Garrett Motion has been granted a patent for a configurable controller that can control the performance of a physical plant by analyzing its health. The controller uses models and sensors to estimate and measure the operating value of a parameter in the plant, and compares them to determine the state of health. This information can then be used to modify the control values of the plant. GlobalData’s report on Garrett Motion gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Garrett Motion, Photovoltaic drones was a key innovation area identified from patents. Garrett Motion's grant share as of September 2023 was 77%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Physical plant performance control based on health monitoring

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Garrett Motion Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11719174B2) describes a configurable controller for controlling the operation of a physical plant. The controller includes a state observer, a low-level controller, and an engine control unit (ECU). The state observer captures the current state of the physical plant using a plurality of sensors, while the low-level controller controls the behavior of the plant using actuators. The ECU is responsible for analyzing the state of health (SOH) of the physical plant.

The ECU estimates the operating value of a parameter in the physical plant using models and the current state of the plant. It then compares this estimated value to the measured value obtained from one of the sensors, calculating the difference as a system residual. This process is repeated to obtain a series of system residuals over a period of plant use. The ECU derives the state of health from these residuals.

The configurable controller is designed to use one or more boundary conditions to control the behavior of the physical plant. The ECU, utilizing the SOH, can modify these boundary conditions used by the low-level controller. Additionally, the ECU can store the SOH for later retrieval during maintenance operations on the physical plant or transmit it to a remote memory location for use in maintenance operations.

The patent also describes methods of operating the physical plant and associated configurable controller. These methods involve capturing the current state of the plant, controlling its behavior using actuators, and analyzing the state of health using models and sensor measurements. The SOH can be used to store values over time, calculate trends, and predict the time to performance failure of a component.

Furthermore, the configurable controller can determine whether a component of the physical plant has reached a threshold for performance failure and identify any reduction in performance. Based on this information, the controller can report to the user whether the component is a candidate root cause for the reduction in performance.

In the case of an internal combustion engine with a turbocharger, the configurable controller can use a compressor map and adjust the surge line based on the SOH. This allows for more precise control of engine operation.

Overall, this patent presents a configurable controller and associated methods that utilize the state of health of a physical plant to modify its behavior and predict performance failure. This technology has potential applications in various industries, particularly in the automotive sector.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.