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Proceedings of the 2nd IFAC

Workshop on Fractional Differentiation and its Applications

Porto, Portugal, July 19-21, 2006



A. Benchellal T. Poinot J.-C. Trigeassou

Laboratoire dAutomatique et dInformatique Industrielle
Ecole Superieure dIngenieurs de Poitiers
40, Ave du Recteur Pineau 86 022 Poitiers Cedex, France

Abstract: Heat transfer problems obey to diffusion phenomenon. They can be

modelled with the help of fractional systems. The simulation of these particular
systems is based on a fractional integrator where the non integer behaviour acts
only on a limited spectral band. A first model, based on the use of one fractional
integrator, has been already defined and tested on a thermal pilot. Starting from
frequency considerations derived from the analysis of a diffusion problem, a more
general approximation of the fractional system is proposed in this communication.
The new model is based on the use of two fractional integrator operators. It makes
it possible to define a state-space model for simulation of transients, and to carry
out an output-error technique in order to estimate the parameters of the model.
Experimental results obtained on a thermal process illustrate the improvements
obtained with the proposed model.

Keywords: Fractional systems, Non integer systems, Fractional operator,

Modelling, Estimation, Output-error Identification, Heat transfer, Diffusive

1. INTRODUCTION These approaches permit to construct a black-box

model able to reproduce the system dynamics,
The model of a diffusive interface is character- but, it is necessary to have a high number of
ized by a fractional behaviour. Concretely, such parameters in order to obtain a good fit, and to
phenomenon appears, in the case of an induction make a priori choices. On the other hand, these
machine, with Foucault currents inside rotor bars models give black-box models, without direct links
(Benchellal et al., 2004; Canat and Faucher, 2004; with physics.
Khaorapapong, 2001; Riu and Retiere, 2004). It The solution proposed in this paper is based on
appears also in the case of heat transfer between the definition of an integrator operator (Lin et
the flux and the temperature at the interface of al., 2000; Lin, 2001). A first solution consists to
the process (Battaglia, 2002; Cois, 2002). Many use a fractional model like (Lin, 2001; Trigeassou
solutions have already been developed to model et al., 1999):
this type of phenomenon. A solution has been b0
proposed by Cois (Cois, 2002); another solution Hn (s) = (1)
a0 + sn
consists to use the theory of diffusive systems
(Montseny, 1998). For these two solutions, param- This model is based on the use of a non integer
eters are estimated using a Least Squares tech- integrator s1n truncated in the frequency domain.
nique. The fractional order n is fitted by identification,
using time responses; so, the frequential approx- dB
imation of the diffusion interface is indirectly
performed. This approximation is accurate in a
frequency domain corresponding to the spectrum
of the input. Concretely, n is estimated in such h
a way that the frequency response is correctly
fitted in low and medium frequencies. On the b h
other hand, this model can not give satisfaction log
for when estimated n is different of n 90
the value 0.5. Nevertheless, the interest of this
model (Lin et al., 2000; Lin, 2001) is its ability to 90
approximate the dynamical behaviour of diffusion
interfaces using a restricted number of estimated
Fig. 1. Bode diagrams of the fractional integrator
parameters. However, this model does not give the
N s
best approximation of the system dynamics, since Gn Y 1 + i
n 90 then . In (s) = s (3)
s i=1 1 + i
In order to improve the fractional behaviour of
this model, and particularly its high frequency This operator is completely defined by:
behaviour (quick transients), a second approach is
proposed in this paper; it consists to use a model log
with two fractional integrators: i = i , i+1

= i , n = 1
b0 + b1 sn1 where and are recursive parameters linked to
Hn1 ,n2 (s) = (2) the fractional order n.
a0 + a1 sn1 + sn1 +n2
Using (3), the corresponding state-space represen-
In imposing n2 = 0.5, and then adjusting the tation is:
order n1 and the parameters b0 , b1 , a0 , and a1 ,
one can get a higher approximation ability, with xI = AI xI + B I u (4)
respect of the physics (order n1 + n2 n1 = 0.5
at short times) and able to fit to the system where AI = MI1 AI , B I = MI1 B I , and
geometry thanks to n1 . After the presentation of
1 0 0 Gn
the fractional integrator and its application to the ..
1 0
simulation and the identification of non integer .
MI = . . .

B I = ..
order model, the modelling of the improved model .. . . . . 0 .
is presented. The two models are then compared 0
0 1
in simulation and on an experimental thermal
0 0 0 x1
process. ..
1 1 x2
. xI =
AI = . . ..
.. . . . .
. . 0

2.1 fractional integrator 2.2 State-space model of Hn (s)

Let us consider the Bode diagrams of an integrator The model (1) corresponds to a differential equa-
truncated in low and high frequencies (figure 1) tion, with 0 < n < 1:
(Lin et al., 2000; Lin, 2001; Trigeassou et al.,
dn y (t)
1999). + a0 y (t) = b0 u (t) (5)
It is composed of three parts. The intermediary
part corresponds to non-integer action, character- Let us define x (t) such as
ized by the order n. In the two other parts, the 1
integrator has a conventional action, characterized X (s) = U (s) (6)
sn + a0
by its order 1.
In this way, the operator In (s) is defined as Thus, we obtain a macro state-space represen-
a conventional integrator, except in a limited tation of this system.
band [b , h ] where it acts like s1n . The operator ( n
d x (t)
In (s) is defined using a fractional phase-lead filter = a0 x (t) + u (t) (7)
(Oustaloup, 1995) and an integrator 1s : y (t) = b0 x (t)
or equivalently using In (s)
x1 = Gn (a0 xN +1 + u)
(8) u I n 2 s y
y = b0 xN +1 I n1 s b0

In this simple example, x = xi . Then, the global  a1

model is:
x = A x + Bu
y = CT x
Fig. 2. Simulation scheme of Hn1 ,n2 (s).
A = AI a0 B I C TI P
B = B I J = 2 k k, : gradient,
T k=1
C = b0 C TI

J 2 k,i Tk, : hessian,
: monitoring parameter,
2.3 Output-Error identification of the fractional
k, = yk : output sensitivity function.
system Hn (s) i i

This algorithm, also known as the Marquardts

The model Hn (s) is in continuous time repre- algorithm (Marquardt, 1963) insures robust con-
sentation, thus it is preferable to use an Output- b nev-
vergence, even with a bad initialization of ,
Error technique (OE) to estimate its parameters ertheless in the vicinity of the global optimum.
(Ljung, 1987; Richalet et al., 1971). The state-
space model of the non integer system is: Fundamentally, this technique is based on the
calculation of gradient and hessian, themselves
x = A () x + B () u dependent on the numerical integration of the
y = C T () x sensitivity functions k,i (Richalet et al., 1971),
which are equivalent to the regressors in the linear

where T = a0 b0 case (Ljung, 1987).

Remark: the fractional order n is characterized by 3. APPROXIMATION OF DIFFUSIVE

, , b , h and the number N of cells. In practice, INTERFACES WITH AN IMPROVED MODEL
b , h and N are imposed; then, it is sufficient to
estimate in order to estimate n. 3.1 Principle
Let us suppose that we have K data pairs {uk , yk }
where t = k Te (Te : sampling period) ; yk : noised The objective is to improve the approximation
measurement of the exact output yk . of the diffusion interfaces using fractional models
based on the fractional integrator. The model (1)
The state-space model is simulated using a numer-
gives a good approximation only at low frequen-
ical integration technique; thus one gets ybk u, cies. This model has an asymptotic behaviour
where b is an estimation of exact parameters . of s1n type while the theoretical modelling of a
Then, one can construct the residuals: diffusive system shows an asymptotic behaviour
of s0.5 type.
k = yk ybk u, b (11) Therefore, a second approach using two fractional
integrators is proposed (model (2)). The model
b that is to say , is ob-
The optimal value of , is simulated using the scheme given on figure 2.
tained by minimization of the quadratic criterion: Because n2 = 0.5, this model permits to obtain
n 0.5 then .
J= 2k (12)
3.2 State-space model of Hn1 ,n2 (s)
Because ybk is non linear in parameters, a non
The macro state-space representation of Hn1 ,n2 (s)
linear programming algorithm is used in order to
b is given by:
estimate iteratively : n1
n o d x1 (t)
= x2 (t)
i+1 = i [J
+ I] J (13) dtn1
= i dn2 x2 (t) (14)

= u (t) a0 x1 (t) a1 x2 (t)

with (Ljung, 1987) : y (t) = b0 x1 (t) + b1 x2 (t)
Using the same way that for the model (1), we Let us define:
obtain the state-space representation:
L = rmax rmin (16)
AI1 B I1 C TI2
x = x
T T rmax : maximum radius corresponding to i =
B a C
I2 0 I1 I2A B a C
I2 1 I2 I
0 (15) rmin : minimal radius corresponding to i = 0
+ u
Each elementary block (sphere with thickness )

y = b0 C TI1 b1 C TI2 x is composed by:
a thermal resistance Ri = 4
where AI1 , BI1
et AI2 , BI2 are the matrices a thermal capacity Ci = 4c3
defining the two integrators
In1 (s) and In2 (s) Dimensions used for the sphere simulation are
with C TI1 = C TI2 = 0 0 1 rmin = 1 cm and rmax = 6 cm. One obtains a
states model with (dim x = I) and I0 = r

3.3 Identification of Hn1 ,n2 (s)

(0, t) (I0 + I)2 T (L, t)
= 0
I2 I0 Ri Ci (I0 + I 1)2 + 1
Ci ( 20 + + 24 )
Identification is performed using the Output Error 4

technique where the parameters

vector is defined
by T = a0 a1 b0 b1 1
The obtained model is used in order to simulate
Because order n2 is imposed equal to 0.5, it is the heat transfer in the sphere. The temperature
only necessary to estimate n1 , i.e. the parameter at i = I is constant, while input is the heat flux
1 . The identification technique is the previously and output is the temperature at the interface
defined, adapted to the model (2). when i = 0.
The time response of the system is plotted on
figure 4. The input is a Pseudo-Random Binary
4. SIMULATION EXAMPLE Signal. I = 2000 blocks are used in order to per-
form the simulation. Subsequently, the simulated
Let us consider the heat transfer problem in a output will be considered as the real output of the
sphere. A numerical simulation of the heat diffu- system H (s).
sion equation is performed using finite differences.
Then, models with one and two fractional integra-
tors are identified using time responses provided 1
by simulation. In order to get realistic simulations, 0.5

the following physical parameters, corresponding 0

to brass, have been used: 0.5

0 50 100 150 200

= 8.522 103 kg/m3 : density 0.1


c = 0.385 103 J/kg o C : specific heat

= 111 W/m o C : thermal conductivity 0


0 50 100 150 200
4.1 Numerical simulation using finite differences Time(s)

Let us consider a sphere with a radius rmax Fig. 4. Input and output of the model with I =
(figure 3). Divide the sphere in I blocks of same 2000
thickness . Then L = I and the ith block
where abscissa i is defined by i = i (i =
ri rmin ).

ri + 4.2 Fractional models identification
rmax ri
block Using data provided by the previous heat transfer
simulator, OE identification of models Hn (s) and
Hn1 ,n2 (s) are performed. Results are given in
Fig. 3. The sphere problem table 1.
Table 1. Identification results
Copper ball Enclosure with
Parameters Hn (s) Hn1 ,n2 (s) fixed temperature
a0 0.5072 0.0689
a1 - 0.7724
b0 0.0336 0.0041
b1 - 0.0447
n1 (n) 0.6237 0.8020

According to figure 5, the frequency responses of flux
these two models are compared with the frequency
response of H (s). The approximation obtained
with the model Hn1 ,n2 (s) is better than the
one obtained with the model Hn (s). The model
Hn1 ,n2 (s) is more able to explain the frequency Sensor
behaviour of the simulator H (s) (in its validity
domain) than the model Hn (s). According to
Power transistor : source of heat flux
figure 6, the improved model is also better to
approximate the time response particularly with
a low frequency input. Fig. 7. Experiment
From: In(1)
H(s) 5
60 Hn (s) 4
To: Out(1)

80 3

100 2
120 Hn1 ,n2 (s)
0 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000

Hn (s) Output
Hn1 ,n2 (s)
To: Out(1)

45 0.03

4 2 0 2 4 6
10 10 10 10 10 10 0

0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000
Fig. 5. Bode plots of models H (s), Hn (s) and Time (s)

Hn1 ,n2 (s)

Fig. 8. Thermal pilot input and output
0.06 at the center of the ball in order to generate a heat
flux. A sensor is fixed on the interface of the heat
0.02 source. The ball is situated in an enclosure where
0 the ambient temperature is fixed and constant.
0.02 The input of the system is the control voltage of
yn1,n2 (s)
0.04 the transistor. The output is the voltage delivered
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
by the sensor.
The values of input and output data have been
Fig. 6. Time responses of models H (s), Hn (s) and
measured by a data acquisition system whose
Hn1 ,n2 (s)
sampling period is Te = 1 s. Figure 8 represents
measured data.
5. APPLICATION TO A THERMAL PILOT Parameters a0 , a1 , b0 , b1 and n1 are estimated
using the Output-Error technique (with N = 30
After the validation in simulation of the model (2), cells, b = 105 rd/s and h = 105 rd/s in order
we want to show that it permits to improve the to simulate fractional integrators). Table 2 gives
time approximation of an experimental diffusive the obtained results using models (1) and (2).
The noise level is relatively important, which gives
the illusion that the two models give satisfactory
5.1 Description results. Nevertheless, we can verify that the model
(2) gives a better time approximation on all the
The system is a copper ball with 3 centimeters time area (figure 9). The used input was relatively
radius (see figure 7). A power transistor is placed poor: it is obvious that with a more exciting input,
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