The present paper proposes (as the main contribution) an additional self-tuning mechanism for an adaptive minimum-variance control system, whose main goal is to extend its functionality for a large value range of unmeasurable perturbations which disturb the controlled process. Through the standard design procedure, a minimum variance controller uses by default an internal self-tuning mechanism based on the process parameter estimates. However, the main parameter which overwhelmingly influences the control performance is the control penalty factor ( . This parameter weights the term that describes the control variance in a criterion function whose minimization is the starting point of the control law design. The classical minimum-variance control involves an off-line tuning of this parameter, its value being set as constant throughout the entire operating regime. Based on the measurement of the process output error, the contribution of the proposed strategy consists in a real-time tuning of the control penalty factor, to ensure the stability of the control system, even under conditions of high disturbances. The proposed tuning mechanism adjusts this parameter by implementing a bipositional switching strategy based on a sharp hysteresis loop. Therefore, instead of the standard solution that involves a constant value of the control penalty factor (a priori computed and set), this paper proposes a dual value for this controller parameter. The main objective is to allow the controlled process to operate in a stable fashion even in more strongly disturbed regimes (regimes where the control system becomes unstable and is usually switched off for safety reasons). To validate the proposed strategy, an induction generator integrated into a wind energy conversion system was considered as controlled plant. Operating under the action of strong disturbances (wind gusts, electrical load variations), the extension of safe operating range (thus avoiding the system disengagement) is an important goal of such a control system.
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