Lecture Notes 41

Lecture 41 - Distillation Control

A distillation column is typically a highly coupled system that leads to multiple interacting controllers. Techniques from this class that are useful for designing the control system are:

  • Empirical model fitting of a Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) System
  • Relative Gain Array (RGA) analysis to determine best pairing of Manipulated and Controlled Variables
  • Simulate distillation column with PID Non-interacting controllers
  • Simulate distillation column with PID Interacting Controllers with Feedforward information from other controllers
  • Derivation of First Principles model
  • Nonlinear Control (NLC)
  • Lecture 41 Notes

The distillation column example uses both empirical and first principles approaches to address controller interaction. With the empirical approach, PID controller tuning is derived. With a first principles model, a nonlinear control can improve the disturbance rejection and set point tracking capabilities.

Distillation Column in Simulink


  1. Course reading for next class: Review course material
  2. Assignment due by the start of Lecture #42: Lab Project and SP16

Special Problem 16 Script Files

For Special Problem 16, Python 2.7 is required to run the simulations. It is available for free download from the Python web-site. To run the simulations, double-click on the appropriate python script. A web-page will open to allow you to view the solution.

Relate each problem in the context of the overall course objectives.