Stability analysis for decentralized control of multi-evaporator vapor-compression cycle systems

Neera Jain, Shreyas Sundaram, Andrew G. Alleyne

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We consider the problem of stabilizing multi-evaporator vapor-compression cycle (ME-VCC) systems using decentralized controllers. ME-VCC systems, sometimes termed variable-refrigerant-flow systems, are prevalent in large buildings that maintain independent cooled spaces with a single heat rejection unit. We exploit the time-scale separation characteristic of ME-VCC systems and analyze the faster mass flow dynamics and their stability characteristics independently of the slower thermal dynamics in the system. An electrical circuit analogy is used to obtain a linearized state-space representation of the mass flow dynamics for two common architectures of ME-VCC systems. Using concepts from decentralized control theory, we provide conditions under which local static feedback controllers stabilize the overall closed-loop system with robustness to uncertainties in the coupling between subsystems. Our analysis characterizes the beneficial impact that discharge pressure regulating (DPR) valves have on the decentralized controller gains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6425908
Pages (from-to)7589-7595
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event51st IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2012 - Maui, HI, United States
Duration: Dec 10 2012Dec 13 2012


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