Call for Award Nominations
Electricity production in the US has changed dramatically since 2000, with the percent of electricity produced from gas growing from 16% to 30%, while coal dropped from 52% to 37%. These changes are primarily driven by two technologies used in shale rock formations, directional drilling to create horizontal wells, and hydraulic fracturing to release the gas within the relatively impermeable rock. This presentation will first give a brief operational overview of hydraulic fracturing. Next, challenges that relate to the control of this technology are described. Lastly, two examples are presented, one a theoretical study investigating the potential of model-based feedback control of the hydraulic fracturing process and the other an implementation that highlights the importance of measurements and data uncertainty when designing effective and robust controllers.