Due to unpredictable and fluctuating conditions in real-world control system applications, disturbance rejection is a substantial factor in robust control performance. The inherent disturbance rejection capacity of classical closed loop control systems is limited, and an increase in disturbance rejection performance of single-loop control systems affects the set-point control performance. Multi-loop control structures, which involve model reference control loops, can enhance the inherent disturbance rejection capacity of classical control loops without degrading set-point control performance; while the classical closed Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) control loop deals with stability and set-point control, the additional model reference control loop performs disturbance rejection control. This adaptive disturbance rejection, which does not influence set-point control performance, is achieved by selecting reference models as transfer functions of real control systems. This study investigates six types of multi-loop model reference (ML-MR) control structures for PID control loops and presents straightforward design schemes to enhance the disturbance rejection control performance of existing PID control loops. For this purpose, linear and non-linear ML-MR control structures are introduced, and their control performance improvements and certain inherent drawbacks of these structures are discussed. Design examples demonstrate the benefits of the ML-MR control structures for disturbance rejection performance improvement of PID control loops without severely deteriorating their set-point performance.
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