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Advantages and disadvantages when using derivative Advantages The derivative control mode gives a controller additional control

action when the error changes consistently. It also makes the loop more stable (up to a point) which allows using a higher controller gain and a faster integral (shorter integral time or higher integral gain). These have the effect of reducing the maximum deviation of process variable from set point if the process receives and external disturbance. For a typical temperature control loop, you can expect a 20% reduction in the maximum deviation. Figure 2 shows how a loop with derivative (PID) control recovers quicker from a disturbance with less deviation than a loop with P or PI control

Figure 2 Derivative action is used to make the control faster When the controller has derivative action only, its output change is proportional to the rate of change of the deviation If the rate of change of the deviation is slow, output changes only slightly from the value where the deviation is fast, output change will be more. Constant deviation does not cause any action of the controller output A step change in deviation will cause the output to go to an infinitely high or low value Proportional and derivative actions are always used together

Disadvantages Noisy PV Using the derivative control mode is a bad idea when the process variable (PV) has a lot of noise on it. Noise is small, random, rapid changes in the PV, and consequently rapid changes in the error. Because the derivative mode extrapolates the current slope of the error, it is highly affected by noise (Figure 3). You could try to filter the PV so you can use derivative, as long as your filter time constant is shorter than 1/5 of your derivative time.

Figure 3. Effect of Noise on Derivative. Process Dynamics On dead-time dominant processes, PID control does not always work better than PI control (it depends on which tuning method you use). If the time constant (tau) is equal to or longer than the dead time (td), like in Figure 4, PID control easily outperforms PI control.

Figure 4. Process Dynamics. Temperature and Level Loops Temperature control loops normally have smooth measurements and long time constants. The process variable of a temperature loop tends to move in the same direction for a long time, so its

slope can be used for predicting future error. So temperature loops are ideal candidates for using derivative control if needed. Level measurements can be very noisy on boiling liquids or gas separation processes. However, if the level measurement is smooth, level control loops also lend themselves very well to using derivative control (except for surge tanks and averaging level control where you dont need the speed). Flow Control Loops Flow control loops tend to have noisy PVs (depending on the flow measurement technology used). They also tend to have short time constants. And they normally act quite fast already, so speed is not an issue. These factors all make flow control loops poor candidates for using derivative control. Pressure Control Loops Pressure control loops come in two flavors: liquid and gas. Liquid pressure behaves very much like flow loops, so derivative should not be used. Gas pressure loops behave more like temperature loops (some even behave like level loops / integrating processes), making them good candidates for using derivative control. Final Words Derivative control adds another dimension of complexity to control loops. It does have its benefits, but only in special cases. If a loop does not absolutely need derivative control, dont bother with it. However, if you have a lag-dominant loop with a smooth process variable that needs every bit of speed it can get, go for the derivative.