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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 27, Number 2, February 2021, pages 379-386

Study of an optimal heating command law for structures with non-negligible thermal inertia in varying outdoor conditions
Nicolas Le Touz, Thibaud Toullier and Jean Dumoulin

    In this numerical study, an optimal energetic control model applied to local heating sources to prevent black-ice occurrence at transport infrastructure surface is addressed. The heat transfer Finite Element Model developed and boundary conditions hypothesis considered are firstly presented. Several heat powering strategies, in time and space, are then introduced. Secondly, control laws are presented with the objective of preventing ice formation while avoiding excessive energy consumption by taking also into account weather forecast information. In particular, the adjoint state method is adapted for the case of an operation without some continuous properties (discontinuous time heat sources). In such case, a projection from the space of continuous time functions to a piecewise constant one is proposed. To perform optimal control, the adjoint state method is addressed and discussed for the different powering solutions. To preserve some specific technical components and maintain their lifetime, operational constraints are considered and different formulations for the control law are proposed. Time dependent convecto-radiative boundary conditions are introduced in the model by extracting information from existing weather databases. Extension to updated inline weather forecast services is also presented and discussed. The final minimization problem considered has to act on both energy consumption and non-freezing surface temperature by integrating these specific constraints. As a consequence, the final optimal solution is estimated by an algorithm relying on the combination of adjoint state method and gradient descent that fits mathematical constraints. Results obtained by numerical simulations for different operative conditions with various weather conditions are presented and discussed. Finally, conclusion and perspectives are proposed.
Key Words
    optimal control; convecto-radiative boundary conditions; weather forecast; adjoint state method; finite element method; model predictive control
(1) Nicolas Le Touz, Thibaud Toullier, Jean Dumoulin:
UniversitŅ Gustave Eiffel, Inria, COSYS-SII, I4S Team, F-44344 Bouguenais, France;
(2) Nicolas Le Touz:
CEA DAM F-46000 Gramat, France.

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