Optimisation is a key component of improved efficiency. While the concept is simple – minimise the energy usage of a system – the implementation is critical to success and is often the reason for failure of a concept which looked good on paper.
We have extensive experience of mission-critical optimisation in real-time control systems; from steel production to vessel fuel savings to power system configuration.
The best approach to an optimisation problem depends on a number of factors: the dimension of the problem (number of variables); whether it can be expressed analytically; the shape of the function, e.g. does it have local minima; the form of any constraints; and the processing power and time available to produce a solution.
Let’s look at some examples of how these criteria affect the choice and use of an optimisation strategy.