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Concept# Hybrid system

Summary

A hybrid system is a dynamical system that exhibits both continuous and discrete dynamic behavior – a system that can both flow (described by a differential equation) and jump (described by a state machine or automaton). Often, the term "hybrid dynamical system" is used, to distinguish over hybrid systems such as those that combine neural nets and fuzzy logic, or electrical and mechanical drivelines. A hybrid system has the benefit of encompassing a larger class of systems within its structure, allowing for more flexibility in modeling dynamic phenomena.
In general, the state of a hybrid system is defined by the values of the continuous variables and a discrete mode. The state changes either continuously, according to a flow condition, or discretely according to a control graph. Continuous flow is permitted as long as so-called invariants hold, while discrete transitions can occur as soon as given jump conditions are satisfied. Discrete transitions may be associated with events

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In recent years, one of the most important challenges of the 21st century is to satisfy the ever-increasing world's energy demand. Many efforts are being undertaken to find alternative renewable energy sources, which ideally should outcompete fossil fuel use in all its aspects. In this respect, photo-assisted microbial bioelectrochemical cells (MBECs) in which the reduction of water to hydrogen takes place have been of considerable interest in recent years. Two categories of such systems have been investigated: MBECs with a semiconductor photocathode or photoanode, and hybrid systems, in which an MBEC cell with dark electrodes is coupled to an electrochemical photovoltaic cell. A common denominator of all these systems is the need of microorganisms at the anode, the action of which results in the generation of an electron flow by organic matter oxidation. The aim of this review is to describe the general working principles, with respect to both biochemical and electrochemical aspects, and the performance of various categories of hydrogen-generating photo-assisted MBECs.

Hybrid dynamical systems are those with interaction between continuous and discrete dynamics. For the analysis and control of such systems concepts and theories from either the continuous or the discrete domain are typically readapted. In this thesis the ideas from perturbation theory are readapted for approximating a hybrid system using a continuous one. To this purpose, hybrid systems that possess a two-time scale property, i.e. discrete states evolving in a fast time-scale and continuous states in a slow time-scale, are considered. Then, as in singular perturbation or averaging methods, the system is approximated by a slow continuous time system. Since the hybrid nature of the process is removed by averaging, such a procedure is referred to as dehybridization in this thesis. It is seen that fast transitions required for dehybridization correspond to fast switching in all but one of the discrete states (modes). Here, the notion of dominant mode is defined and the maximum time interval spent in the non-dominant modes is considered as the 'small' parameter which determines the quality of approximation. It is shown that in a finite time interval, the solutions of the hybrid model and the continuous averaged one stay 'close' such that the error between them goes to zero as the 'small' parameter goes to zero. To utilize the ideas of dehybridization for control purposes, a cascade control design scheme is proposed, where the inner-loop artificially creates the two-time scale behavior, while the outer-loop exponentially stabilizes the approximate continuous system. It is shown that if the origin is a common equilibrium point for all modes, then for sufficiently small values of the 'small' parameter, exponential stability of the hybrid model can be guaranteed. However, it is shown that if the origin is not an equilibrium point for some modes, then the trajectories of the hybrid model are ultimately bounded, the bound being a function of the 'small' parameter. The analysis approach used here defines the hybrid system as a perturbation of the averaged one and works along the lines of robust stability. The key technical diffierence is that though the norm of the perturbation is not small, the norm of its time integral is small. This thesis was motivated by the stick-slip drive, a friction-based micropositioning setup, which operates in two distinct modes 'stick' and 'slip'. It consists of two masses which stick together when the interfacial force is less than the Coulomb frictional force, and slips otherwise. The proposed methodology is illustrated through simulation and experimental results on the stick-slip drive.

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