Integral control of stable nonlinear systems based on singular perturbations

Pietro Lorenzetti*, George Weiss*, Vivek Natarajan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


One of the main issues related to integral control is windup, which occurs when, possibly due to a fault, the input signal u of the plant reaches a value outside the allowed input range U. This paper presents an integral controller with anti-windup, called saturating integrator, for a single-input single-output nonlinear plant having a curve of locally exponentially stable equilibrium points that correspond to constant inputs in U. A closed-loop system is formed by connecting the saturating integrator in feedback with the plant. The control objective is to make the output signal y of the plant track a constant reference r, while not allowing its input signal u to leave U. Using singular perturbation methods, we prove that, under reasonable assumptions, the equilibrium point of the closed-loop system is exponentially stable, with a “large” region of attraction. Moreover, when the state of the closed-loop system converges to this equilibrium point, then the tracking error tends to zero. A step-by-step procedure is presented to perform the closed-loop stability analysis, by finding separately a Lyapunov function for the reduced (slow) model and a Lyapunov function for the boundary-layer (fast) system. Afterwards, a Lyapunov function for the closed-loop system is built as a convex combination of the two previous ones, and an upper bound on the controller gain is found such that closed-loop stability is guaranteed. Finally, we show that if certain stronger conditions hold, then the domain of attraction of the stable equilibrium point of the closed-loop system can be made large by choosing a small controller gain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6157-6164
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2020
Event21st IFAC World Congress 2020 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 12 Jul 202017 Jul 2020


FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
Horizon 2020765579


    • Integral control
    • Lyapunov methods
    • Nonlinear systems
    • Singular perturbation method
    • Windup


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