Market-Based Control of Shipboard Engineering Plants

Grants and Contracts Details


The development and evaluation of a novel, agile, resilient, effective and efficient electric warship engineering and damage control system is proposed. The overarching objective is to provide a control system strategy and associated algorithms to optimize an integrated engineering plant (IEP) which spans diverse operational scenarios from in port to peacetime cruise to combat damage control. An online optimization approach inspired by market-based economic models is proposed to maximize an IEP utility function. This utility function would adapt to the wide range of operational requirements and constraints that characterize the mission of a naval combatant. For example, fuel efficiency can be emphasized during normal conditions. Conversely, under disruptive combat conditions with persistent threats, power delivery and cooling are potentially scarce mission-essential resources for which continuity of service becomes a critical demand. The proposed control method automatically adjusts to the operational situation in order to optimally achieve system objectives. Increasingly sophisticated electric warships with advanced sensors and weaponry create rapidly increasing demands for electric power and thermal management. As mission availability becomes more dependent on integrated fight through power, dependable control of emergent power dense electrical systems with distributed energy storage devices is essential. Coupled with the trend toward reduced manning, these complex dynamically interdependent engineering and damage control systems require a new control system paradigm. Deriving this new control strategy and associated algorithms is the essential objective of the proposed research. It is proposed to develop, evaluate the performance, and identify the impact on system design of a market-based control system for IEPs that considers multiple resources, multiple modes of operation, and uncertainty. In this way, the complex dynamic interdependence between electric and thermal management systems can be considered when making allocation decisions. The control system will consist of an artificial market in which various actors behave according to microeconomic principles. Examples of such actors include generation, distribution, conversion, energy storage, pumps, valves, and the commanding officer (CO). Each piece of equipment within the engineering plant will behave as a firm, attempting to maximize its profit. The CO would behave as a consumer, attempting to maximize his or her utility. In this way, it can be shown that the allocation of resources within the system will efficiently meet the objectives of the CO. This control strategy does not inherently depend on the mode of operation. If the CO’s objectives change (e.g., cruising versus battle), the market reacts, prices shift, and resources are allocated to new purposes. If the structure of the system changes (e.g., due to a change in plant lineup or due to battle damage), the prices will change to reflect the new conditions, and the market will attempt to meet the CO’s objectives in the most efficient manner under the new configuration. In this way, a unified control strategy can be applied to achieve various objectives, such as fuel efficiency, continuity of service, and survivability. The U.S. Navy has developed a roadmap for next generation integrated power systems that leads to medium voltage dc (MVDC) systems. This proposed market-based approach allows for the benefits of an MVDC system to be realized. The increased quantity of power converters in an MVDC system allows the control system to take a more active role in the distribution of electric power. Increasingly sophisticated thermal management systems will allow similar control over the allocation of cooling capacity. These developments create an opportunity for the successful application of a market-based control approach to the IEP of electric warships.
Effective start/end date5/5/155/4/19


  • Office of Naval Research: $503,400.00


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