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With RT 681 the complexities of a multivariable control system can be learned in a practical manner. The model for the controlled process is a typical application from process engineering: separation of gas dissolved in liquid. The pressure falls below the vapour pressure of the dissolved gas in a vacuum tank, so that it passes into the gas phase and can be removed (desorption).
The liquid used in RT 681 is water, and the gas is ambient air. A water jet pump generates the negative pressure in the vacuum tank. The negative pressure firstly draws water from a collecting tank into the vacuum tank. Secondly, ambient air is drawn in and mixed with the water before entering the vacuum tank. The water/air mixing ratio can be adjusted by way of rotameters and valves. The negative pressure in the vacuum tank degasses the water again. A pump transports the water out of the vacuum tank back into the collecting tank. A control valve is used to influence the flow rate and thus the level in the vacuum tank. Another pump circulates water from the collecting tank to operate the water jet pump. A control valve adjusts the flow rate in this circuit. In this way the negative pressure in the vacuum tank is adjusted. The negative pressure and level are mutually dependent variables. It is this dependence that makes this multivariable control system so complex.
Two industrial controllers are provided as level and pressure controllers. They can be configured and parameterised using a supplied software. The controllers have a Profibus DP interface. The interface permits monitoring of the trainer via an optionally available software RT 650.60. The RT 650.60 software also permits recording of the process variables and parameterisation of the controllers using the PC. It is also possible to interconnect multiple trainers from this series through the Profibus DP interface.
The well-structured instructional material sets out the fundamentals and provides a step-by-step guide through the experiments.
Learning Objectives / Experiments
- coupled level and pressure control
- level control with various controller types
- pressure control with various controller types
- plotting step responses