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Prasenjit Ghorai

Department of Electronics
and Instrumentation Engineering,
NIT Agartala, Tripura 799046, India
e-mail: pghorai@gmail.com

Somanath Majhi
Department of Electronics
and Electrical Engineering,
IIT Guwahati, Assam 781039, India
e-mail: smajhi@iitg.ernet.in

Saurabh Pandey
Department of Electronics
and Electrical Engineering,
IIT Guwahati, Assam 781039, India
e-mail: p.saurabh@iitg.ernet.in

Modeling and Identification


of Real-Time Processes Based
on Nonzero Setpoint Autotuning
Test
The paper presents a real-time system modeling and identification scheme for estimation
of plant model parameters using a single asymmetrical relay test. A modified set of analytical expressions for unknown plant models under nonzero setpoint and non-negative
relay settings is derived. Thereafter, the unknown parameters of three different stable
plant models are identified as first-order plus dead time, overdamped, and critically
damped second-order plus dead time. The well-known examples from literature are
included to show the accuracy of the proposed method through computer simulations.
Yokogawa distributed control system centum CS3000 is considered as a design platform
for an experimental setup for the realization of asymmetrical relay feedback test. Finally,
the transfer function models derived from successive identification of plant dynamics are
compared with the literature through Nyquist plots. [DOI: 10.1115/1.4034802]

Introduction

Modeling of the real-time plant in terms of assumed transfer


function models generally plays a pivotal role in the appropriate
design of controllers. Since the last four decades, relay feedback
test has attained a significant amount of attention in the field of
process identification. Earlier, the works reported in Refs. [15]
have developed various symmetrical and asymmetrical relaybased control strategies while considering the negative relay
amplitudes. However, for real-time system identification, all physical variables may not always permit negative relay settings. Therefore, a symmetrical relay test with zero setpoint may fail to induce
sustained limit cycle oscillations in many industrial plants. Therefore, an asymmetrical relay with nonzero setpoint scheme would
help in yielding sustained oscillations around the setpoint and further estimation of various real-time plant model parameters.
strom and Hagglund [6] have proposed a relay feedback
A
experiment for tuning of controller parameters based on userspecified amplitude and phase margins. Thereafter, an online process identification methodology for controller tuning is proposed
by Sung and Lee [7]. Their method is advantageous in the sense
that it could automatically tune controller parameters without
restricting the signal generators, viz., either proportional controller or relay signals, respectively. Scali et al. [8] have proposed a
relay feedback method for the estimation of five unknown process
model parameters. Panda and Yu [9] have derived a set of nonlinear expressions for the study of second-order plus dead time
(SOPDT) and higher-order processes while assuming different
damping coefficients. The authors have derived the process output
expression up to the fifth-order transfer function models and further extended for modeling of nth-order process models. Atherton
[10] and Lin et al. [11] have elaborated a relay feedback test for
identification of various dynamical processes. Kaya and Atherton
[12] have identified the unknown process model under an asymmetrical relay feedback experiment using A-locus method. Srinivasan and Chidambaram [13] and Vivek and Chidambaram [14]
have proposed a set of modified asymmetrical/symmetrical relay-

Contributed by the Dynamic Systems Division of ASME for publication in the


JOURNAL OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS, MEASUREMENT, AND CONTROL. Manuscript received
January 29, 2016; final manuscript received September 14, 2016; published online
November 11, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Shankar Coimbatore Subramanian.

based mathematical expressions for first-order plus dead time


(FOPDT) with improved parameter estimations. Majhi [15,16]
and Bajarangbali et al. [17] have derived the mathematical expressions for identification of a class of processes with or without time
delay using half-cycle data. Using single relay test, four iterative
identification algorithms based on the recursive least square
method are proposed by Liu et al. [18,19] for an exact estimation
of stable/unstable FOPDT and SOPDT processes. Fedele [20] has
proposed an improved set of identified process model using the
area under the steady-state response test. Hang et al. [21] and Liu
et al. [22] have given a tutorial review on the various process
identification schemes using step and relay feedback experiments.
The proposed identification scheme aims to identify real-time
unknown plant model using an asymmetrical relay feedback test
where the controlled variables (CVs) do not permit negative relay
amplitudes. Although the researchers have developed various
symmetrical and asymmetrical relay-based expressions with negative relay amplitudes for identification of various processes, these
do not hold true for identification of industrial plants. Therefore,
in order to circumvent this difficulty, the authors have derived a
modified set of novel expressions using an asymmetrical relay test
with nonzero step reference signal. Moreover, the proposed mathematical expressions are noniterative, less sensitive to measurement noise, and free from the convergence of parameter estimates
under ideal and real-time environment. The main objective of this
work lies in the generation of sustained limit cycle oscillations for
a class of stable processes using an asymmetrical relay output and
followed by validation of proposed identification scheme on realtime level control system generally modeled in terms of FOPDT
model as per Ref. [23]. In the context of real-time process identification, a set of analytical expressions for estimation of unknown
stable SOPDT process model parameters are derived. Further,
these expressions are generalized for modeling of unknown realtime plant in terms of critically damped SOPDT and stable
FOPDT process models.
The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 discusses the process modeling required for identification of various process transfer function models using relay feedback test. In Sec. 3, a separate
set of modified expressions for estimation of stable FOPDT process, overdamped SOPDT process, and critically damped SOPDT
process are derived. Thereafter, the robustness of proposed
method is analyzed through simulation in Sec. 4 followed by

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experimental validation in Sec. 5. Finally, the paper is concluded


in Sec. 6.

The real-time block diagram for a relay feedback scheme with


nonzero setpoint considered for generation of sustained oscillations is shown in Fig. 1. When a relay with positive magnitudes is
fed back to unknown plant G(s), a phase lag of p radians can
easily be observed between process input and output waveforms.
The setpoint, R, is set to nonzero while carrying out identification
test, which ultimately brings limit cycle output around the setpoint. For stable FOPDT, overdamped second-order plus dead
time (ODSOPDT), and critically damped second-order plus dead
time (CDSOPDT) plants with positive steady-state gain, the necessary condition for existence of limit cycle oscillations is given
as relay height at ON condition hH > setpoint R > relay
height at OFF condition hL , i.e., hH > R > hL . Consider a general SOPDT plant transfer function model as follows:
ds

ke
T1 s 1T2 s 1

(1)

where k, d, T1, and T2 represent process steady-state gain, dead


time, and time constants, respectively. When one of the time constants is kept zero, i.e., T2 0, the assumed transfer function
model G(s) would become a stable FOPDT process, and the
CDSOPDT process model is derived by substituting T1 T2 in the
assumed transfer function model (1). The Jordan canonical form
representation of the assumed transfer function is written as

_ Axt Brt  d
xt

(2)

yt Cxt

(3)



 
ka1 a2 ka1 a2
1
a1 0
;B
, and
where A
;C
0 a2
1
a1  a2 a1  a2
a1 1=T1 and a2 1=T2 are the eigenvalues of the assumed
process transfer function model.

(4)

At time scale t1 < t  t2 , where rt  d hL, the state equation


at time t2 is

Generalized Process Model

Gs

xt1 eAd xt0 l 1 hH

Modified Exact Expressions

Following the work of Majhi and Atherton [3], in this paper, a


set of modified expressions using an asymmetrical relay feedback
test with a nonzero reference input are derived. These expressions
are further utilized for modeling and estimation of unknown realtime level control system parameters in terms of stable FOPDT,
overdamped SOPDT, and critically damped SOPDT process models, respectively. Let the system be subjected to a step excitation
or a setpoint with an asymmetrical relay feedback where the relay
is assumed to have both positive amplitudes, i.e., upper and lower
peaks of hH and hL, respectively. Initially, the stable plant is subjected to setpoint input and after reaching steady state (i.e., at setpoint value), the relay is invoked which results in sustained
oscillatory output around the forced input value as shown in Fig.
2. The Jordan canonical state-space equations comprising of constant matrices A; B; and C of an assumed transfer function model
are of dimensions n  n, n  l, and l  n, respectively. For time
range t0  t  t1 , where rt  d hH , the state equation at time
t1 is written as

Fig. 1 Real-time relay-based control system with nonzero


setpoint

021010-2 / Vol. 139, FEBRUARY 2017

xt2 eAsd xt1 l 2 hL

(5)

At time scale t2 < t  t3 , where rt  d hL, the state equation


at time t3 is
xt3 eAd xt2 l 3 hL

(6)

At time scale t3 < t  t4 , where rt  d hH, the state equation


at time t4 is
xt4 eATsd xt3 l 4 hH

(7)

where l 1 A1 eAd  IB; l 2 A1 eAsd  IB; l 3 A1


eAd  IB; and l 4 A1 eATsd  IB, where I is an identity
matrix of order 2  2.
Using Eqs. (4)(6) in Eq. (7), xt4 is represented as
xt4 eAT xt0 eATd l 1 hH eATs l 2 hL
eATsd l 3 h2 l 4 hH

(8)

For existence of sustained oscillations, xt4 xt0 R yields


xt0 I  eAT 1 eATd l 1 hH eATs l 2 hL
eATsd l 3 h2 l 4 hH

(9)

Similarly, at time t2, xt2 is derived from Eqs. (4), (5), and (9) as
xt2 I  eAT 1 eAsd l 1 hH l 2 h2 eATsd l 3 hL eAs l 4 hH
(10)
Considering an ideal relay and at limit cycle condition yt0
yt2 setpoint (R), therefore
Cxt0 R

(11)

Cxt2 R

(12)

Now, from the relay feedback test, the period of the oscillation T,
the time for which the plant output remains positive s, the upper
peak amplitude of the oscillation Aup, the lower peak amplitude of
the oscillation Adp, the area of the plant output signal Ay, and the
area of the plant input signal Ar over the last stable period of the

Fig. 2 Plant input and output information

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oscillation are measured. Substituting A; l 1 ; l 2 ; l 3 , and l 4 in


Eq. (9), the expression for an initial state x0 at time t0 can be
written as
2 "
#3
1 ea1 Tsd  ea1 Td hH  hL
6
"
# 6
 hH 7
7
1  ea1 T
x01
7
6 a1
7
6
x0
"
#
7
6
x02
7
6 1 ea2 Tsd  ea2 Td hH  hL
5
4

h
H
a
T
1  e 2
a2
(13)
Since C has elements equal in magnitude but opposite in sign,
therefore magnitudes of both components in state vector x0 are
equal. From Eqs. (11) and (12), the following expression is
yielded:
"
#
Ra1  a2
1 ea1 Tsd  ea1 Td hH  hL
 hH 
1  ea1 T
ka1 a2
a1
"
#
1 ea2 Tsd  ea2 Td hH  hL
 hH

(14)
1  ea2 T
a2
"
#
Ra1  a2
1 ea1 Td  ea1 sd hH  hL
 hL 
1  ea1 T
ka1 a2
a1
"
#
1 ea2 Td  ea2 sd hH  hL
 hL

1  ea2 T
a2

Cxtdt khH  hL s hH T

(24)

rt  ddt hH  hL s hH T

(25)

Ay
k
Ar

(15)

(16)

Substituting C in Eq. (17) gives


(19)

From Eq. (19), the following expression can be derived for upper
peak time tup:
"
#
1  ea2 Ts 1  ea1 T
a1 a2 tup d

e
(20)
1  ea1 Ts 1  ea2 T
Subsequently, from Eq. (16), the expression for upper peak amplitude is derived as
"


 a a
Aup  khL 1 2
khH  hL

Ay

The steady-state gain can be written from Eqs. (24) and (25) as

where xd1 and xd2 are found by putting A, B, and I in Eq. (4) as
2
3
hH
a1 d
a1 d



e
x

e

1
01
6
x
a1 7
7
(18)
xd d1 6
4 ad
h
xd2
H5
e 2 x02 ea2 d  1
a2

#a1
1  ea2 Ts
1  ea2 T
#a2
"
1  ea1 Ts

It is necessary to note that Eqs. (21) and (23) require a1 6 a2 . The


areas under the plant output and input are given as

where tup can be obtained by taking the first derivative of Eq. (16)
and equating the result to zero. After simplification, it becomes


a ea1 tup d x ea1 tup d hL
0
(17)
C 1 a2 tup d d1
a2 e
xd2 ea2 tup d hL

ea1 tup d a1 xd1 hL ea2 tup d a2 xd2 hL

And the expression for lower peak amplitude can be derived by


following the procedures similar to upper peak amplitude expression. On further simplification and substitution of Eq. (22), the
following expression is derived:
"
#a2 "
#a1

 a a
1  ea1 s
1  ea2 s
khH  Adp 1 2

(23)
1  ea1 T
1  ea2 T
khH  hL

Ar

At time tup, the upper peak output of the plant occurs, so the
expression for Aup from Eq. (5) can be written as
Aup CeAtup d xt1 A1 eAtup d  IBhL

Similar to the steps followed to derive Eq. (20), the expression for
tdp the time instant at which the downward peak output of the
plant occurs can be derived from Eq. (7) with the help of Eqs. (6)
and (10) as
"
#
1  ea2 s 1  ea1 T
a1 a2 tdp sd
(22)
e

1  ea1 s 1  ea2 T

(26)

It is possible to solve Eqs. (20)(23) and (26) for the estimation of


all unknown parameters, T1, T2, d, and k, of the assumed transfer
function model given in Eq. (1) by an asymmetrical relay feedback test from the measurements of T, s, Ay, Ar, Aup or Adp, and tup
or tdp. In Secs. 3.13.3, the estimation of the unknown parameters
of stable FOPDT and SOPDT process are considered with an
asymmetrical relay feedback and step input as the setpoint.
3.1 Expressions for FOPDT Processes. In this section, modeling and development of analytical expressions for estimation of
stable FOPDT process model using an asymmetrical relay feedback test are explained. Considering a stable FOPDT process
dynamics yields
keds
(27)
Gm1 s
T1 s 1
Substituting a1 1=T1 and a2 ! 1 in Eqs. (14) and (21)
gives solution for d and T1 from measurements of T, s, and Aup, if
steady-state gain (k) is found from Eq. (26) with the help of Ay
and Ar. If k is known, then it is easy to derive explicit expressions
for T1 and d from Eqs. (14) and (21) from the measured quantities.
T1 and d are given by
"

!#1
Aup  khH khL  Adp
T1 T ln
Aup  khL khH  Adp

dT




Aup  Adp
ln 1 
khH  hL

!
Aup  khH khL  Adp
ln
Aup  khL khH  Adp

(28)

(29)

(21)

3.2 Expressions for Overdamped SOPDT Processes. Consider a general transfer function model for SOPDT process
(T1 > T2) as in Eq. (1) with four unknown parameters. The steadystate gain (k) can be estimated from the measurements of Ay and

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Ar given in Eq. (26). After estimating k, T1 and T2 can be solved


from Eqs. (21) and (23). Thereafter, either Eq. (20) or Eq. (22)
can be solved to yield the process time delay d. Alternatively,
Eqs. (21), (23), and (20) or (22) can also be solved simultaneously
to get the values of T1, T2, and d from measured quantities while
considering a proper set of initial solutions for the unknown process parameters.
3.3 Expressions for Critically Damped SOPDT Processes.
Consider a critically damped SOPDT process modeled from Eq.
(1) while substituting T1 T2 as
Gm2 s

keds
T1 s 12

(30)

The derived expressions (14), (15), (21), and (23) are extended for
the development of generalized expressions for critically damped
SOPDT processes. Assuming a1 a and a2 a  k and letting
k ! 0 , Eqs. (21) and (23) become
"
#
1  eaTs
Aup khH  hL
1  eaT
"
#
(31)
aT  seaTs
aTeaT

khL

1  eaT
e 1  ea Ts
"
Adp khH  khH  hL

1  e
1  eaT

as

"

aseas
aTeaT

as
aT
e1  e 1  e

(32)
Substituting a1 and a2 in Eq. (20), the expression for process time
delay d can be written as
"
#"
#
1  eas


eaTs
T
s
(33)
tup  d
1  eaTs
1  eaT
One of the three unknown parameters of critically damped
SOPDT plant k can be estimated with the help of Eq. (26) from
the measurements of Ay and Ar. After getting k, another unknown
process time constant T1 can be derived from Eq. (31) or Eq. (32),
and thereafter, Eq. (33) can be used to estimate d. Alternatively,
Eqs. (26), (31), and (33) can be solved simultaneously to yield the
unknown process model parameters with a proper choice of initial
conditions for the measured quantities.

Simulation Study

In this section, the three well-known examples from the literature are considered for the illustration of proposed identification
scheme. Thereafter, the obtained models from each example are
validated through Nyquist frequency response plots. The accuracy
of the proposed method is estimated using integral of absolute
error (IAE) criterion as

xgm 
 Gm jx  G jx 

dx
(34)
IAE


G jx
0
where Gm jx is the identified process model, Gjx is the actual
process, and xgm is the frequency of the process, respectively.
Further, the effect of measurement is studied through the addition
of Gaussian distributed random noise which is quite common in
real-time environment [24]. To overcome this, an offline method
for reconstruction of original limit cycle output using Fourier
series-based curve fitting method [25] is utilized for obtaining a
best-fitted limit cycle output. The technique searches the best
021010-4 / Vol. 139, FEBRUARY 2017

matching function through minimization of error between the


mean value and random noisy data present at each point of
the limit cycle output. The equation which governs the fitting the
noisy limit cycle can be expressed as
N
X
aj cosjxt bj sinjxt
(35)
y^t a0
j1

where y^t and x, namely, the process output and ultimate frequency, are to be obtained through curve fitting method.
The Fourier series coefficients (a0, aj, and bj) 8 j  1 can be
T
T
obtained as a0 1=2T T y^tdxt; aj 1=T T y^t
T
cosjxtdxt, and bj 1=T T y^tsinjxtdxt.
4.1 Example 1. Consider a stable FOPDT plant widely studied in the literature [3,17] as Gm1 s e2s =10s 1. An asymmetrical relay settings (hH 65:0 and hL 45:0) is fed back with
a step input of R 50:0% yielding sustained asymmetrical limit
cycle output around the setpoint. The limit cycle parameters
Aup 52.7182, Adp 49.0942, T 8.9292, s 6:3425; Ay
453:5476, and Ar 453:5477 are substituted in the derived
mathematical expressions for estimation of unknown process
model parameters. From Eq. (26), the process steady-state gain is
estimated as k 0.9999, and further solving Eqs. (28) and (29),
the remaining plant model parameters are obtained as T1
10:0038 and d 1:9999. Now, the identified model is represented
in transfer function form as tabulated in Table 1. The Nyquist frequency response plots for estimated and actual FOPDT process
transfer function models are compared with the literature and
shown in Fig. 3. To consider the measurement noise, a 30 dB noise
is added at the process output, and thereafter, a noise-free output
is derived by Fourier series-based curve fitting method. Again
substituting the recovered limit cycle information in derived
mathematical expressions, the FOPDT process is identified in
comparison with the actual model through IAE in Table 1. The
robustness of the proposed scheme and variation of the process
input over the model parameter estimation are shown in Table 2
with an improved accuracy in Table 3.
4.2 Example 2. Let us consider an SOPDT plant studied by
Bajarangbali et al. [17] and Liu et al. [18] as
Gm2 s fe2s =10s 1s 1g. Using an asymmetrical relay
feedback test with relay settings (hH 70:0 and hL 40:0) and
step input of R 50:0% yields sustained asymmetrical limit cycle
output around the setpoint. The measured limit cycle parameters
Aup 53.8686, Adp 48.0809, tup 2.7545, s 7:0577; T
11:1339; Ay 567:6468, and Ar 567.6415 are substituted in the
derived mathematical expressions for estimation of unknown process model parameters. From Eq. (26), the process steady-state
gain is derived as k 1.0, and the remaining unknown plant model
parameters are estimated from the simultaneous solution of Eqs.
(21), (23), and (20) or (22) as T1 10:0115; T2 0:9962, and
d 2:0023. The identified model can be written in SOPDT
transfer function form in Table 1. The three different levels of
measurement noise are added at process output to yield noisy
outputs with 10 dB, 20 dB, and 30 dB signal to noise ratio (SNR)
values, respectively. Thereafter, the noise-free outputs are recovered using Fourier series-based curve fitting method as shown in
Fig. 4. Substituting the recovered limit cycle data in the derived
expressions, an overdamped SOPDT plant model is identified.
Comparison of identified models in terms of IAE is given in
Table 1 and in terms of percentage error in Table 3. Finally, the
actual and identified transfer function models are compared
through Nyquist frequency response plots as shown in Figs. 5
and 6.
4.3 Example 3. Consider the critically damped SOPDT
plant studied by Vivek and Chidambaram [26] as Gm3 s
fe0:5s =20s 12 g. Using an asymmetrical relay feedback
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Table 1 Comparison of identified transfer function models for examples 13


Examples
1

Methods

Identified models

IAE

Proposed model

0:9999e1:9999s
10:0038s 1

3:6850  104

Proposed model with 30 dB noise

1:0e1:997374s
9:9415s 1

38:1188  104

Model by Liu and Gao [19]

1:0048e2:0024s
10:0490s 1

2:2186  103

Model by Vivek and Chidambaram [14]

0:9467e2:0s
9:5028s 1

1:6065  102

Proposed model

1:0e2:0023s
10:0115s 10:9962s 1

3:3663  104

Proposed model with 10 dB noise

1:0014e2:1391s
10:2491s 11:0164s 1

30:55  103

Proposed model with 20 dB noise

1:0019e2:0769s
10:0691s 11:0751s 1

24:35  103

Proposed model with 30 dB noise

0:9999e1:9718s
9:9038s 10:9966s 1

79:449  104

Model by Bajarangbali et al. [17]

0:9923e2:0s
9:8997s 11:0105s 1

4:3141  103

1:0122e2:0037s
10:1178s 10:9920s 1

5:3081  103

1:0e0:4983s

1:8589  104

Model by Liu et al. [18]

Proposed model

19:9991s 12
64:5469  104

1:0004e0:4368s

Proposed model with 30 dB noise

19:9187s 1

1:6820  102

1:058e0:551s

Model by Vivek and Chidambaram [26]

20:81s 1

test with relay settings (hH 70:0 and hL 40:0) and step input
of R 50:0% yields sustained asymmetrical limit cycle output
around the setpoint. The measured limit cycle parameters
Aup 50.3504, Adp 49.8231, s 10:5783, T 15.9567, tup
4:8580s; Ay 799:6553, and Ar 799:6194 are substituted in the
derived mathematical expressions for estimation of unknown

Table 2 Effect of input variation on example 1 system


parameters
Setpoint (R)
60%
50%
40%
30%

Table 3
Ex.

Fig. 3 Nyquist frequency response plots for example 1: (a)


actual plant, (b) proposed model, (c) model by Liu and Gao [19],
and (d) model by Vivek and Chidambaram [14]

Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control

2:1944  101

0:3753e3:8613s
64:7950s 1

Model by Srinivasan and Chidambaram [13]

Relay settings

T1

hH 80%, hL 45%
hH 65%, hL 45%
hH 70%, hL 30%
hH 50%, hL 55%

1.0000
0.9999
1.0000
1.0000

2.0005
1.9999
2.0001
2.0008

9.9999
10.0038
9.9999
9.9999

Parameter-wise estimated absolute error (%)

Methods

T1

T2

Proposed
As per Ref. [16]
As per Ref. [25]

0.01
0.48
5.33

0.0036
0.12
0

0.0387
0.49
4.972

Proposed
As per Ref. [6]
As per Ref. [15]

0
0.77
1.22

0.1171
0
0.185

0.1151
1.003
1.178

0.3712
1.05
0.8

Proposed
As per Ref. [26]

0.0044
5.8

0.3364
10.2

0.0043
4.05

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Fig. 4 Limit cycle output for example 2: (a) noisy output with
20 dB SNR and (b) reconstructed output

Fig. 7 Nyquist frequency response plots for example 3: (a)


actual plant, (b) proposed model, (c) model by Vivek and Chidambaram [26], and (d) model by Srinivasan and Chidambaram
[13]

transfer function form in Table 1. Figure 7 shows the comparison


between the Nyquist frequency response plots of the estimated
and actual critically damped SOPDT processes. To show the measurement noise effect, a 30 dB noise is added at the process output, and thereafter, a noise-free output is derived by Fourier
series-based curve fitting method. The recovered limit cycle data
when substituted in the derived expressions result in a critically
damped SOPDT plant model. Like the previous example, the
comparison in terms of IAE and percentage error is given in
Tables 3 and 4, respectively.

5
Fig. 5 Nyquist frequency response plots for example 2: (a)
actual plant, (b) proposed model, (c) model by Bajarangbali
et al. [17], and (d) model by Liu and Gao [18]

process model parameters. From Eq. (26), the process steady-state


gain is derived as k 1.0. Thereafter, the remaining unknown
plant model parameters T1 and d are estimated as T1 19:9991
and d 0:4983 by solving Eqs. (31) and (33), respectively. The
identified model can be written in critically damped SOPDT

Applications to Level Control System

5.1 Experimental Setup. An asymmetrical relay feedback


test of a real-time liquid level control system is studied to illustrate the performance of the proposed technique. A practical orientation of the field devices is shown in Fig. 8. The setup consists
of an overhead liquid container having one input fed from reservoir to tank through pump and control valve for liquid inlet and
two outlets, one of which is through a manual control valve to discharge liquid with a constant rate and another outlet is through a
control valve which is in fully closed position throughout the
period of identification. Yokogawa DCS CENTUM CS3000 [27]
is used here as a field control station (FCS), and the data communication part is done through VLNet between FCS and engineering station as well as human interface station (HIS). In the
experiments, a step input was given as liquid level setpoint input
to the process through relay feedback. The details of experimental
outcomes are well stated in Sec. 5.2.
5.2 Experimental Validation. The proposed asymmetrical
relay feedback test is applied to the above plant shown in Fig. 8.

Table 4 Effect of percentage variation on limit cycle measurements on process parameters

Fig. 6 Nyquist frequency response plots for example 2: (a)


actual plant, (b) proposed model with 10 dB noise, (c) proposed
model with 20 dB noise, and (d) proposed model with 30 dB
noise

021010-6 / Vol. 139, FEBRUARY 2017

Variation (%)

K%

T1 %

d%

0.5
1
2
0.5
1
2

0.5
1
2
0.5
1
2

0.5084
1.0088
2.0088
0.4870
0.9981
1.9874

0.4847
0.9841
1.9834
0.5237
1.0036
2.0225

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Fig. 8 Experimental setup of a real-time water level control system

Fig. 9 Response of level control system using an asymmetrical relay: (a) limit cycle around setpoint and (b) relay output

Fig. 10 Comparison between simulation and experimental


plant output: (a) setpoint, (b) plant output, (c) FOPDT model
output, (d) overdamped SOPDT model output, and (e) ZN testbased model output

Table 5 Comparison of real-time plant transfer function


models
Methods

Identified models

Proposed FOPDT model with noise

0:9507e6:9442s
265:4280s 1

Proposed FOPDT model without noise

0:9388e7:0455s
273:5958s 1

Proposed ODSOPDT model with noise

0:9507e3:6964s
176:3120s 13:4908s 1

Proposed CDSOPDT model with noise

0:9507e8:2085s
29:9624s 12

Model by ZN test with noise

0:9790e8:4127s
169:6874s 1

Model by ZN test without noise

0:9589e8:4919s
167:6980s 1

Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control

Fig. 11 Nyquist frequency response plots for level control system: (a) proposed FOPDT process model, (b) proposed overdamped SOPDT model, (c) proposed critically damped SOPDT
model, and (d) model by ZN test

FEBRUARY 2017, Vol. 139 / 021010-7

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The limit cycle plant output with relay output signals is shown in
Fig. 9. A single asymmetrical relay feedback tests are conducted
by considering the same plant in two different orders of dynamics.
First, the plant is applied an asymmetrical relay feedback test of
relay heights hH 65:0 and hL 25:0 with a step input of R
40:0% and produces a sustained asymmetrical system output at
steady state. From the experimental results, the limit cycle parameters Aup 40.544, Adp 39.562, T 28.0, Ay 1121:84, and
Ar 1180:0 are measured. From Eq. (26), the process steadystate gain is derived as k 0.9507, and further solving Eqs. (28)
and (29), the unknown plant model is found in terms of stable
FOPDT process model parameters as T1 265:4280 and d
6:9442 which can be seen in Table 5. Second, the same plant is
considered as stable SOPDT model, and thereafter, from additional limit cycle information of s 16:0, tup 8.0, and simultaneously solution of Eqs. (20)(22), the unknown plant model
parameters are estimated as T1 176:3120; T2 3:4908, and
d 3:6964, i.e., as shown in Table 5. Similar to the above relay
settings, the real-time level control system is estimated from the
simultaneous solution of Eqs. (26), (31), and (33) in terms of critically damped SOPDT process model as k 0.9507,
T1 29:9624, and d 8:2085, and can be seen as transfer function form in Table 5 with the model obtained from
ZieglerNichols (ZN) test. For validation purpose, the obtained
dynamics of the real-time plant in transfer function forms of three
different types such as FOPDT, overdamped SOPDT, and ZN
model are simulated with the same relay setting and same set
value which was considered during the experimental study. Thereafter, three model outputs are plotted in Fig. 10 in comparison with
the actual experimental output of the real-time level control system.
To discard measurement noise, the noisy process output signal is
processed by MATLAB Fourier series-based curve fitting method [25].
Again substituting the recovered limit cycle information in derived
mathematical expressions, the stable FOPDT plant model is identified and tabulated in Table 5. Thereafter, the amount of measurement noise present at the process output as shown in Fig. 9 is
calculated, and thereafter, the SNR of the real-time level control is
found to be as 56.7144 dB. As the derived transfer functions are
obtained for single plant dynamics with three different forms, proper
validation is required to satisfy the experimental outcomes. The
Nyquist frequency response plots of three identified models and the
dynamic model obtained from ZN test are demonstrated in Fig. 11
for a wide range of frequency responses. Interestingly, it has been
observed that the identified transfer function models in terms of stable FOPDT and overdamped SOPDT are close to model obtained
from the ZN test as compared to critically damped SOPDT model
due to model mismatch.

Conclusions

In process control industries, the relay-based identification


methods are widely accepted feedback approach for identification
of the unknown plant. These methods cannot always be used in a
straightforward way in process industries and also may lead to
erroneous models if the measured parameters are estimated from
describing function-based analysis. Therefore, a set of modified
expressions for estimation of parameters of plant dynamics in
transfer function form using state-space approach using an asymmetrical relay with nonzero setpoint reference are derived in this
paper. The proposed identification procedure is validated through
both simulation and experimental hardware showing its

021010-8 / Vol. 139, FEBRUARY 2017

applicability. Therefore, the proposed mathematical expressions


for modeling and identification of various real-time unknown
plants can be adopted in various industrial sectors.

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