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Malaysian Campus

Engineering

Laboratory Report

Experiment number: CTR2

Title: Flow control

Group number: 6

Group members: Lai Kar Chiew (013319)

Lim Wei Xuen (013312)

Azman Arrif Imran (013303)

El Shanawany Hosam Samy (013396)

Name of tutor: Dr. Ong Sze Pheng

Date of experiment: 26th March 2015

Date due: 28th April 2015

Summary

The aim of this report is to explain the conceptual basis of fluid control and to discuss the

observed trends which occurred during the procedures carried out to produce the final

data. In CTR2, a flow controller (G.U.N.T RT020) is used to test the means of flow

control. The RT020 with the assistance of an adjustable pump asserts flowing fluid from

a storage tank into a piping loop. The flow can be manipulated by changing the charge at

which the electromagnetic proportional valve is set to. The integration of a rotameter

and turbine wheel flow sensor helps compute the data through a software controller.

A few tasks were carried out to determine open-loop behaviour, limitations of process,

influence of disturbance to process, controller settings by using Ziegler-Nicholas closedloop method and to evaluate the performance of controllers.

Reliability of the overall process can be questioned when considering that external

disturbances could influence the manner in which the data is processed through the

software. When scrutinizing flow, it is important to consider factors of the

experimentation that could affect results.

Results

Figure 1: CTR2-1

Figure 2: CTR2-2

Figure 3: CTR2-3

Figure 4: CTR2-4

Figure 5: CTR2-5

Figure 6: CTR2-6

Figure 7: CTR2-7

Figure 8: CTR2-8

Figure 9: CTR2-9

Discussion

Control systems are used to keep the process operating at desired conditions by

manipulating certain process variables to adjust the variables of interest. A number of

benefits are offered by automatic control of a process: enhanced process safety, meet

product quality specification, efficient process and improved profitability. In this flow

control experiment, the variable of interest (controlled variable) is flowrate, X while the

manipulated variable is the setting of the electromagnetic proportional valve and the

regulation ratio, Y is the percentage of opening of the electromagnetic proportional

valve.

Task 1: To Determine Open-Loop Behaviour and Limitation of Process

Graph CTR 2-1 shows that the flowrate is constant at a regulation ratio of 20%. When

the regulation ratio was increased from 20% to 30% the flowrate is higher then it

becomes constant throughout the similar regulation ratio. The constant flowrate is an

indication of steady-state. Besides, it can also be seen that when Y changed, the

flowrate, X does not change immediately, instead it changes after sometime. Besides,

only first order system can react immediately to the excitation as others dont. Hence,

we can say that this is a first order process plus dead time (FOPDT).

From graph CTR2-2, it can be observed that when Y changes, X changes accordingly.

However, the increment in X is getting smaller and smaller for every constant increase in

Y. For instance, when Y changes from 30% to 40%, X changes from 72 Lhr-1 to 95 Lhr-1,

with an increment of 23 Lhr-1; when Y changes from 60% to 70%, X changes from 138

Lhr-1 to 145 Lhr-1, with an increment of 7 Lhr-1. Moreover, when Y reaches 100%, in

which the valve is fully opened, the maximum flowrate, Xmax is 160 Lhr-1. The limitations

of the process are the maximum achievable flowrate of the fluid as well as the limit of

the pump performance and the maximum opening of the electromagnetic proportional

valve.

Task 2: To Determine Influence of Disturbance to Process

In graph CTR2-3, the thinner blue line represents the disturbance signal, Z. From graph

CTR2-3, several observations were made. Firstly, when Z changes from 0% to 20%, X

doesnt change, remains constant at 130 Lhr-1. This indicates that the disturbance signal,

Z at this stage is not strong enough to implicate the process. Secondly, when Z reaches

20% and onwards, X is decreasing. This is because it is an open-loop system, there isnt

any controller to bring the process back to the set point. Thirdly, the decrement in X is

getting bigger as Z is stronger. For example, when Z changes from 90% to 100%, X

drops from 16 Lhr-1 to 6 Lhr-1; when Z changes from 20% to 30%, X drops from 65 Lhr-1

to 62 Lhr-1. The possible disturbances that could occur in a flow process are as followed:

presence of bubbles, leakage from the transportation line, pump speed, loose valve

fitting and valve failure. Pump speed will probably vary from time to time which would

certainly affect the fluid flowrate.

The signal block diagram for the open-loop system is shown below:

Disturbances:

Bubbles, pump speed

Manipulated variable:

Setting of electromagnetic proportional valve

Flow Process

Desired flowrate, X

Method

From graph CTR2-4, a sustained oscillation in response (X) is observed at Kp = 0.6. And

this Kp value is recorded as Kcrit. Furthermore, the period of sustained oscillation, Tp =

0.92s is also obtained from the graph CTR2-4. The value of the sustained oscillation, T p

is determined by measuring the time interval between two peaks of the graph. The

parameters of P, PI and PID controllers are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Ziegler-Nichols Closed-Loop Optimum Controller Settings.

Type of controller

Optimum Settings

Proportional Gain

Derivative Time

0.300

P+I

0.273

0.767

P+I+D

0.353

0.460

0.115

From graph CTR2-5 to graph CTR2-10, the yellow line represents the set-point, W.

Graph CTR2-5 and graph 2-6 are associated with a P controller. Graph CTR 2-5 shows

the performance of the P controller with no disturbance. From graph CTR2-5, it can be

seen that the flowrate, X is so far away from the set-point, W, results in an off-set of

approximately 30 Lhr-1. Graph CTR 2-6 shows the performance of the P controller in the

presence of disturbance. In graph CTR2-6, again an off-set of approximately 30 Lhr -1 is

observed before introducing the disturbance. After introducing the disturbance, X first

drops from 30 Lhr-1 to 0 and then is recovered back to 12 Lhr-1 by the P controller, results

in an off-set of 48 Lhr-1.

Graph CTR2-7 and graph CTR2-8 are associated with a PI controller. Graph CTR 2-7

shows the performance of the PI controller with no disturbance. From graph CTR2-7, the

flowrate, X overlaps with the set-point, W, no off-set is observed in this case. However,

the process response becomes oscillatory. Graph CTR 2-8 shows the performance of the

PI controller in the presence of disturbance. In graph CTR2-8, no off-set is observed

before introducing the disturbance. After introducing the disturbance, X first drops from

60 Lhr-1 to 30 Lhr-1 and is recovered back to the set-point in 8 seconds by the PI

controller.

The last two graphs, graph CRT2-9 and graph CTR2-10 are associated with PID

controller. Graph CTR 2-9 shows the performance of the PID controller with no

disturbance. In graph CTR2-9, no off-set is observed and the Y curve is subjected to

abrupt changes. This is because the measured output is noisy. From graph CTR2-10, no

off-set is observed until the disturbance is introduced. After introducing the disturbance,

X first drops from 60 Lhr-1 to 27 Lhr-1 and is recovered back to the set-point in 4 seconds

by the PID controller.

After comparing the last 6 graphs (graph CTR2-5~graph CTR2-10), P controller is the

least suitable controller for flow control as an off-set of 48 Lhr-1 is observed. For PI and

PID controllers, both can recover the process back to set-point even though disturbance

is present. PID controller responds faster than PI controller because it takes into account

of now, present and future error while PI controller considers only now and present error.

However, the PID controller is seldom used for flow control because the flow

measurement tends to be very noisy and flow process is quite fast. From graph CTR2-9

and graph CTR2-10, it can be seen that X and Y curves are more oscillatory because the

measured output is noisy. In conclusion, the PI controller is the most suitable controller

for flow control as it can recover the process back to the set-point in short time and it is

a lot cheaper than that of PID controller.

Disturbances:

Bubbles, pump speed

Set-point,

W

Set-point

error, e

Controlle

r

Secondary element:

Transmitter

Electromagnetic

proportional

valve

Flow Process

Primary element:

Turbine wheel flow sensor

Desired

Flowrate,

X

Conclusion

The mechanism used in CRT2 provides efficient means of controlling flow. And again,

flow rate is highly dependent on the regulation ratio to which the electromagnetic

proportional valve is set to. The regulation ratio increases as set points and disturbances

are accounted for statistically.

For task 1, the process is a first order process plus dead time (FOPDT). Furthermore, the

limitations of the process are as followed: maximum achievable flowrate of the fluid,

limit of the pump performance and the maximum opening of the electromagnetic

proportional valve.

For task 2, the possible disturbances are presence of bubbles in fluid, leakage from the

transportation line, pump speed, loose valve fitting and valve failure.

For task 3 and 4, the performance of P, PI and PID controllers are evaluated. We

concluded that PI is the most suitable controller for flow control as it can recover the

process back to the set-point in short time and it is cheap.

Notations

P Proportional

PI Proportional-Integral

PID Proportional-Integral-Derivative

W Set point, Lhr-1

X Flowrate, Lhr-1

Y Regulation ratio

Z Disturbance singal

Kp Proportional gain

Kcrit Critical proportional gain

Tp Period of sustained oscillation, s

References

Coughanowr, D. R. & E.LeBlanc, S., 2009. Process systems analysis and control. 3rd ed.

New York: McGraw-Hill.

Appendix

Given Kp = Kcrit = 0.6, Tp = 0.92s (obtained from graph CTR2-4)

The parameters of P, PI and PID controllers are calculated using the table below.

Table 2: Ziegler-Nichols Closed-Loop Optimum Controller Tuning Formulae.

Type of controller

Optimum Settings

Proportional Gain

Derivative Time

Kcrit/2

P+I

Kcrit/2.2

Tp/1.2

P+I+D

Kcrit/1.7

Tp/2

Tp/8

For P controller:

Kp = Kcrit/2 = 0.6/2 = 0.300

For PI controller:

Kp = Kcrit/2.2 = 0.6/2.2 = 0.273

Integral Action Time = Tp/1.2 = 0.92/1.2 = 0.767s

For PID controller:

Kp = Kcrit/1.7 = 0.6/1.7 = 0.353

Integral Action Time = Tp/2 = 0.92/2 = 0.460s

Derivative Time = Tp/8 = 0.92/8 = 0.115s

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