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Engineering Encyclopedia

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Steady State Gains

Note: The source of the technical material in this volume is the Professional
Engineering Development Program (PEDP) of Engineering Services.
Warning: The material contained in this document was developed for Saudi
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employees. Any material contained in this document which is not
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without the written permission of the Vice President, Engineering
Services, Saudi Aramco.

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Engineering Encyclopedia Instrumentation
Steady State Gains

CONTENTS PAGE

DETERMINING THE STEADY STATE GAIN VERSUS OPERATING


POINT RELATIONSHIP FOR A LOOP .............................................................................. 1

Steady State Gains of Elements ................................................................................. 1

Slope Method ................................................................................................. 1


Mathematical Method..................................................................................... 2
Test Method.................................................................................................... 2

Steady State Gain Of Loops....................................................................................... 3

Linear Loops................................................................................................... 3
Non-Linear Loops .......................................................................................... 5

Linearization For Constant Loop Gain....................................................................... 6

EVALUATING THE STEADY STATE GAIN OF MEASURING


ELEMENTS/ TRANSMITTERS .......................................................................................... 8

Primary Elements/Transmitters.................................................................................. 8

Temperature Transmitters............................................................................... 8
Flow Transmitters........................................................................................... 10
Linearizing Differential Producers ................................................................. 12
Linearizing With A Compensating Response................................................. 16

EVALUATING THE STEADY STATE GAIN OF FINAL CONTROL


ELEMENTS .......................................................................................................................... 17

Steady State Gain of Final Control Elements............................................................. 17


Linear Valves ............................................................................................................. 18
Equal Percentage Valves............................................................................................ 20
Actual Valve Characteristics...................................................................................... 23
Linearizing the Valve Characteristic .............................................................. 29

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EVALUATING THE STEADY STATE GAIN OF CONTROLLERS................................. 32

Linear Controllers ...................................................................................................... 32


Non-Linear Controllers .............................................................................................. 33
Linearizing Process Characteristic with a Non-Linear Controller .................. 35

EVALUATING THE STEADY STATE GAIN OF PROCESSES ....................................... 36

Level Process ............................................................................................................. 36


Linearizing a Non-Linear Process - Non-Uniform Tank................................ 39
Heat Exchanger Process............................................................................................. 40
Linearizing Processes Whose Gain Varies Inversely With Load ................... 42
Example Of Finding The Steady State Gain Of A Process........................................ 43
Process............................................................................................................ 44
Transmitter ..................................................................................................... 46
Valve .............................................................................................................. 47
Steady State Open Loop Gain ........................................................................ 48

GLOSSARY .......................................................................................................................... 49

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Steady State Gains

DETERMINING THE STEADY STATE GAIN VERSUS OPERATING POINT


RELATIONSHIP FOR A LOOP

Steady State Gains of Elements

Slope Method
Steady state gain is simply the slope of the input-output relationship of the element's response
curve when both the input and output are time invariant (do not vary with time).

SLOPE = K = A
B
= CONSTANT
OUTPUT

A K

INPUT INPUT
LINEAR ELEMENT

SLOPE = K
SLOPE CONSTANT
OUTPUT

INPUT INPUT
NON-LINEAR ELEMENT

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Mathematical Method
Steady state gain can be determined by differentiating the equation that represents the
particular input/output relationship.
K = d(out)/d(input) @ S.S.

Test Method
To determine the steady state gain of an element, or a series of elements, introduce a time
invariant input (a step) to the element and observe the output. If the output becomes time
invariant ( a step), the steady state gain can be calculated as the ratio of the output step to the
input step.

B
A ELEMENT
INPUT OUTPUT

K = B/A

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Steady State Gain Of Loops

Linear Loops
A particular loop is made up of a series of linear elements. The open loop steady state gain is
the product of all of the element's individual steady state gains. Look at the linear loop below.
Notice that each element has a linear input/output relationship. The controller's response
curve is drawn with a negative slope to assure overall increase-decrease and negative
feedback.

PROCESS TRANSMITTER VALVE CONTROLLER LOOP


OUTPUT

OUTPUT

OUTPUT
OUTPUT

OUTPUT

INPUT INPUT INPUT INPUT INPUT

LINEAR ELEMENTS-LINEAR LOOP

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Since the steady state gain of each element is the slope of the curve, we can represent the
input versus gain relationship for these elements (as well as for the loop) in the form of
horizontal lines.

PROCESS TRANSMITTER VALVE CONTROLLER LOOP


(ADJUSTABLE)

K LOOP
A B C
K T

KV

KC
KP

INPUT INPUT INPUT INPUT INPUT

LINEAR ELEMENTS-CONSTANT LOOP GAIN

As seen above the steady state gain for this loop is constant and does not vary with the input.
Constant gain at all operating points is a luxury. This loop can be tuned at any input, A, B, or
C, for a particular response (i.e. QAD). The only adjustment required is the controller gain
adjustment, which affects the loop gain and the damping. If the operating point changed,
tuning should hold; that is, we should get the same response at any other point. This loop
should be stable at all operating points.

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Non-Linear Loops
If one of the elements in the loop exhibits a non-linear input/output relationship as shown
below, the entire loop becomes non-linear, compromising the capability to have a stable loop
at all operating points.

PROCESS TRANSMITTER VALVE CONTROLLER LOOP

C
OUTPUT
OUTPUT

OUTPUT

OUTPUT

OUTPUT
B

INPUT INPUT INPUT INPUT INPUT

PROCESS TRANSMITTER VALVE CONTROLLER

ADJUST

C
KLOOP

B
K T

KC
KP

KV

INPUT INPUT INPUT INPUT A INPUT

NON-LINEAR ELEMENT-VARYING LOOP GAIN

The steady state gain for this loop varies with the operating point. Where should this loop be
tuned? If the loop is tuned at point A for a particular response (QAD), the loop could become
unstable if the operating point were changed to points B or C where the gains are higher. On
the other hand, if the loop is tuned at point C for QAD, the response becomes sluggish at
points B or A. The usual choice is to tune the loop for the highest gain condition, point C,
and experience sluggish responses when the operating point changes.

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Linearization For Constant Loop Gain


Instead of tuning at the highest gain condition to be on the safe side, a better solution to the
non-linearity problem is to use a complementary linearizing element in the loop through
either the valve or other element. The objective of good control is to make the loop gain
independent of the operating point as much as possible. One way to achieve this is to
linearize the loop as shown in the following example. This effort is worthwhile even if the
result is not a perfect linear loop.
Linearization involves the following procedure.
Since the loop response overall had the following non-linear characteristic:

OUTPUT C

INPUT

We must add a complementary function with an opposite characteristic as shown.


OUTPUT

INPUT

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The two curves complement each other resulting in an overall linear characteristic.

LINEARIZING RESULTING LINEAR


FUNCTION (B) CHARACTERISTIC (C) C A
OUTPUT

RESPONSE
CURVE (A) B

INPUT INPUT

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EVALUATING THE STEADY STATE GAIN OF MEASURING ELEMENTS/


TRANSMITTERS

Primary Elements/Transmitters
Depending on the application the selection of the measuring system could involve choosing a
primary element and a transmitter or a transmitter system with an integral primary element.
The steady state analysis would require looking at the combined effect.
Temperature Transmitters
The most common industrial temperature applications involve one of the following
transmitter types.

The response curves of these transmitters (including elements) are shown below:

100 %

LINEAR DEVICES
T/C, RTD,
OUTPUT %

CLASS I AND III FTS

THERMISTOR

NON LINEAR
CLASS II FTS

0 INPUT
TEMP SPAN

KTT = d %/ dT = 100% / Temp Span

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LINEAR TRANSMITTERS NON-LINEAR TRANSMITTERS


T/C CLASS II FTS
RTD THERMISTORS
CLASS I FTS
CLASS III FTS

LINEAR NON-LINEAR
CLASS I FTS, CLASS III FTS

CLASS II FTS
KTT, T/C, RTD

KTT
CLASS II

THERMISTOR

TEMP SPAN TEMP SPAN

Our main interest in this analysis is to determine whether a primary element transmitter
combination input/output relationship is close enough to linearity, that we can ignore its gain
versus operating point variations. We are not looking for perfect linearity, which is a
measurement issue and part of the accuracy statement for the device. In conclusion, we can
state the input/output relationship of an element/transmitter combination of RTD's, T/C's and
Class I and III FTS's are essentially linear in their normal operating ranges. Any small non
linearity, would only affect the measurement accuracy and would have minor consequences
on the transmitter gain and the control of the loop.
What about other temperature measuring devices such as pyrometers and thermistors whose
input/output relationships are inherently non-linear? When using such devices in a loop, it is
up to the user to determine if a device is linear or not. The trend today is for manufacturers to
linearize these devices by drawing compensating curves with the aid of microprocessors.
Frequently, these devices may be linear in a specific operating range.

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Flow Transmitters
The most common industrial flow applications involve one of the following measuring
devices.
LINEAR DEVICES NON LINEAR DEVICES
Magnetic Flow Meters Orifice
Positive Displacement Meters Venturi
Vortex Meters Flow Nozzle
Turbine Meters Elbow Meters
Ultrasonic Target Meters
Rotameter Weirs
Coriolis Flumes
The linear devices provide an output which is linearly related to the flow rate. Depending on
the particular device the output could be mv., Volts, pulse frequency, or 4-20 ma dc. The
steady state gain of the linear devices is constant with flow.

LINEAR DEVICES

OUT
K
mv, freq, FT
ma dc
0 TO 100%

FLOW FLOW

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Industrially the most common approach for flow measurement involves differential producers,
of which the orifice plate is by far the most common device. Differential producers have
transmitter outputs that have a non-linear relationship to the flow rate.

0 TO 100%
h

H L
INPUT FLOW
OUTPUT h or P

FLOW (F)

F=K h

The output of the flow transmitter is linearly related to the differential produced. The
differential produced however is not linear to the flow rate and has the following relationship.

DIFFERENTIAL
PRESSURE
P or h

FLOW, F
The gain of the flow transmitter can be evaluated from the orifice plate flow equations.

F = P
Using nondimensional fractional variables f = F/Fmax, h = Pmin / Pmax. The equation can
be written:

f= h
f2 = h

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We can find the dimensionless (normalized) steady state gain of this transmitter by taking the
derivative dh/df.
K = dh/df = 2f
To convert this to a dimensional gain we multiply the expression by the input/output
relationship of the transmitter as shown.
K = 2f(100%/flow span)
As can be seen from the above expressions the gain of this transmitter is not constant and it
increases with the flow rate as shown.

K FT

f
The consequence of the gain variation of the orifice plate transmitter measuring system is that
this loop may not be stable at all operating points or flows.
If we have tuned the loop for a QAD response at 50% flow and the flow rate increases to
90%, the loop gain will increase, potentially resulting in an unstable response. If the flow rate
decreases the penalty would be a slower sluggish response. Neither condition is desirable.
Most applications involving differential producers use a compensating function to linearize
the flow transmitter and produce a constant loop gain at all flows.
Linearizing Differential Producers
There are two ways that can be used to linearize differential producers.

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The following arrangements investigate the use of a square rooter to achieve linearization.

WITHOUT A SQUARE ROOT EXTRACTOR

ORIFICE TRANSMITTER
FLOW PLATE
f INPUT h OUTPUT

OVERALL
100 RESPONSE

h OUT OUT

0
f h f

OVERALL
GAIN

K ORIFICE KT KOK T

f h f

In this arrangement without a square root extractor, the steady state gain is not constant but
varies with flow.
100%
K = 2fFlow Span

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Although the transmitter itself may be linear, the primary sensor in this case is not and the
combination of the two therefore results in a gain that is dependent on the input: in this case,
on flow. Obviously, the above will not be a consideration, if the primary sensor has a
constant gain.
Linearizing With A Square Root Extractor
Let us consider now, what we might be able to do to improve the non-linear response.
Investigating the addition of a square root extractor:

INPUT OUTPUT

The square root extractor has a non-linear input-output relationship resulting in a steady state
gain which varies with the input (h).

f= h K

h h
Output Input
f = C h
where C = is a constant
C C1
K = df / dh = =
2 h h

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The addition of a square root extractor to the orifice plate transmitter will effectively linearize
the measurement.

WITH A SQUARE ROOT EXTRACTOR

FLOW, f h FLOW
ORIFICE PLATE
AND TRANSMITTER h
INPUT OUTPUT

OVERALL
RESPONSE

h f= h f

f h h

OVERALL
GAIN

K ORIFICE, K (K O,T, ) (K )
TRANS

f h f

We can see that the resultant steady state gain for this loop is constant and independent of the
operating point. The function of a square root extractor is to linearize head flow devices. The
effect of linearization can also be seen from the response curves analysis.

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Linearizing With A Compensating Response


It is possible to linearize the differential producer (orifice plate) with a complementary
response curve.
In this approach, we try to find a curve (b) type function from one of the other elements in the
loop, i.e. the valve. We can see that a valve with an installed quick opening characteristic has
a curve (b) type function and can effectively linearize the orifice plate application.
The advantage of this approach is the elimination of the need for a square root extractor; the
disadvantage is that the loop will be operating with (Flow)2 information.

h
b

Where: Curve (a) represents the flow versus head relationship for the orifice plate; curve
(b) is the quick opening valve characteristic; and, curve (c) is the resulting linear
characteristic with a constant slope.

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EVALUATING THE STEADY STATE GAIN OF FINAL CONTROL ELEMENTS

Steady State Gain of Final Control Elements


The valve is the most common final control element used in process control applications.
There are various types of valves with different characteristics. The most common
characteristics in use are the linear and equal percentage characteristics. Before looking at the
input/output relationship of the valve let us review some valve terminology.

INPUT - STEM POSITION


( MANIPULATED VARIABLE )

FLOW FLOW TO PROCESS

OUTPUT - FLOW

Valve manufacturers conduct the following test in order to provide common baseline
information about their valves.

P
P = 1 PSI = CONSTANT
VALVE FULLY STROKED

WATER
AT 60F
Cv max = USGPM

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Cv is a capacity coefficient defined as: "The number of U. S. gpm of 60F water which will
flow through a wide-open valve with a pressure drop of 1 psi across the valve.
The actual valve characteristic will be the same as the manufacturer's characteristic only if the
pressure drop across the valve is constant. Valves are sized for varying flow rates, which
result in varying pressure drops across the valve. Thus, in most cases, the actual valve
characteristic is not the manufactured characteristic but is a function of the manufactured
characteristic and the pressure drop ratio Pmin/Pmax across the valve. The two most
common inherent valve characteristics that manufacturers sell are linear and equal percentage.
Linear Valves
Valves with a linear inherent characteristic produce a flow rate directly proportional to the
amount of valve plug travel throughout the travel range. For example, at 30% rated travel the
flow rate would be 30% of maximum flow; at 60% rated travel it would be 60% of maximum
flow.

THE LINEAR VALVE UNDER CONSTANT PRESSURE DROP ( P)

f = K, m

f CONSTANT SLOPE

f = FRACTIONAL FLOW
m = FRACTIONAL OPENING
m
STEM POSITION

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For the linear valve, the steady state gain, Kv is constant.


df % Dimensionless
KV = =
dm %
Flow Span with Units
= 100%
i.e.

Thus, if a valve truly exhibits a linear characteristic, its steady state is constant.

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Equal Percentage Valves


A valve with an equal percentage characteristic will (for a given increment in stem travel)
produce a change in flow rate which may be expressed as a constant percent of the flow rate
at the time of the change. For example, if at 20% rated stem travel the flow rate was 5% and
at 30% rated stem travel the flow rate was 7.5%, then at 40% rated stem travel the flow rate
would increase to 11.3%. This represents a constant 50% flow increase at the time of the
change.
The equal percentage valve as described above has an exponential characteristic.

STEM POSITION EQUAL PERCENTAGE RESPONSE CURVE

f = R m-1

FRACTIONAL P = CONSTANT
FLOW
F / F MAX

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The characteristic can be described by the following equation.

f = Rm-1
Where R is the rangeability or turndown of the valve published by the manufacturer and
defined as
Maximum Controllable Flow
R = Minimum Controllable Flow
The equal percentage valve was designed to change the flow exponentially. Small change in
flow initially and large change of actual flow at the upper end of the stem travel.
The slope of the curve is the steady state gain and can be evaluated by differentiating the
equation
df lnR
dm = f
Where lnR is a constant which depends on the valve rangeability. Typical globe valve
rangeability is 50 and for this valve lnR = ln50 4
df
K = dm 4f Dimensionless Number

K
SLOPE OF LINE - 4 WHEN R = 50

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The dimensional form of the equal percentage valve can be evaluated by multiplying the
equation with the dimensional component
Fmax
K = (lnR) f 100

Looking at the steady state gain of this valve, it is obvious that there would be serious
instability problems if the gain variation was not compensated for.
One way that compensation can be achieved is to apply this valve to a process whose gain
varies in the opposite direction and, in effect, linearize the valve, i.e.

VALVE PROCESS COMBINED


EFFECT
K VALVE = %

K PROCESS

K LOOP

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Actual Valve Characteristics


The valve characteristic describes the flow versus the stem position as a valve travels through
its stroke. The curve on which the valve actually operates depends on various factors and it is
not necessarily the manufactured characteristic. There are two characteristics to be concerned
with when analyzing valve curves. These are known as (1) Inherent or shelf characteristic,
and (2) Installed characteristic.
The characteristics described so far are the manufactured characteristics. These inherent or
shelf characteristics apply only to applications where the pressure drop across the valve stays
constant, in which case the installed characteristic of the valve will be the same as the inherent
characteristic.
In most applications the Pv across the valve is not constant but varies with the flow rates. As
the flow rates within the process vary, they produce different pressure drops through the
process piping and tubing. The consequence of this is that the P across the valve will have
to vary with process flows. The valve can be considered a variable pressure absorber that
takes up whatever pressure drop is not used up by the process.
The pressure variation across the valve will distort the valve curve. The amount of distortion
depends on the valve type and the pressure drop ratio across the valve. The installed valve
characteristic is the actual stem position versus flow that the valve operates on.
The choice of valve for constant gain, depends not only on the inherent valve characteristic
but also the Pmin/Pmax pressure ratio across the valve.

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Let us investigate the cause of pressure variation across the valve in more detail. Consider the
following process:

PO PIN
SINK
PUMP

P P P V P P
P P
1 2

P V
P MAX

P MIN P P
PO PIN

Q Q MIN Q Q MAX Q Q MIN Q Q MAX

Q = FLOW THROUGH THE PROCESS

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The process is made up of piping and tubing through which fluids flow. A flow rate increase
through this process will cause an increase in the pressure drop across the process, Pp. The
pump characteristic curve shows a decrease in outlet pressure Po, as the flow rate
increases(assuming a constant speed pump). If the sink pressure is constant, than the pressure
drop across the valve must vary with the flow rates. This flow rate variation in the process
causes the pressure drop across the valve to vary, altering the valve characteristic.
(Pv)max occurs at minimum flow
(Pv)min occurs at maximum flow
For a given valve, the ratio of the maximum to minimum pressure drop across the valve
dictates the actual installed valve characteristic.

PO PIN
PP P V PP

Q MIN

Q MAX
PVMAX

P VMIN

Note that as the flow changes from Qmax to Qmin the Pv changes from Pvmin to Pvmax.

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Remember: Pvmin Qmax


Pvmax Qmin
An investigation of the effect of the pressure variation on the actual valve characteristic is
shown below:

FOR AN EQUAL PERCENTAGE VALVE WITH VARYING PV

P MIN
AS << 1
P MAX


P MIN
=1
P MAX
( P = C )

0
0 m

Pv min
At a P ratio of 1 the installed and inherent valve characteristics are the same.
v max
As the pressure ratio across the valve decreases, the installed characteristic of the valve shifts
towards the upper left becoming almost linear. In most processes the Pv is not constant, but
varies with flow, shifting the equal percentage characteristic towards linear.

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FOR A LINEAR VALVE WITH VARYING Pv

P MIN
AS << 1
P MAX


P MIN
=1
P MAX
( P = C )

0
0 m 1

The installed and inherent characteristics for the linear valve would be the same if the
pressure ratio were constant across the valve.
Pv min
As the P decreases, becoming less than 1, the valve characteristic shifts,
v max
approaching a quick-opening characteristic.

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The actual valve characteristic can be plotted from the following equation.
F 1
f=F =
max Pmin 1

1 + P 2 - 1
max a
where f = Fractional flow through valve when installed
a = Fractional valve opening
m = Valve stem position
and a = m For a linear valve

a = Rm-1 For an equal percentage valve


We notice from the above equation that the flow through the valve, "f" will be different for a
Pv min
particular opening, "a" depending on the ratio of P and the inherent valve
v max
characteristic.
In summation, if we know the maximum and minimum pressures that the valve will be
subjected to, we can select the inherent valve characteristics so that we will get the desired
installed valve characteristic.
For example if we need a linear valve we choose a linear inherent characteristic if Pv =
Constant or an equal percentage inherent characteristic if Pv Constant. The choice
frequently is an inherent equal percentage valve shifted towards a linear characteristic.

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Linearizing the Valve Characteristic


If Pv is constant and an equal percentage valve were installed we would end up with a non-
linear response. We might be able to compensate for this by introducing a complementing,
non-linearity into the loop, rather than buying a new valve. This non-linearity might be in the
form of a square root extractor in series with the controller output.

m
OUTPUT OF
CONTROLLER

In this application K x KValve Constant Gain

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Linearization can also be accomplished in various other related approaches using what are
known as function generators, f(x)
Function generators are curve drawers and have been available as analog products with
limited capabilities. Today, digital function generators can draw curves of any shape with
relative ease.
The general objective of the curve drawn is to linearize the function and make the steady state
gain constant. As shown below, a divider is used to characterize an equal percentage valve.

LINEARIZATION OF AN EQUAL PERCENTAGE VALVE USING A DIVIDER

FROM
CONTROLLER TO VALVE
INPUT

DIVIDER OUTPUT VALVE OR
POSITIONER

DIVIDER
CHARACTERISTIC

OUTPUT
OVERALL
CHARACTERISTIC

VALVE
CHARACTERISTIC

INPUT

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Instead of a divider a function generator, f(x), may be used to draw any curve necessary to
linearize a valve and achieve a linear input/output relationship and constant gain.

FROM OUTPUT
CONTROLLER TO VALVE
(x)
VALVE OR
POSITIONER

In some applications the valve positioner may have a cam which can be characterized to any
function required for linearization.
In digital applications the output can be characterized directly on the output side of the
controller algorithm, allowing the user to draw any curve necessary to linearize the valve.

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EVALUATING THE STEADY STATE GAIN OF CONTROLLERS

Linear Controllers
The magnitude of the gain of a three-mode linear PID controller is:
1
2
G 100 2D 2
= PB 1 + -
2I

The gain of this controller depends on the PID values set in the controller.
The integral and derivative settings affect mainly the dynamic gain, while the PB adjustment
affects the steady state gain.
The input/output relationship of this controller is as shown below:

m (OUTPUT )

e ( INPUT )
The steady state gain of this controller is as shown below: (assuming the proportional is the
steady state contribution)
m 100
K = e = PB = Constant

100
K =
PB

INPUT

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Non-Linear Controllers
As electronic controllers were introduced, it was possible to build non-linear PID controllers.
Today this function is available in various electronic and digital products. In some
applications it is not desirable to have a constant gain controller. This is specially so for
processes whose gain varies substantially with the operating point such as pH.
Non-linear controllers were designed to handle these kind of processes. They were set up to
have low gain in the high-gain region of the process and high gain in the low-gain region of
the process. An example of this is the three-piece, non-linear controller shown below:

NONLINEAR CONTROLLER CHARACTERISTICS

DEAD BAND
( ADJUSTABLE )
40
CHANGE IN CONTROLLER OUTPUT, PERCENT

DEAD BAND 0%

20
MINIMUM
GAIN 0.02

+
_0

20 MAXIMUM
GAIN 0.2

40
40 20 0 20 40
DEVIATION FROM SETPOINT, PERCENT

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The adjustable dead band allowed customization of this controller to the process
requirements. Varying the dead band was a form of rudimentary adaptation.
The steady state of this controller varies with the operating point as follows:

NORMAL GAIN

K Cont = 100 ADJUSTABLE DEAD BAND


PB
LOW GAIN

- ERROR + ERROR
SETPOINT

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Linearizing Process Characteristic with a Non-Linear Controller


The most common application of the non-linear controller is in analytical pH loops. In the
application shown, the low gain portion of the controller is adjusted through the dead band to
correspond to the high gain portion of the pH process, effectively linearizing the loop.

DEAD
BAND

P H PROCESS

NON LINEAR
PH CONTROLLER

REAGENT

K Cont X K Proc

INPUT

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Steady State Gains

EVALUATING THE STEADY STATE GAIN OF PROCESSES


Most processes in the various Saudi Aramco applications are non-linear to some degree. The
non-linearity could be due to the process capacity, which makes the loop gain a function of
load, or operating point.
Common examples of capacity dominant processes characterized by a single dominant
capacity could be a level tank or a heat exchanger.

Level Process

H
FIN
LT

F OUT = LOAD

The input to the tank is Fin and the output is level H.

FIN H = LEVEL
TANK

K Tank = H
F IN

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If the input (Fin) is increased the level (H) also increases.


The amount of increase of level will depend on the Fout or load.
FOUT = 0
FOUT = 50%

FOUT = 75%
FIN IN OUT
LEVEL TANK H

The different outputs depend on the particular load; thus, the steady state gain of this process
depends on the load.
H
KTank =
Fin Fout = Constant
For this process the gain is inversely related to load.
1
KTank Fout
From this relationship, we can conclude that the gain of this process is high at low loads and
goes to a minimum value at high loads.

K TANK

FOUT ( LOAD )

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The steady state gain versus load relationship gets further distorted for a non-uniform tank,
i.e., a boiler drum interface application or any cylindrical shaped tank as shown below.
H
KTank =
Fi

FIN
LT r3

r2
H

r1

Fi

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Linearizing a Non-Linear Process - Non-Uniform Tank


We should recognize, that due to the shape of the tank the change in level, H, for a given
change in inflow, Fi, varies with the level (set point) of the tank. In this case we might be able
to introduce a complementary non-linearity to the output of the level transmitter in an attempt
to linearize the overall response of the process.

SIGNAL
CHARACTERIZER H

CHARACTERIZER
(x)

LT H
PROCESS

OVERALL
LINEAR

The addition of the signal characterizer f(x) linearizes the tank response and makes the tank
equivalent to a uniform tank. We still have a steady state gain for the tank inversely related to
the load that we still need to address to.
1
KTank Load

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Heat Exchanger Process

FSTEAM

FW, T 2
FW, T 1

In this process the input is FSteam and the output is T2. The major loads on this process are
Fw and T1.

LOAD = 25%
LOAD = 50%
F STEAM LOAD = 75%

IN OUT, T2
HEAT
EXCHANGER

If we increase the input to the heat exchanger FS, we see an increase in the output T2. The
amount of increase in T2 will inversely depend on the load.
T2
KHeat Exchanger =
FS F w, T1 are constant

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The steady state gain of this process is also load dependent.


1
KHeat Exchanger Load

K HEAT
EXCH

B
C

LOAD, Fw or T1
This once-through type capacity process also exhibits a steady state gain that is high at low
load and decreases at high load.
Assuming that all the other elements in this loop have constant loop gain, to what load
condition should we tune this loop?
If we are conservative, and tune at point A, the highest gain area, we will have optimum
response only at low loads or low production rates. At points B or C, the response would be a
safe, overdamped response but not very efficient as it will take a long time to reach steady
state after an upset.
If, on the other hand we decide to tune at point B or C at the low gain area, the danger would
be that the loop will go unstable at low loads. This is not an acceptable outcome. Remember
the purpose of control is to maintain stability at all times. If no other alternative is available,
loop response will have to be sacrificed by tuning the loop at the highest gain.

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Linearizing Processes Whose Gain Varies Inversely With Load


We have already seen the solution to this problem during the discussion of the equal
percentage valve. The solution was an inherent equal percentage valve characteristic.

PROCESS VALVE LOOP

K PROCESS + K=% K LOOP

f (LOAD) f (LOAD) f (LOAD)

Other solutions:

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Steady State Gains

Example Of Finding The Steady State Gain Of A Process


Look at the following example to further analyze steady state gain of a process. Everything
external to the controller including the transmitter and final actuator will be considered as part
of the process.

TC r

STEAM
HEADER TT
FS ( INPUT )
TEMPERATURE
( OUTPUT )

PRODUCT
HOT WATER

COLD WATER

CONDENSATE

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Steady State Gains

In this example, we will investigate the steady state gain of each element in order to determine
the steady state gain of the loop.
Process
PROCESS HEAT EXCHANGER
INPUT TO PROCESS STEAM FLOW
OUTPUT OF PROCESS HOT WATER TEMPERATURE
To determine the steady state gain of this process we decide to perform a test. At the
operating point we step up the input to the process by changing the steam flow a small
amount i. e. by 1,000 LB/HR and record the resulting output change in temperature.

38,000 LB/HR
193F
STEAM
A PROCESS B
FLOW
INPUT OUTPUT
37,000 LB/HR 190F

Temp Span 3F
Kprocess = (out)/ (in) = B/A = =
Steam Flow Span 1000 LB/HR

F
= 3x10 -3
LB/HR

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To simplify the example, let us assume this process is linear within the following operating
range.

205

OUTLET
TEMP (F)

160

30,000 45,000

FSTEAM (LB/HR)

Temp Span 45F F


KProc = Steam Flow Span = 15000 LB/HR = 3 x 10-3 LB/HR

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Transmitter
The temperature transmitter for this application has a linear input/output relationship and is
calibrated for the following operating range:
INPUT TO TRANSMITTER TEMPERATURE SPAN
OUTPUT OF TRANSMITTER 0 TO 100%
Output Span
KT = Input Span
100%
= 45F
= 2.222 %/F
100%

OUTPUT

0
160F INPUT 205F
SPAN

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Valve
The valve for this application operates linearly in the selected range.
INPUT TO VALVE STEM POSITION
OUTPUT OF VALVE STEAM FLOW
Steam Flow Span
KV = Input Span
15000 LB/HR
= 100%
150 LB/HR
= %

45,000

STEAM
FLOW
LB/HR

30,000

0 INPUT 100%
SPAN

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Steady State Open Loop Gain


KLoop = KPKTKV KCont

KLoop
KCont = KPKTKV

-3 F 2.222%150 LB/HR
= 3 x 10 LB/HR F %

KLoop
KCont = 1.0 Dimensionless

The steady state open loop gain must be a dimensionless number. This is because of the fact
that the units of one element complement the units of another element around the loop. In the
heat exchanger example, the product of the steady state gains of the elements external to the
controller, (besides being dimensionless) was equal to 1.0. In actual process applications, it
would be extremely unlikely that the gain of the elements external to the controller would be
equal 1.0. If this was the case, (neglecting dynamic considerations) all loops would oscillate
uniformly with a PB of 100% and will achieve QAD at a PB of 200%. We know from
experience that this is seldom the case for the following reason.
A gain of one has the following implications: (A) The input and output spans of all the
elements in the loop must complement each other perfectly. That is, the output span of one
element is exactly the input span of another element throughout the entire loop. (B) The gain
of all the elements is constant throughout their operating range or we have perfectly linearized
the loop.
It is extremely unlikely that these two conditions will co-exist in an actual application. In a
real life application, the heat exchanger process, is not linear: its gain varies with load; the
spans may not perfectly complement each other, and there are dynamic concerns that affect
the gain. All these will have to be accounted for and addressed in the remaining modules in
this course.

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GLOSSARY

adaptive control A control system whose parameters are automatically adjusted to


compensate for the corresponding variations in the properties of
the process.
control valve A final controlling element, through which a fluid passes, which
adjusts the size of flow passage as directed by a signal from a
controller to modify the rate of flow of the fluid.
equal percentage An inherent flow characteristic which for equal increments of
flow characteristic rated travel, ideally will give equal percentage changes of the
existing flow.
feedforward control Control in which information concerning one or more conditions
that can disturb the controlled variable is converted, outside of
any feedback loop, into corrective action to minimize deviations
of the controlled variable.
final control element Component of a control system (such as a valve) which directly
regulates the flow of energy or material to the process.
flow characteristic Relationship between flow through the valve and percent rated
travel as the latter is varied from 0 to 100 percent. This is a
special term. It should always be designated as either inherent
flow characteristic or installed flow characteristic.
inherent flow Flow characteristic when constant pressure drop is maintained
characteristic across the valve.

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inherent Ratio of maximum to minimum flow within which the deviation


rangeability from the specified inherent flow characteristic does not exceed
some stated limit. (A control valve that adequately controls even
when flow increases to 100 times the minimum controllable flow
has a rangeability of 100 to 1. Rangeability might also be
expressed as the ratio of the maximum to minimum controllable
flow coefficients.)

installed flow Flow characteristic when pressure drop across the valve varies as
characteristic dictated by flow and related conditions in the system in which
the valve is installed.
linear flow An inherent flow characteristic which can be represented ideally
characteristic by a straight line on a rectangular plot of flow versus percent
rated travel. (Equal increments of travel yield equal increments
of flow at a constant pressure drop.)
linearity The nearness with which the plot of a signal or other variable
plotted against a prescribed linear scale approximates a straight
line.
quick opening flow An inherent flow characteristic in which there is maximum flow
characteristic with minimum travel.
stability That desirable condition in which input and output are in balance
and will remain so unless subjected to external disturbances.
steady state A characteristic of a condition, such as value, rate, periodicity, or
amplitude, exhibiting only negligible change over an arbitrary,
long period of time.

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