Current research

Control of distributed solar field


In the last few decades, an increasing interest has been  given to renewable energy with the objective of reducing reliability on fossil energy. Particularly, characterized by the high productivity at industrial scale, thermal solar power production attracted many researchers to optimize solar collectors’ production.


Concentrated solar collectors have been widely used to convert the solar sunlight to heat.  The objective considered in parabolic trough systems is the control of the outlet oil temperature that has to evolve around a reference level. The goal is to design a control law to tune the oil flow in order to make the outlet temperature tracking a set point despite the presence of possible environmental disturbances. Mainly, the most critical disturbances are the changes in solar radiation due to weather fluctuations, and the variations in the inlet oil coming from the bottom of the storage tank. Moreover, the defined control problem is not easy to analyze because of the model complexity. Indeed, the physical distributed model describing the solar collector field is nonlinear and of infinite dimension (partial differential equation PDE)



  1. Study the distributed solar model.
  2. Propose an appropriate approximation model based on reduced models approach. 
  3. Design an efficient control strategy for the reduced model which allows for the optimization of the heat energy production​
  4. Validate the results through an experimental setup which we are desiging. 
  5. Combine the solar collector and the membrane distillation plant and study the performance of the overall control system