to have mathematical models of the systems' dynamic behaviour. Regarding dynamic modelling of complex nonlinear systems, the Control Group focuses on four subjects: models for multidomain systems using PHS formulation; distributed parameter models and their order reduction; experimental characterisation techniques combining the use of time and frequency responses of the dynamic system, conceived as diagnosis tools; the design of observers to be integrated in the control systems in order to improve the system performance and minimise the number of sensors. Regarding control system design, the work is based on the following advanced control techniques: passivity-based control, Optimal Control, Model Predictive Control, Variable Structure Control (VSC) and Linear Parameter Varying (LPV)-Robust Control.

Research area 1 of Automatic Control

Modelling and control of large-scale networked systems

In automation, it is more and more frequent to deal with large scale networked systems which are composed by a multitude of elements of diverse dynamical nature. Obtaining a mathematical model oriented to the management and control of such systems should take into account their real time operation and complex topology. Moreover, complementary considerations such as physical constraints, hybrid behaviour and bounded disturbances are also challenging topics in the study of this kind of systems.

Research area 2 of Automatic Control

Design and implementation of decision-support tools for resources management systems with multiple, heterogeneous constraints

A large variety of real-time resource allocation problems dealing with long- and medium-term resources management typically appear in public services and industry. Some examples are water management (both surface and pipeline systems), energy generation and distribution, and environmental planning. The operation of these systems requires dealing with multiple, heterogeneous constraints. Not just physical constraints are to be met, but also those imposed by regulations, operational practices, economy, ecology, etc. The overall aim is to step away from the classical trial-and-error-based simulation approach and create real problem-solving tools for optimal management of large-scale resources management problems.

Research area 3 of Automatic Control

Real-time Supervisory Control, Fault Diagnosis and Fault-Tolerance

Reliability is a feature required in modern control systems which implies the introduction of fault diagnosis and fault tolerant control modules that allow to know in real-time if there is any non-desired behaviour (fault) and activate some remedial action in order to keep the system in operation (fault tolerance). Complementary aspects as sensor/actuator location for achieving the desired fault diagnosis and tolerance are also addressed.

Research area 4 of Automatic Control

Applied Research

Theoretical knowledge is applied in real cases, in close collaboration with industry. Currently, research is mainly focused on four fields: modelling and control of systems based on Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells based systems; modelling, control and management of electrical networks; design of optimal operational management of networked systems related to the urban water cycle and sensor data validation/reconstruction of instrumentation systems. The Control Group gives primary importance to the tasks of implementation and experimental validation of the proposed control and modelling methodologies. These final stages of the control design process are developed either in the industry or at the Institute's Laboratories: the Fuel Cells Laboratory and the Water Cycle Control Systems Lab.

Research area 5 of Automatic Control

These are the latest research projects of the Automatic Control research line:

These are the most recent publications (2014 - 2013) of the Automatic Control

  • J. Blesa, D. Rotondo, V. Puig and F. Nejjari. FDI and FTC of wind turbines using the interval observer approach and virtual actuators/sensors. Control Engineering Practice, 24(2014): 138-155, 2014.

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  • L.A. García, E. Escobar, J. Barreiro, N. Quijano, C. Ocampo-Martínez and D. Téllez. On the modeling and real-time control of urban drainage systems: A survey, 11th International Conference on Hydroinformatics, 2014, New York City, to appear.

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  • Y. Bolea, V. Puig and J. Blesa. Gain-scheduled Smith predictor PID-based LPV controller for open-flow canal control. IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 22(2): 468-477, 2014.

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  • J.A. Luna, C. Ocampo-Martínez and M. Serra. Nonlinear predictive control for the concentrations profile regulation in a PEM fuel cell anode gas channel, 2014 European Control Conference, 2014, Strasbourg, France, to appear.

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  • Y. Bolea, V. Puig and J. Blesa. Linear parameter varying modelling and identification for real-time control of open-flow irrigation canals. Environmental Modelling & Software, 53: 87-97, 2014.

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  • S. Strahl, A.P. Husar and A.A. Franco. Electrode structure effects on the performance of open-cathode proton exchange membrane fuel cells: A multiscale modeling approach. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 39(18): 9752-9767, 2014.

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  • S. Strahl, A.P. Husar, P.F. Puleston and J. Riera. Performance improvement by temperature control of an open-cathode PEM fuel cell system. Fuel Cells, 2014, to appear.

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  • D. Bezmalinovic, S. Strahl, V. Roda and A.P. Husar. Water transport study in high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 39(20): 10627–10640, 2014.

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  • F. Tedesco, C. Ocampo-Martínez, A. Cassavola and V. Puig. On the comparison of predictive control and command governor approaches for operational management of drinking water networks: A case study, 19th IFAC World Congress, 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, to appear.

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  • A.K. Sampathirao, J.M. Grosso, P. Sopasakis, C. Ocampo-Martínez, A. Bemporad and V. Puig. Water demand forecasting for the optimal operation of large-scale drinking water networks: The Barcelona case study, 19th IFAC World Congress, 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, to appear.

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  • J.M. Grosso, J.M. Maestre, C. Ocampo-Martínez and V. Puig. On the assessment of tree-based and chance-constrained predictive control approaches applied to drinking water networks, 19th IFAC World Congress, 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, to appear.

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  • S. Tornil, C. Ocampo-Martínez, V. Puig and T. Escobet. Robust fault diagnosis of non-linear systems using interval constraint satisfaction and analytical redundancy relations. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, 44(1): 18-29, 2014.

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  • F. Xu, V. Puig, C. Ocampo-Martínez, F. Stoican and S. Olaru. Closed-loop actuator-fault detection and isolation using invariant sets and tubes, 19th IFAC World Congress, 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, to appear.

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  • C. Ocampo-Martínez, V. Puig, J.M. Grosso and S. Montes. Multi-layer decentralized model predictive control of large-scale networked systems. In Distributed Model Predictive Control Made Easy, 495-515. Springer, 2014.

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  • M.L. Sarmiento-Carnevali , C. Batlle, I. Massana and M. Serra. Order reduction of a distributed parameter PEM fuel cell anode gas channel model, 2014 European Hydrogen Energy Conference, 2014, Seville, Spain, pp. 265-272.

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  • M.L. Sarmiento-Carnevali , M. Serra and C. Batlle. Distributed parameter model simulation tool for PEM fuel cells. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 39(8): 4044–4052, 2014.

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  • F. Xu, V. Puig, C. Ocampo-Martínez, F. Stoican and S. Olaru. Improved fault detection and isolation strategy using a bank of interval observers, 19th IFAC World Congress, 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, to appear.

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  • S. Strahl, A.P. Husar and J. Riera. Experimental study of hydrogen purge effects on performance and efficiency of an open-cathode proton exchange membrane fuel cell system. Journal of Power Sources, 248: 474–482, 2014.

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  • F. Xu, V. Puig, C. Ocampo-Martínez, F. Stoican and S. Olaru. Actuator-fault detection and isolation based on set-theoretic approaches. Journal of Process Control, 24(6): 947-956, 2014.

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  • B. Joseph, M.N. Jung, C. Ocampo-Martínez, S. Sager and G. Cembrano. Minimization of sewage network overflow. Water Resources Management, 28(1): 41-63, 2014.

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  • C. Sun, V. Puig and G. Cembrano. Combining CSP and MPC for the operational control of water networks: Application to the Richmond case study, 19th IFAC World Congress, 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, to appear.

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  • F. Bianchi, C. Kunusch, C. Ocampo-Martínez and R. Sánchez-Peña. A gain-scheduled LPV control for oxygen stoichiometry regulation in PEM fuel cell systems. IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 2014, to appear.

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  • C. Sun, V. Puig and G. Cembrano. Coordinating multi-layer MPC for complex water systems, 2014 Chinese Control and Decision Conference 26th, 2014, Changsha, to appear.

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  • S. Strahl, N. Gasamans, J. Llorca and A.P. Husar. Experimental analysis of a degraded open-cathode PEM fuel cell stack. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 39(10): 5378–5387, 2014.

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  • J.M. Grosso, C. Ocampo-Martínez, V. Puig, D. Limón and M. Pereira. Economic MPC for the management of drinking water networks, 2014 European Control Conference, 2014, Strasbourg, France, to appear.

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  • J.M. Grosso, C. Ocampo-Martínez, V. Puig and B. Joseph. Chance-constrained model predictive control for drinking water networks. Journal of Process Control, 24(5): 504-516, 2014.

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  • B. Joseph, C. Ocampo-Martínez and G. Cembrano. Hybrid control-oriented modeling of combined sewer networks: Barcelona case study, 11th International Conference on Hydroinformatics, 2014, New York City, to appear.

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  • C. Sun, V. Puig and G. Cembrano. Temporal multi-level coordination techniques oriented to regional water networks: Application to the Catalunya case study. Journal of Hydroinformatics, 16(4): 952-970, 2014.

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  • G. Cembrano, V. Puig, C. Ocampo-Martínez, J. M. Mirats Tur, J. Meseguer, R. Ariño and S. López. Real-time monitoring and control for efficient management of drinking water networks: Barcelona case study, 11th International Conference on Hydroinformatics, 2014, New York City, to appear.

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  • A. Nunez, C. Ocampo-Martínez, B. De Schutter, F. Valencia, J.D. López and J. Espinosa. A multiobjective-based switching topology for hierarchical model predictive control applied to a hydro-power valley, 3rd IFAC International Conference on Intelligent Control and Automation Science, 2013, Chengdu, China, pp. 529-534.

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  • V. Puig, S. Montes and J. Blesa. Adaptive threshold generation in robust fault detection using interval models: Time-domain and frequency-domain approaches. International Journal of Adaptive Control and Signal Processing, 27(10): 873-901, 2013.

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  • B. Joseph, C. Ocampo-Martínez and G. Cembrano. A control-oriented hybrid modelling approach for sewer networks: Barcelona case study, 11th IWA Conference on Instrumentation, Control and Automation, 2013, Narbonne, France, IWA.

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  • V. Roda, P.F. Puleston and J.J. More. Thermal dynamic modelling for a high-temperature PEM fuel cell, 4th Iberian Symposium on Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Advanced Batteries, 2013, Estoril, Portugal.

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  • J.D. Rojas, C. Ocampo-Martínez and C. Kunusch. Thermal modelling approach and model predictive control of a water-cooled PEM fuel cell system, 39th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, 2013, Vienna, Austria, pp. 3806-3811.

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  • J. Pascual, J. Romera, V. Puig, G. Cembrano, R. Creus and M. Minoves. Operational predictive optimal control of Barcelona water transport network. Control Engineering Practice, 21(8): 1020-1034, 2013.

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  • M.L. Sarmiento-Carnevali , M. Serra and C. Batlle. Analysis of conventionally controlled PEMFC based on a distributed parameter model, 4th Iberian Symposium on Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Advanced Batteries, 2013, Estoril, Portugal.

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  • M.V. Casillas, V. Puig, L.E. Garza and A. Rosich. Optimal sensor placement for leak location in water distribution networks using genetic algorithms. Sensors, 13(11): 14984-15005, 2013.

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  • F. Bianchi, C. Kunusch, C. Ocampo-Martínez and R. Sánchez Peña. On the implementation of gain-scheduled LPV control for oxygen stoichiometry regulation in PEM fuel cells, 52nd Conference on Decision and Control, 2013, Florence, pp. 990-995.

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  • C. Evangelista, P.F. Puleston and C. Kunusch. Estudio de la viabilidad del algoritmo super-twisting de ganancias variables para el control de pilas de combustible PEM, 2013 Reunión de Trabajo en Procesamiento de la Información y Control, 2013, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina.

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  • J. Romera, C. Ocampo-Martínez, V. Puig and J. Quevedo. Flooding management using hybrid model predictive control: Application to the Spanish Ebro River. Journal of Hydroinformatics, 15(2): 366-380, 2013.

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  • A. Dòria, P.F. Puleston and C. Kunusch. Control of an active rectifier with an inductive-capacitive-inductive filter using a twisting based algorithm, 39th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, 2013, Vienna, Austria, pp. 3416-3421.

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  • R.S. Muñoz-Aguilar, A. Dòria and P.F. Puleston. Direct synchronous-asynchronous conversion system for hybrid electrical vehicle applications. An energy-based modeling approach. International Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems, 47: 264-279, 2013.

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  • C. Ocampo-Martínez, V. Puig, G. Cembrano and J. Quevedo. Application of predictive control strategies to the management of complex networks in the urban water cycle. IEEE Control Systems, 33(1): 15-41, 2013.

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  • C. Kunusch, J. Moreno and M. Angulo. Identification and observation in the anode line of PEM fuel cell stacks, 52nd Conference on Decision and Control, 2013, Florence, pp. 1665-1670.

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  • J.A. Luna, C. Batlle, C. Kunusch, J. Riera, M.L. Sarmiento-Carnevali and M. Serra. Observation of the internal states of a PEMFC anode gas channel, XXXIV Jornadas de Automática, 2013, Terrassa.

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  • D. Bezmalinovic, I. Tolj and F. Barbir. Techno-economic analysis of PEM fuel cells role in photovoltaic-based systems for the remote base stations. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 38(1): 417-425, 2013.

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  • C. Kunusch and F. Castaños. Extremum seeking algorithms for minimal hydrogen consumption in PEM fuel cells, 2013 American Control Conference, 2013, Washington DC, pp. 1144-1149.

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  • C. Kunusch, P.F. Puleston, M.Á. Mayosky and L. Fridman. Experimental results applying second order sliding mode control to a PEM fuel cell based system. Control Engineering Practice, 21(5): 719–726, 2013.

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  • C. Kunusch and F. Castaños. On the implementation of an adaptive extremum seeking algorithm for hydrogen minimization in PEM fuel cell based systems, 2013 European Control Conference, 2013, Zurich, pp. 2501-2506, IEEE.

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  • V. García, M. Serra, J. Llorca and J. Riera. Design of linear controllers applied to an ethanol steam reformer for PEM fuel cell applications. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 38(18): 7640-7646, 2013.

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  • C. Kunusch. Online identification of time varying parameters in PEM fuel cells, 5th International Conference on Fundamentals & Development of Fuel Cells, 2013, Karlsruhe, Germany.

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  • J.M. Grosso, C. Ocampo-Martínez and V. Puig. Learning-based tuning of supervisory model predictive control for drinking water networks. Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, 26(7): 1741-1750, 2013.

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  • F. Xu, V. Puig, C. Ocampo-Martínez, F. Stoican and S. Olaru. Actuator-fault detection and isolation based on interval observers and invariant sets, 52nd Conference on Decision and Control, 2013, Florence, pp. 4385-4390.

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  • S. Strahl, M. Perrier, A.P. Husar, J. Riera and M. Serra. Performance improvement by temperature control of an open-cathode PEM fuel cell system, 5th International Conference on Fundamentals & Development of Fuel Cells, 2013, Karlsruhe, Germany.

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  • B. Joseph, C. Ocampo-Martínez and G. Cembrano. Receding horizon control of hybrid linear delayed systems: Application to sewer networks, 52nd Conference on Decision and Control, 2013, Florence, pp. 2257-2262.

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  • S. Strahl, N. Gasamans, J. Llorca and A.P. Husar. Experimental analysis of a degraded open-cathode PEM fuel cell stack, 4th Iberian Symposium on Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Advanced Batteries, 2013, Estoril, Portugal.

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  • C. Sun, V. Puig and G. Cembrano. Multi-layer model predictive control of regional water networks: Application to the Catalunya case study, 52nd Conference on Decision and Control, 2013, Florence, pp. 7095-7100.

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  • B. Joseph, C. Ocampo-Martínez and G. Cembrano. Hybrid linear sewer network model. Technical Report IRI-TR-13-01 , Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial, CSIC-UPC, 2013.

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  • F. Xu, V. Puig, C. Ocampo-Martínez, F. Stoican and S. Olaru. Sensor-fault detection and isolation using Interval observers, 2013 Conference on Control and Fault Tolerant Systems, 2013, Nice, France, pp. 55-60.

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  • F. Xu, F. Stoican, V. Puig, C. Ocampo-Martínez and S. Olaru. Fault detection and isolation based on the combination of a bank of interval observers and invariant sets, 21st Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, 2013, Crete, Greece, pp. 807-813.

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  • F. Xu, F. Stoican, V. Puig, C. Ocampo-Martínez and S. Olaru. On the relationship between interval observers and invariant sets in fault detection, 2013 Conference on Control and Fault Tolerant Systems, 2013, Nice, France, pp. 49-54.

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  • R. Koch, E. López, Núria J. Divins , M. Allué, A. Jossen, J. Riera and J. Llorca. Ethanol catalytic membrane reformer for direct PEM FC feeding. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 38(14): 5605-5615, 2013.

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  • V. Puig and J. Blesa. Limnimeter and rain gauge FDI in sewer networks using an interval parity equations based detection approach and an enhanced isolation scheme. Control Engineering Practice, 21(2): 146-170, 2013.

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Fuel Cell Control Laboratory

The objective of the Laboratory is the validation and testing of control strategies of fuel cell based energy conversion systems. The facilities are equipped with a supervisor system which monitors necessary safety conditions. Each of the five fuel cell test stations is equipped with the necessary sensors and actuators to be able to operate in a safe and automated way, as well as to modify the working conditions that affect a fuel cell (humidity, temperature, flow, etc.).

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Research area 1 of Automatic Control

Water-cycle Control Systems Laboratory

The aim of this laboratory is to test and validate modelling and control developments for dynamic systems associated to the water cycle. Hence, it provides platforms of pressure, flow and level processes, over which it is possible to implement real-time advanced control strategies. This laboratory is also open to offer services to other teams in the research community.

Research area 2 of Automatic Control
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