Temperature Control of Water with Heating, Cooling and Mixing in a Process with Recycle Loop 2014-01-0652
A hot and cold water mixing process with a steam condenser and a chilled water heat exchanger is set up for an engine EGR fouling test. The test rig has water recycled in the loop of a pump, heat exchangers, a three-way mixing valve, and a test EGR unit. The target unit temperature is controlled by a heating, cooling and mixing process with individual valves regulating the flow-rate of saturated steam, chilled water and mixing ratio. The challenges in control design are the dead-time, interaction, nonlinearity and multivariable characteristics of heat exchangers, plus the flow recycle in the system. A systems method is applied to extract a simple linear model for control design. The method avoids the nonlinearity and interaction among different temperatures at inlet, outlet and flow-rate. The test data proves the effectiveness of systems analysis and modeling methodology. As a result, the first-order linear model facilitates the controller design. The simulation studies with internal recycle processes produced promising results. Test rig operating data indicate both the modeling method and Model Predictive Control (MPC) controller are effective.