Multi-objective optimization tools for characterization and analysis of design concepts and efficient suboptimal solutions in systems engineering problems (MOTOOLs)

Proyectos de I+D+i (RTI2018-096904-B-I00). Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad.

As this is an applied research project, the aim is to validate the scientific developments obtained on different systems: energy management in μ-CHP based on PEM and sound crystal design. The background and current status in these particular areas are specified below.

Related to multi-objective optimization we start from algorithms developed in the theses of the research members of this proposal. Specifically, these are evMOGA and spMODE-II. In relation to the decision making phase, the Level Diagrams (LD) tool developed by the group is available. In relation to algorithms that characterize the suboptimal solutions not dominated in their neighborhood, the nev-MOGA algorithm is available,
of recent conception developed by one of the doctoral students in the framework of his thesis. The publication of this algorithm in the journal Complexity (Q1) has been accepted and its publication is imminent.
publication is imminent. Although nev-MOGA fulfills its purpose, it is necessary to improve its implementation, to parallelize the algorithm and to incorporate variants to improve its performance.
The μ-CHP systems are based on the experience acquired on the real prototype available to the group. This prototype has been modeled, using first principles, its parameters have been adjusted by means of optimization techniques, low level control loops have been designed to keep the plant under control at an operating point, within a reasonable range, and an embedded system based on a CompactRIO controller is available that can be adapted to the needs of the plant.
CompactRIO controller that can be adapted from LabVIEW to incorporate the energy management systems to be designed. With the results obtained, two papers are being
two articles are being generated (one of them will be sent to JCR journal for review before the end of the year and the other one will be sent early next year).
With respect to the sound crystals, we start from the experience of having already designed certain structures of acoustic screens through the use of evolutionary algorithms. Also
sound diffusers have also been designed using FTDT techniques. These results have been published in JCR journals.


Development of tools, in the field of multi-objective optimization, that provide improvements with respect to the existing ones, in its three fundamental phases,
definition of objectives, optimization process and decision support in engineering systems.
Validation of these tools in two specific systems, a μ-CHP system based on PEM type fuel cell (using real installations) and in the design of sound crystals (acoustic screens and sound diffusers).
Therefore, the technological challenge posed in the project is to significantly increase the performance of this type of systems through their optimal design.
The proposal deals mainly with cross-cutting technologies applicable in several of the challenges of the State Plan. Although evidently, due to the finalist applications where it is intended to validate the developments obtained during the execution of the project, the proposal is oriented towards the following challenges that appear in the State Plan for Scientific, Technical and Innovation Research:

“Challenge 3. Safe, efficient and clean energy”, which among its priorities explicitly mentions: “The design and development of EFFICIENT ENERGY SYSTEMS” where it points on “advanced systems of energy production and optimization”. On the other hand, it mentions “HYDROGEN TECHNOLOGIES” and specifically “paying special attention to the research and development of FUEL BATTERIES”.
“Challenge 4. Sustainable, Intelligent, Connected and Integrated Transport” where “NEW ADVANCED MATERIALS FOR TRANSPORTATION, pavements and infrastructure construction” is mentioned. This would be related to the design of acoustic screens to mitigate the noise produced by the different means of transportation.


Scientific objectives: 

Development of new multi-objective optimization algorithms and/or variants of existing ones to characterize non-dominated optimal and sub-optimal solutions in their neighborhood. 
Development of new algorithms that allow simultaneous optimization of different design concepts to find the optimal and suboptimal non-dominated concepts. 
Incorporation of mechanisms in these algorithms to address optimization problems with high computational cost. For example, by means of parallelization or with exploration and convergence properties based on statistical properties as EDA algorithms do. 
Development of new indicators/objectives for use in optimization problems applied to energy management in μ-CHP systems and sound crystal design.