Account for uncertainty with robust control design 2

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Account for uncertainty with robust control design 2

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with Robust Control Design

Part 2

Rakesh Joshi

Konstantinos Tsakalis

Arizona State Univ.

J. Ward MacArthur

Honeywell International Co.

controllers that can handle process uncertainty.

Learn how to use identification experiments to

obtain estimates of this uncertainty.

Sachi Dash

Honeywell Process Solutions

control systems that can handle the complexities

that arise in the chemical process industries (CPI). It

does so by accounting for uncertainties in the models used to

design the controller. This allows for the design of a control

system that maintains stability and achieves the specified

performance under all operating conditions.

This two-part article discusses robust proportionalintegral-derivative (PID) control design and its usefulness

for the CPI. Part 1, which appeared in the November issue,

explained the basics of robust control and outlined the

steps involved in robust control design. It also illustrated

the method with an example the classical pH-control

problem involving a first-principles model. The step

responses of the model used in that example produced

severe nonlinear behavior at two operating points of interest. This nonlinearity was also reflected in the computation

of the differences between the linearized models at these

two operating points. Treating these differences as uncertainty and applying robust control design tools revealed

that no single controller designed at a specific operating

point (e.g., pH = 6 or pH = 8) would be able to perform

satisfactorily in terms of the intended design specifications.

46

pH Probe

Overflow Beaker

Microcontroller/

Computer

u

Buffer

Pump

Pump

Strong

Base

Strong

Acid

laboratory reactor with three input streams (acid, base, and buffer).

Example 2:

Controller design based on experimental analysis

Consider a 500-mL magnetically stirred reactor with

three input streams (acid, base, and buffer) as shown in

Figure 10. An overflow tube keeps the volume inside the

reactor constant. The flowrate of the base stream is used to

control the pH inside the reactor and is varied by adjusting

the pumps motor voltage; the other two flowrates (acid

and buffer) are fixed at 2.45 mL/min.

The example in Part 1 designed and evaluated pH

controllers based on modeling at two specific pH levels

pH = 6 and pH = 8. For this example, laboratory experiments were performed over a pH range of 59. The nominal models were designed at pH values of 6 and 8, but they

were evaluated over a wider range of pH. This wider set

of conditions is required to illustrate the highly nonlinear

characteristics of the pH response and the restrictions this

nonlinearity can impose on the selection of a single controller to operate at various operating conditions.

To identify the system model, a pseudo-random binary

sequence (PRBS) is used for step testing, with the flowrate

of the base as the input variable, a switching time of 100 sec,

and the magnitude of input variation chosen to perturb the

system around pH values of 59. (The interest in the two

extreme values, which are outside the operating range of the

application, is to enable the assessment of the model beyond

the nominal operating range.) The output (pH) sequences

pH x 103

1.5

pH 5

1.0

pH 9

pH 6

0

0

pH 7

1

2

Time, min

p Figure 11. The step responses of the models for the lab-scale reactor

(Figure 10) for pH values of 59 are shown over 4 min.

pH

p Figure 12. The identification experiment can provide the integration rate for

the lab-scale reactor shown in Figure 10 as a function of pH.

The reactor size is 500 mL and the total flowrate into the

reactor is about 7.35 mL/min, so the approximate settling

time for the step change in flowrate is about 3.4 hr, which

is three times the systems time constant of 1.13 hr. This

response time is significantly slower than that of the simulation model discussed in Part 1. Based on the equipment

limitations and the desire to vary the pH from 5 through 9,

an integrating model over a time scale of a few minutes was

selected to represent the data.

Figure 11 shows the step responses of the models at

each operating point over 4 min, and Figure 12 shows the

integration rate as a function of pH. The integration rate

(the slope of the lines in Figure 11) is the steady-state rate

of change of the pH with respect to time. The lowest integration rate is at pH = 7, the highest at pH = 5.

The quality of the models can be determined by plotting

the predicted pH vs. the actual pH at the various pH levels

(Figure 13). Clearly, in all cases, the predictions are very

close to the actual data, which illustrates the high quality

of the models. The transfer functions of the models at pH

values of 59 have the form of:

P(s) =

pH 8

0.5

Here, in Part 2 of the article, the focus shifts to the problem of computing realistic estimates of the model uncertainty from data obtained via identification experiments.

The data are then used to determine feasible performance

objectives (e.g., bandwidth) such that the corresponding

controller will produce the desired response with a high

degree of confidence.

K(1s+1) Td s

e

s( 2 s+1)

(19)

time constant, and Td is the transport delay.

Table 2 lists the parameters for Eq. 19, where the subscripts denote the pH.

Next, the uncertainty analysis examines the ratio of the

spectral power of the residuals (|FFT (y ym)|) to the model

output (|FFT (ym)|), which provides an estimate of the signalto-noise ratio (SNR) in the frequency domain. (A variety of

CEP December 2014 www.aiche.org/cep

47

Instrumentation

shows the inverse of the multiplicative uncertainty estimate,

which serves as an upper bound on the loop complementary

sensitivity, which, in turn, provides an upper bound on the

controller gain. For the robust stability condition to be satisfied, the loop should have a bandwidth less than 1 rad/min

(the point at which the inverse multiplicative uncertainty,

1/Dm, equals one, as shown in the Figure 14). At higher

frequencies, the inverse multiplicative uncertainty becomes

less than one, which indicates that the controller should be

attenuating the loop signals.

Based on the uncertainty estimate, a loop bandwidth of

0.6 rad/min is chosen for the controller design for both process models (pH = 6 and pH = 8), as it satisfies robustness

with some margin and sampling time constraints, and is consistent with actuator saturation limits and quantization noise

levels (the last one is verified by a few loop simulations).

Two controllers were designed, one for pH = 6 and the

other for pH = 8. The closed-loop systems are tested at

nominal (i.e., design) and off-nominal conditions. The transfer functions of the two PI controllers are:

1

Cm6 (s) = 12,450 1+

(20)

2.94 s

9.22

pH Setpoint = 9

pH

8.89

8.56

8.23

8.21

pH Setpoint = 8

pH

8.07

7.92

7.78

7.01

pH

pH Setpoint = 7

6.87

6.74

6.60

pH

6.30

1

Cm8 (s) = 3,596 1+

2.36 s

5.88

5.46

for their respective model uncertainty and provide reasonable responses during a simulation-based validation. Figure 15 shows the experimentally measured step responses

of the closed-loop system with the controllers Cm6 and Cm8

pH Setpoint = 6

5.04

5.06

pH

4.43

101

3.80

pH Setpoint = 5

1/m = 1

3.16

25

50

75

100

Time, min

p Figure 13. This plot of the pH values predicted by the open-loop model

(ym, blue) and the actual measured pH values (y, green) as a function of

time reveals the high quality of the models at predicting process behavior.

Table 2. Parameters for the transfer function (Eq. 19)

of the models at pH values of 59.

K

Td

t1

t2

P5

3.77 x 104

0.267

1.6 x 105

P6

6.69 x

105

0.367

2.65

2.8

P7

4.96 x 105

0.217

0.0625

P8

2.02 x

104

0.183

0.124

P9

2.48 x 104

0.367

0.125

0.0334

100

1/m

48

(21)

101

102

102

101

100

Frequency, rad/min

101

102

p Figure 14. This plot of the inverse multiplicative uncertainty estimate for

the model at pH = 8 shows that the magnitude of the uncertainty crosses

the value of one at a frequency of approximately 1 rad/min. Similar results

are obtained at pH = 6. This figure provides a quantitative characterization

of the model quality. Based on the robust stability condition (Eq. 4), it also

indicates that the controller can be designed with a closed-loop bandwidth

of 0.6 rad/min.

The pH control problem exhibits several interesting

characteristics that are associated with process nonlinearity

and with the uncertainty (or complexity) in the description

of the practical components, such as sensors and actuators.

Experimental results show that the pH control performance degrades when the process operates away from its

nominal design conditions. The process itself undergoes

large gain variations, which means that simple controllers,

such as a standard PI/PID system, would require either

significant performance compromises or restriction to a tight

operating range. The experimental results also show that

when the process is operating in the vicinity of an operating

point, the process model and the limitations on achievable

closed-loop bandwidth can be identified with confidence,

0.2

0.1

pH = 6

0

0.1

10

15

Time, min

of 0.12 (black) are plotted as a function of time for the Cm6 controller when

the process is at pH = 6 (red) and pH = 8 (blue). The considerable increase

in the speed of the closed-loop response with the Cm6 controller at pH = 8

is not consistent with the design objectives and indicates lower robustness

margins.

0.2

pH

pH = 8

0.1

0.1

pH = 6

0

pH = 6

0.1

0.1

0

10

Time, min

10

15

Time, min

25

20

0.12 (black) are plotted as a function of time for the Cm8 controller when the

process is at pH = 6 (red) and pH = 8 (blue). The response of the closedloop system with the Cm8 controller at pH = 6 is slower than the design

objective, indicating inadequate disturbance attenuation.

pH = 6

3,000

15

4,000

pH = 8

2,000

6

1,000

10

15

Time, min

*Base Flowrate (mL/min) = (7 x DAC Setpoint)/4,095

systems at their respective design conditions, which closely matches the

design objectives. Top: The closed-loop step responses to a setpoint step

change of 0.12 (black) are plotted as a function of time for the Cm6

controller when the process is at pH = 6 (red) and the Cm8 controller when

the process is at a pH of 8 (blue). Bottom: This graph shows the flowrate of

the base is proportional to the voltage applied to the pump by the digital-toanalog converter (DAC).

pH

DAC Setpoint*, V

pH = 8

pH = 8

0.2

pH

and a systematic procedure can be used to design a controller to achieve this bandwidth. Performance degradation can

be expected due to the nonlinear behavior of the process

or changes in the process parameters, and becomes more

pronounced as the process moves farther from its nominal

operating conditions.

This raises an important question: Can control performance be improved over a wider range of operating conditions by online controller scheduling or adaptation? Based

on preliminary work (beyond the scope of this article),

we expect that uniform performance can be achieved by

pH

well with the simulated closed-loop responses.

Figures 16 and 17 compare the closed-loop responses

of the controllers at their alternative operating points (offnominal conditions, i.e., Cm6 at pH = 8 and Cm8 at pH = 6).

The performance degrades becoming either too slow or

too fast, which in some cases can also result in oscillatory

behavior or instability. Figure 18 shows one such extreme

case where the closed-loop system is destabilized when the

Cm6 controller operates near pH = 4.5, where the process

gain is high.

Step Response

5

4

3

10

15

20

Time, min

25

30

35

from 6 to 4.5 (black) is plotted as a function of time for the Cm6 controller. The

process has a very high gain at a pH of 4.5, which, because the controller is

designed for a low-gain model, results in oscillatory behavior that is constrained

only by the high and low limits of the base flow actuator.

49

Instrumentation

example, the nonlinear model predictive controller paradigm

can be followed, whereby the control input is chosen based

on the identification of full nonlinear process models such

that it minimizes a suitable error (e.g., setpoint tracking) for

a given prediction horizon. Details of this method can be

found in Ref. 9.

A different approach would be to invoke the general

principle of gain scheduling. Different controllers would be

designed for different operating points and scheduled for

use based on independent measurements that determine the

operating point.

Alternatively, one can apply adaptive control principles

to estimate the controller gains based on input-output measurements. An adaptive PID controller is of particular interest here, because the controller complexity is low and the

effective variability can be attributed to a single parameter,

which can be estimated reliably with very modest excitation

requirements. Details of this method are found in Ref. 10

and an application to the pH problem will be the subject of

CEP

future work.

Literature Cited

1. Ljung, L., System Identification: Theory for the User, 2nd ed.,

PTR Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ (1999).

2. Zhan, C. Q., and K. Tsakalis, System Identification for Robust

Control, American Control Conference, 2007, New York, NY,

pp. 846851 (July 913, 2007).

3. Alvarez, H., et al., pH Neutralization Process as a Benchmark

for Testing Nonlinear Controllers, Industrial & Engineering

Chemistry Research, 40 (11), pp. 24672473 (2001).

4. strm, K. J., and K. J. Hagglund, PID Controllers: Theory,

Design, and Tuning, Instrument Society of America, Research

Triangle Park, NC (1995).

5. Doyle, J. C., et al., Feedback Control Theory, MacMillan

Publishing, New York, NY (1992).

6. Grassi, E., et al., Integrated System Identification and PID Controller Tuning by Frequency Loop-Shaping, IEEE Transactions

on Control Systems Technology, 9 (2), pp. 285294 (Mar. 2001).

7. Rivera, D. E., et al., Internal Model Control: PID Controller

Design, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Process Design

and Development, 25 (1), pp. 252265 (1986).

8. Henson, M. A., and D. E. Seborg, Adaptive Nonlinear Control

of a pH Neutralization Process, IEEE Transactions on Control

Systems Technology, 2 (3), pp. 169182 (Sept. 1994).

9. MacArthur, J. W., A New Approach for Nonlinear Process

Identification Using Orthonormal Bases and Ordinal Splines,

Journal of Process Control, 22, pp. 375389 (2012).

10. Tsakalis, K., and D. Sachi, Approximate H Loop Shaping in

PID Parameter Adaptation, International Journal of Adaptive

Control Signal Process, 27 (12), pp. 136152 (2013).

50

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the financial support from SERDP Environmental

Restoration Projects #2237 and #2239. Special thanks to Amy Childress

(Univ. of Southern California), Cesar Torres and Sudeep Popat (Arizona State

Univ.), and Eric Marchand (Univ. of Nevada, Reno) for their valuable input in

identifying the specific issues with pH control in the wastewater system.

Univ., Tempe (Email: rsjoshi1@asu.edu). His research interests include

system identification, estimation theory, process control, robust control, and adaptive control.

Konstantinos Tsakalis is a professor in the School of Electrical,

Computer, and Energy Systems Engineering at Arizona State Univ.

(Email: tsakalis@asu.edu). His research is focused on the theory and

application of control systems, adaptive control, and system identification and optimization. In collaboration with Semy Engineering, he

developed an integrated identification and controller design procedure

for the temperature control of diffusion furnaces used in semiconductor

manufacturing.

J. Ward MacArthur is a Senior Engineering Fellow at Honeywell

International (Email: ward.macarthur@gmail.com). He has worked at

Honeywell for over 36 years, during which he has held various positions

at both the corporate research center in Minneapolis and the Industrial

Automation and Controls (IAC) Div. in Phoenix.

Sachi Dash is a Fellow at Honeywell Process Solutions (Phone: (480)

297-5387; Email: sachi.dash@honeywell.com). He currently holds the

positions of Global Leader, Process Control Center of Excellence and

Global Leader, Engineering Excellence. His research includes theory and

application of process control for the refining, petrochemical, pulp and

paper, power generation, and oil and gas industries. He is also involved

in designing controls for new or challenging processes.

The authors complete bios appear at the end of Part 1 (Nov. 2014, pp. 3138).

Nomenclature

C

Cm

FFT

j

K

M

P

= transfer function of the controller model

= fast Fourier transform

= imaginary number, square root of 1

= process gain (equilibrium constant for Eq. 68)

= nominal closed-loop transfer function

= transfer function describing the relationship

between an input (u) and an output (y)

Pm (s) = transfer function of the model (min)

= transfer function at a nominal operating point

Po

r

= controller setpoint

s

= time (min)

T

= complementary sensitivity

V

= tank volume (mL)

= reaction invariant a for each stream (i)

Wai

= reaction invariant b for each stream (i)

Wbi

y

= process output

= output of the process model

ym

Greek Letters

D

= frequency response of the uncertainty

= frequency response of the multiplicative

Dm

uncertainty

t

= process time constant

w

= frequency

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