Implementation of advanced process control on the four tank pilot plant

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The four tank process laboratory experiment is used as a relevant case to unfold problems that arise when implementing advanced process control such as model predictive control. The controller, which is executed on a computer, and the process equipment communicate using OPC to exchange process measurements and actuator set points. The process equipment is described along with the setup of the PLC and the OPC server in order to be able to access process variables on a dimensional scale. A process emulator in which a process simulator is embedded in an OPC interface has been developed in Python. Using the detailed information of sensor and actuator calibration as well as PLC functionality, the emulator appears identical to the actual process and may be used to perform virtual tests of controllers prior to commissioning. Examples of how to interact with OPC servers are presented for both Matlab and Python. An MPC has been designed based on a linearized model of the process and tested using the emulator. This controller was then implemented on a realization of the process at the Technical University of Denmark, demonstrating MPC experimentally.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
Number of pages114
Publication statusPublished - 2017
SeriesDTU Compute Technical Report-2017


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