Post Retirement Key Points – Part 2 (2005 – 2006 Articles)

My publications are notorious as “no-fluff” zones. My articles “Life’s Batch” and “Maximizing PAT Benefits from Bioprocess Modeling and Control” should have been a 5 part series. After 120 blogs, 84 Control Talk columns, and 14 articles since I retired from my full time job, you might think I might be running out of ideas. I wonder myself when I sit down to write but once I feel a flow with the music, the main constraint is time. There is always something to say even if it is just shedding more light on an old subject. It is kind of surreal since I am a quiet guy. As I get older I am going to have to make sure I don’t repeat myself, repeat myself, repeat myself.

Here are the key points for my 2005 – 2006 articles

Life’s a Batch“, Control, May, 2005

(Click “Download Now” button at end to get Equations and Figures)

1. The key to good batch temperature control is the secondary loop setup and tuning

2. An inlet or outlet secondary temperature loop linearizes the process gain of the primary batch temperature loop and makes the primary loop dynamics faster

3. An inlet jacket or coil temperature can correct for coolant disturbances before they appreciably affect the batch temperature

4. An outlet jacket or coil temperature can correct for heat transfer surface disturbances before they appreciably affect the batch temperature

5. The use of a heat exchanger in a recirculation loop instead of a jacket or coil creates a delayed integrating response in the secondary temperature loop that is problematic if much integral action is used (not discussed in this article)

6. The difference between an inlet and outlet jacket or coil temperature multiplied by coolant flow provides a measurement of heat release and hence reaction rate. The inlet temperature should be delayed by the transport time through the coils or jacket (Volume/flow) to match up the inlet time wise with the outlet temperature

7. If the jacket or coil flow rather than a makeup flow is throttled, the increase in the process gain and process delay of the secondary loop can causes oscillations

8. The secondary loop should be tuned with mostly gain action for a fast response otherwise disturbances start to affect the batch temperature and an exothermic reactor can develop a runaway response

9. Coolant valves should be judiciously sized sliding stem (globe) valves with digital positioners to reduce the limit cycles from stick-slip and deadband

10. Most batch temperatures will oscillate across the split range point because of the dramatic difference between the installed valve characteristic curves and the increase in sticktion near the closed position

11. Trim coolant valves should be considered to reduce oscillations around the split range point and provide fine adjustments (see the March 16 and March 24 entries on this site on the “Manipulation of Multiple Flows”)

12. The integrating response of batch temperature will cause a limit cycle from deadband even if the secondary temperature loop has no integral action

13. A highly exothermic reactor can runaway if the secondary temperature measurement or heat transfer rate is too slow

14. To reduce the batch cycle time for to reach a batch temperature end point, the jacket and coil valve can be set wide open and a control strategy such as the following used where appropriate:

a. A temperature rate of change calculation multiplied by the deadtime triggers the shutoff or positioning of the coil or jacket valves. If the feeds are to continue or there is some residual heat generation, the batch temperature should be put in automatic (see 2006 article “Full Throttle Batch and Startup Response” for details)

b. A reactor temperature controller can throttle the reactant feed rates nut there may be an appreciable inverse response from the dilution and cooling effects of increasing a reactant feed rate

15. Model predictive control is more effective approach where there are multiple constraints for batch reactors being pushed beyond their nameplate capacity

16. Coriolis mass flow meters can correct of reactant concentration and provide a model of reaction product concentrations

17. Equations can estimate the ultimate gain of self-regulating, integrating, and runaway process for process gains, lags, and dead times and provide a deeper understanding of what affects performance and why batch reactor temperature loops require higher controller gains and lower integral times

18. The primary temperature controller integral time setting should be scheduled based on totalized feeds and the secondary temperature controller gain and integral time setting scheduled based on the position of split ranged valves

What If? Virtual Plant Reality“, Control, Aug, 2005

(Pages 3 and 4 of “How to Survive the Oncoming Train of Technology”)

1. Process flow diagram (process design) simulations circa 2005 that are made dynamic

a. Can provide a reasonably accurate steady state process gain and the residence time based process lag time if the physical properties are well known

b. Generally do not model mixing lags, transportation delays, installed valve characteristics, valve backlash or sticktion, mixing or sensor noise, and sensor lags, or bubble or particle distribution and size

c. Have trouble simulating batch operations, startups, and shutdowns because equipment instantaneously go to equilibrium conditions and the program can develop numerical instabilities for extreme conditions and zero flows

d. Cannot possibly emulate all of the batch and loop control capability in a DCS and thus must relay upon being interfaced to a DCS which is problematic in terms of running faster than real time (synchronization and acceleration issues)

2. Dynamic simulations that focus on the dynamics of interest can focus on the details important for process control

Model Predictive Control can Solve Valve Problem“, Control, Nov, 2005

Advanced Application Note 002

I don’t need to say anything here since it is covered in the application note and the March 16 and March 24 entries on this site on the “Manipulation of Multiple Flows.” Dare I repeat myself?

Full Throttle Batch and Startup Response“, Control, May 2006

This article shows a simple calculation when the reactor temperature will reach set point based on rate of change and deadtime can minimize the time to reach set point. The calculation is particularly appropriate for the integrating response encountered in a batch operation or in the startup of a continuous piece of equipment where the discharge flow has not started. It is important to remember for integrating processes, the controller output must be driven past the balance point (resting valve position) to make the process variable move. With self-regulating processes, you can go to the balance point directly but even here you get there faster if the output is initially drive past the balance point.

I really like blogging. The only reason the blogs are fewer these days is that my time is consumed with finishing up the “Essential Book” so it is available in time for ISA Expo. What free time I have is spent taking advantage of Austin being the “Live Music” capital.