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3304ENG

Control Systems

Laboratory No.3 Stability

1,2

( 3 hours )

Note
1. Please study chapter 6 of your text book and do the following examples and related MATLAB exercises:
examples 6.3, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8 and 6.9.
2. Please complete and submit Assignment No.3 before coming to the lab.
3. Please provide the listing of all programs and plots for all signals.
4. The following MATLAB commands might be used: conv, poly, tf, step, loop, cloop,
feedback, dcgain, roots, zero, pole, impulse, plot, xlabel, damp, pzmap and
minreal.

Aim
The aim of this lab is to understand the stability of linear SISO time-invariant systems by checking on the
location of the roots of the characteristic equation.

Introduction
From the studies of linear differential equations with constant coefficients of SISO systems, we learned
that the roots of the characteristic equation govern the homogeneous solution that corresponds to the
transient response of the system. The design of a linear control system may be regarded as a problem of
arranging the location of the poles and zeros of the system transfer function such that the system will
perform according to the prescribed specifications. Among the many forms of performance specifications
used in design, the most important requirement is that the system be stable. An unstable system is
generally considered useless. We deal only with the stability of linear SISO time invariant systems in the
following lab.

In this laboratory we make use of Virtual Laboratory software developed by the University of Newcastle.
This series of programs aims to expose students to real world control systems engineering problems,
within the time and physical constraints of a typical teaching laboratory. Further, it gives students the
capacity to test ideas in a realistic setting but without fear of costly failure 3.
The Virtual Laboratory used in this experiment, the CONTINUOUS CASTER VIRTUAL
LABORATORY (CCVL), is designed to emulate a continuous casting system such as that used in the
BHP Steel Mill in Newcastle, Australia in the 1990s (see Figures 1 and 2). A continuous caster is a
common means of solidifying molten steel into a rectangular bar. Molten steel is poured from the
Tundish into a rectangular mould, intensely cooled by water jets, and slowly drawn out as a solid steel bar
the other end. These solid rectangular bars are then cut into manageable pieces called blooms and further
processed (e.g. rolled, forged) as required.
Continuous casting involves a number of processes running at the same time. Failure or incorrect
operation of any of these processes can result in a dangerous and expensive accident. In the CCVL, it is
assumed that the cooling system and withdrawal mechanisms have been properly tuned and work safely,
and we examine the system controlling the pouring of the molten steel into the mould.
1/7
1. Designed in line with the textbook by N. Nise: Control Systems Engineering, prescribed for the course.
2. Designed for use with: Sobora,F. & Bastiani,A., Continuous Caster Virtual Laboratory Version 2.8, Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.
3. Goodwin, G.C., Virtual Laboratories for Control System Design Laboratory Book : Continuous Caster Package Student Manual,
Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.

3304ENG

Control Systems

Laboratory No.3 Stability

1,2

( 3 hours )

Figure 1: Steel pouring through the Slide Gate


at BHP Steel Mill, Newcastle3.

Figure 2: Continuous cast steel passing through


the secondary cooling chamber3.

Figure 3: Continuous Caster Schematic3.

Figure 3 shows a schematic of the continuous caster. The Tundish (molten steel reservoir) is located
directly above the mould, with the flow of molten steel controlled by a slide gate valve (SGV). The
height of steel in the mould is particularly important. If height fluctuates too much, flux material can be
embedded into the surface of the steel, contaminating it. This can weaken the steel and is expensive to
purify.
Molten steel enters the mould via a sub merged nozzle. While this nozzle is lined so as to withstand
extreme conditions, flux material on the surface of the steel pool eventually destroys the lining. To
maximize nozzle life, the height setpoint is periodically changed.
Therefore the primary objective is to accurately control the height of the steel in the mould. Since height
needs to periodically be changed to extend nozzle life, the control system needs to have an acceptable
response to these changes.
2/7
1. Designed in line with the textbook by N. Nise: Control Systems Engineering, prescribed for the course.
2. Designed for use with: Sobora,F. & Bastiani,A., Continuous Caster Virtual Laboratory Version 2.8, Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.
3. Goodwin, G.C., Virtual Laboratories for Control System Design Laboratory Book : Continuous Caster Package Student Manual,
Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.

3304ENG

Control Systems

Laboratory No.3 Stability

1,2

( 3 hours )

To find a model representing this system, we start by defining the relationship between the height of the
steel in the mould h, mould cross-sectional area Am, flow of steel into mould fin , and flow of steel out of
the mould fout :
dh
= f in f out
dt
1
h(t ) =
( f in f out )dt
Am
Am

For a uniform cross-sectional mould area Am (mm2):


f out = Am d (t )

where d(t) is the casting speed in (mm/s).


The flow of steel into the mould is proportional to the area of the slide gate valve opening Av (mm2) and
the square root of the height of steel in the Tundish. Assuming the height of steel is approximately
constant,
f in = K 1 Av .
It is also assumed that the valve area Av is directly related to valve position u(t), therefore
f in = K1 K 2 u (t )

Letting K v = K 1 K 2 A , and taking the Laplace Transform, the plant is shown to be modelled as a simple
m
integrator. The resulting open-loop system is shown in Figure 4.
Valve
position

Plant gain

Plant

Kv

1
s

u(t)

h(t)

Height of
molten

Figure 4 : Simplified open-loop model.

The closed-loop system is shown below as figure 5.

Height
setpoint

+
_

PID Controller

Plant gain

Plant

C(s)

Kv

1
s

Height of
molten

Figure 5 : Block diagram modelling the system controlling the pouring of


molten steel into the mould of the continuous caster.

3/7
1. Designed in line with the textbook by N. Nise: Control Systems Engineering, prescribed for the course.
2. Designed for use with: Sobora,F. & Bastiani,A., Continuous Caster Virtual Laboratory Version 2.8, Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.
3. Goodwin, G.C., Virtual Laboratories for Control System Design Laboratory Book : Continuous Caster Package Student Manual,
Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.

3304ENG

Control Systems

Laboratory No.3 Stability

1,2

( 3 hours )

Experiment 1 - COMPULSORY
Given the feedback system:

R(s)

E(s)

G(s)

C(s)

H(s)
G (s) =

with

K ( s + 7)
s ( s + 4)( s + 8)( s + 12)

and H ( s ) =

( s + 10)
( s + 5)( s + 15)( s + 20)

use MATLAB to find the range of K for stability and discuss the system behaviour for various K values.
In particular, ask Matlab to:
a) Find the range of K values that make the system stable; examine the values from 0 to 50,000 in steps
of 1;
b) Calculate value K with accuracy of 0.0005, that takes the system to critical oscillations; to do this,
cr,

examine all the values within K +/- 1


cr

c) Plot the step response for a value of K = K -50 ; plot the system poles;
cr

d) Plot the step response for a value of K = K ; plot the system poles;
cr

e) Plot the step response for a value of K = K + 50 ; plot the system poles;
cr

f) Plot the system poles (on one graph) for 45 values of K, starting with K = 1 in steps of 1,000 to create
a path of the system pole changes.

Results for experiment 1 should include:

Step response generated by MATLAB, for K = Kcr 50, K = Kcr , and K = Kcr + 50.
Plot of system poles for K = Kcr 50, K = Kcr , and K = Kcr + 50.
Plot of system poles (overlayed) for 45 different values of K.
Results tabulated in Table 1.

Your discussion of experiment 1 should compare and discuss results, and answer the following
questions:
Q1: What did your results show as the region of stability?

Q2: Describe the poles and step response for gains less than, equal to, and greater than the critical gain.
Relate your observations to definitions for stability.

4/7
1. Designed in line with the textbook by N. Nise: Control Systems Engineering, prescribed for the course.
2. Designed for use with: Sobora,F. & Bastiani,A., Continuous Caster Virtual Laboratory Version 2.8, Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.
3. Goodwin, G.C., Virtual Laboratories for Control System Design Laboratory Book : Continuous Caster Package Student Manual,
Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.

3304ENG

Control Systems

Laboratory No.3 Stability

1,2

( 3 hours )

Q3: What does the pole map tell you about the change in pole/zero locations as K increases?

Experiment 2 COMPULSORY
Consider the Continuous Caster system of figure 5. In proportional control (Ki=0, Kd=0) with
proportional gain Kp, this system reduces to:
Height
setpoint

Hsp(s) +

Kp

Kv

1
s

H (s)

Height of
molten

Figure 6 : Block diagram for continuous caster system under proportional control.

Evaluate the stability of this system.

Use CCVL to:


Set up CCVL for proportional control and height setpoint stepping between 75 and 85mm:
reset to standard settings (click reset)
set the height setpoint to a square wave (80mm offset, 5mm amplitude, 40sec period, and 0.5
duty cycle)
set PID block to proportional control (Kp=1, Ki=0, Kd=0).
Run the simulation and observe the response. Determine response characteristics such as time constant
and steady-state error, and add to table 2 column(c).
Q1 : Is the response stable?
Q2 : Is the shape of the closed-loop response consistent with a first order system?
Q3 :
(a) How does the change in molten height compare to the change in height of the setpoint?
(b) Increase Kp to 10, then larger values such as 100 and 200. Observe the response and note how
response characteristics change. Tabulate characteristics for K=200 in table 2 column (e).
Q4 : As K increases, describe the effect on:
(i) response shape
(ii) stability
(iii) steady-state error
(iv) response characteristics

5/7
1. Designed in line with the textbook by N. Nise: Control Systems Engineering, prescribed for the course.
2. Designed for use with: Sobora,F. & Bastiani,A., Continuous Caster Virtual Laboratory Version 2.8, Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.
3. Goodwin, G.C., Virtual Laboratories for Control System Design Laboratory Book : Continuous Caster Package Student Manual,
Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.

3304ENG

Control Systems

Laboratory No.3 Stability

1,2

( 3 hours )

Where behaviour has changed, suggest/justify reasons why.


Q5:

Decrease Kp to very small values such as 0.1, 0.5. Observe the response and note how response
characteristics change.

Q6 : As Kp decreases, explain what happens to the system.

Use MATLAB to:


(a)

In part (a), the response for Kp=1 was used to estimate the time-constant of the closed-loop
response. From Figure 6 and with Kp=1, the closed-loop system simplifies to:
T (s) =

Kv
=
s + Kv

1
Kv

1
s +1

Therefore = 1 K is the time-constant previously measured in the virtual laboratory.


v
Using from part (a), implement the system described by Figure 6 in MATLAB.
(b)

Evaluate the stability of this system for Kp=0.1 to 1000 from the poles of the closed-loop system.

(c)

For Kp=0.1, 1 and 200, find the characteristics of the system. Compare results to those observed in
the CCVL.

Q7 : Are your MATLAB results consistent with CCVL results? What differences can be seen for
smaller / larger Kp values? Explain any differences.

6/7
1. Designed in line with the textbook by N. Nise: Control Systems Engineering, prescribed for the course.
2. Designed for use with: Sobora,F. & Bastiani,A., Continuous Caster Virtual Laboratory Version 2.8, Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.
3. Goodwin, G.C., Virtual Laboratories for Control System Design Laboratory Book : Continuous Caster Package Student Manual,
Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.

3304ENG

Control Systems

Laboratory No.3 Stability

1,2

( 3 hours )

Experiment 1 solutions :
K = Kcr -50

K = Kcr

K = Kcr +50

gain K

43144

43194.1345

43244

Stability

Stable

Marginally stable

Unstable

-20, -15, -7, -5

-20, -15, -7, -5

-20, -15, -7, -5

relationship to Kcr :

Closed-loop Zeros

-21.4259
-13.1068
-13.1068
-9.5268
-6.8316
-0.0011
-0.0011

Closed-loop Poles

+ 4.6748i
- 4.6748i

+ 3.3443i
- 3.3443i

-21.4270
-13.1069
-13.1069
-9.5273
-6.8318
0.0000
0.0000

-21.4281
-13.1071
-13.1071
-9.5278
-6.8320
0.0011
0.0011

+ 4.6773i
- 4.6773i

+ 3.3458i
- 3.3458i

+ 4.6799i
- 4.6799i

+ 3.3472i
- 3.3472i

Table 1 : Table of results for experiment 1.

Experiment 2 solutions :
(a) CCVL
Simulation,
small Kp

(b) Matlab
Simulation,
small Kp

(c) CCVL
Simulation,
Kp=1

(d) Matlab
Simulation,
Kp=1

(e) CCVL
Simulation,
large Kp

(f) Matlab
Simulation,
large Kp

Kp = 0.1

Kp = 0.1

Kp = 1

Kp = 1

Kp = 200

Kp = 200

4.264 V

8.479 V

1V

1V

4.236 V

0.021 V

Stable?

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

Time-constant

35.5

3.556 sec

3.57

0.389 Sec

0.028

Characteristics
Prop. Gain Kp
Steady-state
value
steady-state
value
Steady-state
error

Closed-loop
Poles

-0.028

-0.28

-56

Table 2 : Characteristics for given gain K (experiment 2).

7/7
1. Designed in line with the textbook by N. Nise: Control Systems Engineering, prescribed for the course.
2. Designed for use with: Sobora,F. & Bastiani,A., Continuous Caster Virtual Laboratory Version 2.8, Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.
3. Goodwin, G.C., Virtual Laboratories for Control System Design Laboratory Book : Continuous Caster Package Student Manual,
Newcastle Innovation Limited, 2008.