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UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING


CH32B Process Dynamics and Control II
Midterm Examination: Monday, March 12/01, 4:30 to 6:30 PM.
Answer all questions. Copy the files created in each question onto a floppy disk using
the suggested filenames. Label your disk with your name, student number and the
number of the computer you used. All written work you wish to have marked must be
written on the question paper. The use of notes and texts is permitted.
1. [40 marks]
The dynamic behaviour of the liquid level in a certain cylindrical storage tank is
described by
A

d h(t )
Fin (t ) c h(t ) 2 / 3
dt

(1.1)

where
A

Uniform cross-sectional area of tank = 0.25 m2

Constant = 0.5 m7/3/min

Fin (t ) Inlet flowrate (m3/min)


h(t )

Liquid level (m)

The storage tank has a total height of 1 m and exhibits an initial steady-state liquid level
hss = 0.512 m when operating with a throughput of Fss = 0.32 m3/min.
(a) Use Matlab/Simulink to simulate one hour of open-loop operation of the surge vessel,
increasing the inlet flowrate from its steady-state value to 0.51 m 3/min at time t = 20 min.
Name your Simulink model nonlinear.mdl.
Write a Matlab program (call it
afternonlinear.m) which plots the tank level in the upper subplot and the inlet and outlet
flowrates in the lower subplot. [Hint: Simulink block Fcn in the Functions & Tables
library may be of assistance in computing the outlet volumetric flowrate.] Does the tank
overflow?

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(b) Linearize the differential equation (1.1) around the steady-state level hss .

(c) Repeat part (a) using the linear differential equation derived in (b). Name your new
Simulink model linear.mdl. Write a Matlab program (call it afterlinear.m) which plots the
tank level in the upper subplot and the inlet and outlet flowrates in the lower subplot.
Does the linearized model predict that the tank will overflow?
2. [60 marks]
Figure Q2 illustrates a cascade control scheme for the outlet temperature of a product
cooler.
Cooling Water Supply
Flow, F

(t)

FC

TC

Temperature
Setpoint, T

o,SP

(t)

FI

Process Fluid Inlet


Flow, F(t)

Process Fluid Outlet


Flow, F(t)
Temperature, T

Heat
Exchanger

Cooling Water Effluent


Flow, F

(t)

Figure Q2 - Heat exchanger outlet temperature control.


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(t)

The following Laplace domain expression relates changes in the cooling water and
process fluid flowrates to the exchanger outlet temperature:

To ( s ) G ( s ) FW ( s ) G F ( s ) F ( s )

0 .4 e 4 s
0 .8 e 6 s
FW ( s )
F ( s)
(10 s 1) (0.1 s 1)
15 s 1

The time units of the transfer function parameters are minutes. The overbar indicates
(Laplace transform of the) deviation of the process variables from the steady-state values
listed below.
To , ss 40 C ,

FW , ss 100 kg/min,

Fss 50 kg/min

(a) The cooling water control valve is air-to-close, i.e. fail-open. Should the action of the
cooling water flow controller be reverse (increase/decrease) or direct (increase/increase)?
Should the temperature controller be configured as reverse-acting or direct-acting?

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(b) Draw a well-labelled block diagram of the proportional temperature control strategy
of Fig. Q2. The dynamics of the cooling water flow control loop may be neglected (i.e.
assume perfect cooling water flow control).

(c) Build a Simulink model named cooler.mdl to simulate three hours of P-only control
of the heat exchanger outlet temperature, introducing a step change of +10 kg/min in the
process fluid flowrate at time t = 20 minutes. The setpoint of the temperature controller
is to remain fixed at its initial value of 40 C (i.e. To , SP ( s ) 0). Use your model to
obtain an experimental estimate of the ultimate gain K c ,max (correct to three
significant figures) through trial-and-error selection of K c .

(d) As indicated in the process schematic, an orifice meter has been installed to provide a
continuous measurement of the fluid flowrate. Design a steady-state feedforward
controller which compensates for the effect of process flowrate changes on the exchanger
outlet temperature. Simulate the performance of the combined feedforward/feedback
control scheme (save your Simulink model as coolerffw.mdl). Set the proportional gain

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to half the value found in 2(c), or to any stable value of K c if you were unable to
estimate K c ,max .

(e) Design, but do not implement, a dynamic feedforward controller which corrects for
the effect of process flowrate changes on the exchanger outlet temperature. Is the
feedforward compensator causal? If not, how would you suggest that the ideal
compensator be modified in order to achieve a physically realizable dynamic feedforward
strategy?

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END OF QUESTION PAPER


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