4
th
Year BSc. Chemical Engineering
University of New Brunswick
Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Mr. Naif Hazizi
Team Leader
University of New Brunswick.
October 9
th
, 2013.
Dear Mr. Hazizi:
Attached is the memorandum report for the Process Controls experiment. This experiment was
conducted at Lab B24 on October 3
rd
, 2013 under your leadership. In this experiment, I am
responsible for closedloop portion of the experiment and Jenna is responsible for the open loop
portion of the experiment.
A model of the system was developed and fitted to the behavior of the operational system. The
controller was tuned using the process reaction curve method and the controller constants were
determined using the Cohen and Coon equations. The model was set up as a closed loop control
system and was used to predict the reaction of the system to changes in set point. The process
was set up as a closed loop control system and changes were made in the set point. There were
initial issues with the development of the model due to the form of the Cp equation that was
available. Due to these issues the average Cp values for each species were considered constants
and used in the model.
All the sections that are required have been included in this report. If you have any further
questions, you can reach me at sarbjyot.bains@unb.ca .
Yours sincerely,
Sarbjyot Bains.
Encl: Memorandum Report
Abstract
The objectives of the experiment include:
1. To become familiar with a process adequately presented by a first order model.
2. To determine experimentally the model parameters.
3. To control the level of liquid in a surge tank by using:
(a) a conventional pneumatic controller; and
(b) a micro computer.
In this experiment, the step response technique is used to identify the model and the model
parameters of a surge tank. Subsequently, the liquid level in the surge tank is controlled by a
pneumatic controller and a digital controller.
ChE 4404
Chemical Engineering
Laboratory IV
Memorandum Report
Process Controls Laboratory
Submitted by:
Sarbjyot Bains
3429463
sarbjyot.bains@unb.ca
Test Methods
In this experiment, the step response technique is used to identify the model and the model
parameters of a surge tank. Subsequently, the liquid level in the surge tank is controlled by a
pneumatic controller and a digital controller.
1. Process Identification
Figure 1 shows the experimental setup. A block diagram representation of the feedback
control system appears in Figure 2a. An equivalent block diagram is shown in Figure 2b.
Introduction of a step change in the inlet flow rate to the tank and monitoring the response in
the liquid level results in the combined transfer function for the load and the measuring element.
Assume negligible dynamics for the measuring element. Now, the load transfer function G
L
(s)
can be obtained, since the measuring element gain can be obtained from the measuring element
calibration curve.
Introduction of a step change in the control valve actuating pressure and observing the liquid
level response results in the combined transfer functions for the valve, the process and the
measuring element. The valve has negligible dynamics since the time constant of the valve is
much smaller than the process time constant. The steady state gain for the valve is
K
v
= (AF/A/P
c
)
ss
where AP
c
is the step change in the valve‟s actuating pressure and AF is the resulting change in
the outlet flowrate at steady state. In this way, the process transfer function G
p
(s) may be
obtained from the above step tests.
Due to the nonlinear dependency of the outlet flow rate of the tank on the liquid level, it
is important to carry out all the experiments around a fixed steadystate liquid level.
2. Feedback Control
(a) Pneumatic Controller:
The liquid level is measured by a Differential Pressure (DP) cell in the form of a pneumatic
signal (315 psig) which is directly transmitted to the controller. The controller is a conventional
3mode pneumatic unit with Proportional, Integral and Derivative actions.
Figure 1: Two Identical Block Diagrams of Surge Tanks
P  action: P P K e t
c c c =
+ ( )
I  action: P P K e t dt
c c c I
o
t
= +
}
/ ( ) t (1)
D  action: P P K de t dt
c c c D
= + t ( ( ) / )
where P
c
: valve‟s actuating signal, controller‟s output, psig
P
c
: controller bias at e(t) = o
e(t) : error signal = h
sp
 h(t), psig
K
c
: controller gain = 100/PB, PB is the controller proportional band
t
I
: integral time, min/repeat
t
D
: derivative time, min
Different combinations of the above controller actions result in P, PI, PD and PID modes.
(b) Micro Computer:
Direct Digital Control (DDC) of the liquid level is carried out by a micro computer. The
pneumatic signal from the DPcell is first converted to an analog electronic signal (420mA),
using an I/P transducer. The analog signal is then sampled at prespecified intervals of time and
converted to a digital signal with an A/D converter. Provided that the sampling interval is
„short‟, the finite difference approximation of eq. (1) can be used to give the discrete version of
the PIDcontroller by:
V V K e
t
e
t
e e
n o c n
I
k
k
n
D
n n
= + + +

\

.
 ÷
¸
(
¸
(
(
=
÷
¿
A
A t
t
1
1
( ) (2)
where: V
n
computer output at the nth sampling interval, Volts
e
n
error at the nth sampling interval, Volts
V
o
computer output when e
n
= o, Volts
At sampling interval, sec
Equation 2 is the “position” form of the discrete version of the PID  controller. It is obtained by
approximating the integral term with the rectangular rule, and the derivative term with a first
order backward difference.
Implementation of equation 2 requires the knowledge of V
o
, the steady state value of computer
output signal. For a nonlinear process, which includes most chemical engineering processes, this
means updating V
o
for each new set point. In order to circumvent this problem, the “velocity”
form of the discrete version of the PID  controller is used. This is obtained by writing an
equation similar to equation 2 for the (n1)st sampling interval and subtracting it from equation
2. The velocity form of the discrete version of the PID  controller becomes
A
A
A
V K e e
t
e
t
e e e
n c n n
I
n
D
n n n
= ÷ +

\

.
 +

\

.
 ÷ +
¸
(
¸
(
÷ ÷ ÷ 1 1 2
2
t
t
( ) ) (3)
where AV
n
is the change in the computer output signal at the nth sampling interval relative to its
value at the (n1)st interval. So,
V
n
= AV
n
+ V
n1
(4)
The valve‟s actuating signal calculated in your application program using equations 3 and 4 is
first converted to an analog signal with a D/A converter. It is then held constant during the
sampling intervals with an electronic zeroorder hold device and finally converted to a pneumatic
signal via an I/P transducer.
PROCEDURE
1. Process Identification
1. Open up the supply air valve.
2. Isolate the pneumatic controller loop from the DDC loop.
3. Switch the controller to MANUAL. In the MANUAL mode the controller acts as a
remote manual valve stem positioner.
4. Open up the inlet water valve and set it at approximately 3 gpm.
5. Adjust the valve stem position so that the liquid level in the tank is approximately 10 in.
of water.
6. Wait until the liquid level comes to rest.
7. Introduce a step change in the inlet water flowrate from 3 to 4 gpm while the flowrate is
being recorded on the recorder.
8. Observe and record the resulting response in the liquid level on the recorder. Wait until
new steady state is reached.
9. Set the inlet flowrate at its original value.
10. Wait until the liquid level comes to rest at its original value.
11. Introduce a small step change in the valve stem position and record the change in liquid
level (about 10% of the range on the controller chart).
12. Observe and record the resulting response in the liquid level on the recorder.
13. The transfer function (pure gain) of the liquid level transmitter is available in the form of
a chart. Ask the Laboratory Administrator for this chart.
2. Feedback Control
(a) Pneumatic Analog Controller
(i) PControl
1. Allow the process to come to steady state with the liquid level approximately 10in. water
and inlet flowrate 3 gpm (controller in MANUAL).
2. Adjust the set point to correspond to the liquid level in the tank.
3. Set the controller to be a PController: PB = 100%, t
I
= maximum, t
D
= minimum.
4. Switch the controller to AUTOMATIC. The device is now a feedback controller.
5. Change the set point to 50% of the range on the controller dial.
6. Observe and record the response.
7. Repeat steps 16 for PB ~ 20% and PB ~ 4%.
(ii) PDControl
1. Reset the set point to match the liquid level in the tank as in part i).
2. Set the controller as a PDController: PB ~ 4%, t
I
= maximum, t
D
= 0.02 minimum.
3. Repeat steps 46 in section i).
4. Repeat steps 1  3 in section ii) with t
D
= 0.2 min and then t
D
= 2min
(iii) PIControl
1. Reset the set point to match the liquid level in the tank as before.
2. Set the controller as a PIController: PB ~ 20%, t
I
= 1 min, t
D
= minimum
3. Repeat steps 4  6 in section i).
4. Repeat steps 1  3 in section iii) with t
I
= 0.1 min and then t
I
= 0.01 min.
(iv) PIDController
The combination of the three controller modes when properly tuned should ensure a rapid, stable
and accurate response.
An empirical method of finding the optimum controller settings was proposed by Cohen and
Coon. The parameters are determined openloop, so the controller is not hooked up to the
system. A stepchange is input into the controlling element (in this case the control valve at the
bottom of the tank) and the response of the liquid level is recorded on the chart recorder. This
response should be sinusoidal in nature. The curve is known as the process reaction curve and
contains the effects from the process, the valve and the measuring sensor.
According to Cohen and Coon, most processes will have a response to this change that may be
approximated as a firstorder system with dead time. This model is
G
Ke
s
PRC
t s
d
~
+
÷
t 1
where: K = output (at steady state)/input (at steady state)  B/A;
t = B/S, where S is the slope of the sigmoidal response at the point of inflection;
t
d
= time elapsed until the system responded.
Analysis of many systems by Cohen and Coon led to the following optimal settings for a PID
Controller:
K
K t
t
t
t
t
t
t
c
d
d
I d
d
d
D d
d
= +

\

.

=
+
+
=
+
1
4
32 6
13 8
4
11 2
4
3
t
t
t
t
t
t
t
/
/
/
Using the output from the step change in the control valve, calculate the value of gain, time
constant and delay time for the level in the tank. Determine the optimal settings using the Cohen
and Coon relations above. Input these value into the controller and observe the response. If the
response is not a ¼ decay ratio, adjust the value of the parameters until a ¼ decay ratio is
observed.
b) Direct Digital Control (DDC):
1. Bring the head to the state of approximately 10in.
2. Isolate the pneumatic loop. Now the DDC controller is in place.
3. Use the provided DDC program with a sampling time of 1 second. Set the PID controller at
the Cohen and Coon optimum values. Adjust the parameters until a ¼ D.R. is obtained. The
sampling interval and the controller integral time and derivative time must be in the same
unit, for example in seconds.
4. Using the optimal values determined in step 3, observe response for At = 3, 5 and 7 seconds.
Presentation and Discussion of Results
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
54:21.6 54:25.9 54:30.2 54:34.6 54:38.9 54:43.2 54:47.5 54:51.8 54:56.2
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
08:24.0 09:07.2 09:50.4 10:33.6 11:16.8 12:00.0 12:43.2 13:26.4 14:09.6 14:52.8
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
21:30.2 21:47.5 22:04.8 22:22.1 22:39.4 22:56.6 23:13.9 23:31.2
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
56:38.4 59:31.2 02:24.0 05:16.8 08:09.6 11:02.4
Conclusion
References
 James B. Riggs, M. Nazmul Karim, Chemical and Bio – Process Control, Third Edition,
Ferret Publishing, Lubbock Texas, 2006
 Olive, R. Process Controls Notes. – ChE 3601. Department of Chemical Engineering,
University of New Brunswick. Fredericton, NB.