Proportional Plus Derivative Control

If proportional plus derivative control is used, the output response to an error will lead to reduced deviations, faster stabilization and a reduced offset (Fig. 8.17) compared with proportional control alone. Because the derivative component has a rapid stabilizing influence, the controller can cope with rapid load changes.


The combination of proportional plus integral plUs derivative normally provides the best control possibilities (Fig. 8.17). The advantages of each system are retained. The maximum deviation and settling time are similar to those for a proportional plus derivative controller whilst the integral action ensures that there is no offset. This method of control finds the widest applications because of its ability to cope with wide variations of patterns of changes which might be encountered in different processes.


The first primary automatic controllers were electronic control units which were adjusted manually to set up desired PID response patterns to a disturbance in a control loop. These controllers are relatively expensive and some knowledge of control engineering is necessary to make the correct adjustments to obtain the required control responses.

The availability of cheap computers and suitable computer programs to mimic PID control and handle a number of control loops simultaneously has made it possible to use some very complex control techniques for process optimization. Some aspects of this work on computer applications will be discussed later in this chapter.

More complex control systems

In certain situations PID control is not adequate to control a disturbance. Control may be difficult when there is a long time lag between a change in a manipulated variable and its effect on the measured variable. Consider the example of a heat exchanger where the water temperature is regulated by the flow rate of steam from a steam valve (Hall et al., 1974). By the time the effects of a change in steam flow influence the hot water temperature, a considerable energy change has occurred in the heat exchanger which will continue to drive the hot water temperature away from the set-point after a correction has been made to the steam-flow valve. This lag will lead to cycling of the measured variable about the set point. Cascade control can solve this problem. When cascade control is used (Fig. 8.20), the output of one controller is the set-point for another. Each controller has its own measured variable with only the primary controller having an



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