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Three Term Control

A ' closed loop ' consists of :

 A process in the plant to be controlled; G(s)
 A sensor to detect the Process Value (PV) such as a thermocouple or pressure sensing
 A controller to provide control of that process, referred to in the overhead as the term PID.
 An output to an actuator or device to control the input stimulus to that process.

PID speed control system example

 On/Off control could be thought of as starting the engine (G(s)) of the car
(Plant), pressing the accelerator (Output) to the floor until the desired speed
(SP) of 80 kph is reached as indicated on the speedometer (PV), then taking
your foot completely off the accelerator.
 When the speed drops below 80 kph the accelerator is again depressed to
the floor until 80 kph is again reached.

Comparison to the Proportional Term

 If we wish to drive from a standstill to 80 kph we can consider the procedure

we adopt to achieve this to explain the Proportional term.
 From a standstill we depress the accelerator pedal. The speed of the vehicle
will increase and at a certain speed below our target speed of 80 kph we
begin to ease off the accelerator pedal in order to prevent cruising past the
desired speed. This easing off the accelerator pedal can be directly
compared to entering the Proportional Band or the band relative to the
required speed. If we do not look at the speedometer we will certainly drive
at a speed that is not our desired speed and an error will result.

Comparison to the Integral Term

 If we now look at the speedometer we see that we are low of our desired
speed and using this visual feedback we correct for the error and begin to
slowly depress the accelerator pedal. As a result our speed slowly increases
to achieve the desired speed of 80 kph.
 This procedure can be compared to the Integral Time of a PID controller.
Comparison to the Derivative Term
 We are now cruising at our Setpoint of 80 kph and we continue to maintain
this speed through visual feedback of the speedometer.
 If we encounter a sudden change in slope of the road such as a hill we
correct for the reduction in speed which would result by depressing the
accelerator pedal more than would otherwise be the case for the slight
reduction in speed we initially encounter. As the slope of the road levels off
again we ease off the accelerator pedal more than would otherwise be the
case for the slight increase in speed to avoid raising our speed too far
beyond our target speed.
 The amount of correction and time to reduce this correction to zero can be
compared to the Derivative Time.

Temperature Control using a Digital PID controller

 A typical PID temperature controller application could be to continuously vary a

regulator which can alter a process temperature.
 A heat only PID temperature controller uses a reverse output action, i.e. more power is
applied when the temperature is below the setpoint and less power when above.
 A PID controller can reads the sensor signal, normally from a thermocouple or RTD,
and converts the measurement to engineering units e.g. Degrees C. It then subtracts
the measurement from a desired setpoint to determine an error.
 The error is acted upon by the three (P, I & D) terms simultaneously:

Proportional (Gain)

 The error is multiplied by a negative (for reverse action) proportional constant P, and
added to the current output.
 P represents the band over which a controller's output is proportional to the error of
the system. E.g. for a heater, a controller with a proportional band of 10 deg C and a
setpoint of 100 deg C would have an output of 100% up to 90 deg C, 50% at 95 Deg C
and 10% at 99 deg C.
 If the temperature overshoots the setpoint value, the heating power would be cut
back further.
 Proportional only control can provide a stable process temperature but there will
always be an error between the required setpoint and the actual process temperature.

Integral (Reset)

 The error is integrated (averaged) over a period of time, and then multiplied by a
constant I, and added to the current control output.
 I represents the steady state error of the system and will remove setpoint / measured
value errors.

Derivative (Rate)

 The rate of change of the error is calculated with respect to time, multiplied by
another constant D, and added to the output.
 The derivative term is used to determine a controller's response to a change or
disturbance of the process temperature.
 The larger the derivative term, the more rapidly the controller will respond to changes
in the process value.

Tuning of PID Controller Terms

 The P, I and D terms need to be "tuned" to suit the dynamics of the process being