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POWER PLANT INSTRUMENTATION PRACTICES Chapter no name: VII   Intelligent Control 

                                                                            Section no: 4.0  Integrated DCS  ­­DDCMIS 

Section 4.0— Integrated DCS – DDC MIS

4.0 EXPLANATION : Title of this section is enough to confuse the reader!!!!! Before going
into any details further it is better to submit why such a name has been given. DCS is enough to
explain to the whole thing. Now the question is what is DCS ? Some body may argue for Digital
control system, but it is NOT so, here DCS is Distributed Control System. Simple digital
indicating controller or small PLC etc. are also example of Digital Control System. Whereas it is
intended to mean a control system in which various functionally are distributed to its basic
components to perform the entire function. In addition to Functional distribution there could be
geographical distribution as well! It has been said many times in the book that in the present
scenario there is not much difference between DCS and PLCs available . The functional approach
and treatments are different. The word “Integrated” before “DCS” has been used to mean
Technological integration ( of course while doing the technological integration, it also integrates
various functions as well). Integration of various Field bus/Network such as Foundation Field
Bus, PROFIBUS, HART( loosely used – it is protocol not field bus so may be integrated by OPC
servers as discussed in clause 1.10 of Section 1.0 of this chapter), ControlNet etc. The term
DDC (Distributed Digital Control) stands to mean various control systems functionally
distributed. These controls could be Open Loop Control System( OLCS) and Closed Loop
Control System(CLCS). While former one refers to Feedback Control System, and latter stands
for Sequential control, Interlock and protection system where direct feed back may not be
mandatory. These are discussed at length in section 4.1 of this chapter. Whereas MIS stands for
Management Information System meaning handling of all monitoring tags , Operators interface ,
calculations etc. All these have been discussed at length in clause nos.4.1.2-4.1.4 in section 4.1
of this chapter. Hope all the above explanations could make it clear why such a title has been
chosen in fact this is a probable scenario of DCS in power plant. In this section discussions shall
be restricted to a few basic things related to DCS and various control algorithms associated
with CLCS. In order to limit the size of the book it is not possible to detail out all these details.
For these details any standard book on advanced process control systems may be referred to.
4.0.1 DCS DIAGNOSTICS : Diagnostics integrated with DCS is very important. Fault detection &
diagnostics is the key to system stability and system reliability. Whenever a fault occurs it must
be reported to the operating personnel. It is not the end of the same! System diagnostics need to
quickly analyze the fault by exploring through the data as well as from SOE and other event
based data. Diagnostic functions of the system must be able to pin point the cause of the fault as
far as possible, Locate the fault ( physical location) and finally evaluate the system response for
the same. It is possible for the diagnostic software to monitor the faults at various levels such as :
• Network • Network Node • Station/Unit • Module • I/O Channel
In most of the systems there is separate Fault Diagnostic systems many times referred to Control
Diagnostic system( as in Procontrol P14 of ABB). Most of the systems have intelligent I/O
devices, so almost all these have suitable means to detect the fault i.e. self diagnostic features are
incorporated at the I/O level. These diagnostic functions are active as long as it is connected to
the systems and they are well communicated over bus to the other systems/ system modules. It is
possible to generate graphically the fault condition, location etc for operator’s displays. Now
with intelligent field devices in conjunction with field bus systems there have been a significant
improvement in system diagnostics and maintenance personnel are relieved. The maintenance
types are slowly changing from reactive maintenance to Preventive maintenance. As the ability to
self-diagnose device health and integrity improves, available information is too valuable to ignore
e.g. . Pressure transmitters now detect plugged impulse lines and inform the operator the
measurement is not good. Similarly sensor drifts can be detected. Control valve diagnostics and
the ability to generate valve signatures for online diagnostics allow many valve problems to be
easily isolated and remedied without much cost associated with replacement. With field bus
system it is possible to identify Failure , Off Specification, Check function etc. categories for
the field devices. In case of field bus it is possible to diagnose Function Block Diagnostics,
Resource Block Diagnostics, & Transducer block Diagnostics making it possible to spread the
diagnostics at Device level( sensor degradation, dynamic error band etc in addition to internal
diagnostics and process diagnostics), Loop Level & operation levels( device & measurements
identified by Tag for fault detection) identification. Another good feature worth mentioning is
that all these events are time stamped at the source. Some systems like PRM with advance
diagnostic application of YEL has diagnostic navigator advanced mechanism for fault detection.

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POWER PLANT INSTRUMENTATION PRACTICES Chapter no name: VII   Intelligent Control 
                                                                            Section no: 4.0  Integrated DCS  ­­DDCMIS 

Some of the systems offers modules with fault tolerance ( Ref clause 1.11 of section 1.o of this
chapter) at all levels e.g. Foxboro Invensys IA system. These fault tolerance systems, where
applicable, normally adapted at controller level , Network and field bus level also.
4.0.2 DCS SECURITY: It is needless to argue that security of DCS at various level is extremely
important. Security aspects comes from basically two sources, such as human access at the plant
location and cyber access through internet (discussed in Section 2.4 in connection with SCADA)
It is therefore essential that there shall be restriction regarding access to various level by various
category of people. In most of the cases there are several level of accessibility so that only
authorized people can have access to the appropriate level. This layer structure of access could
be divided in to a few general category as listed in the Table VII/4.0-1 Security Access Category
Table VII/4.0-1 Security Access Category
Access Functions Remarks
Authentication Password protected user account to access 1)Many times systems keeps the
to the system for control and making record of such changes and can be
change . Depending on the accessibility recalled later to identify who
allowed different user can access to made the change and when.
different level of data for control and 2) most of the manufacturers have
changes e.g. an operator may access to min three to four level of access
control and change a few changes in set authentication.
point or trending data collection interval
whereas an engineer may have the access
to modify a part of logic/ loop.
User Alike e-mail and other systems unique ID In case of IT enabled system,
could be assigned along with password. even user who are permitted can
access to internet also.
Classification User access level can be determined plant
area wise, and or function basis also.
Many of the IT enabled systems have protection and security for their servers and work stations
cyber attacks. Invensys Workstations are examples of the same. Many systems protection and
security are provided for field device maintenance. In these systems there restricted operation is
only permitted to avoid trouble or hazard due to operator error. However in such cases plant
safety is never compromised.
4.0.3 DCS REDUNDANCY: Since DCS is the heart as well as brain of the plant it is needless that
there needs to redundancies at various levels. Depending on applicability there could be
redundancies at filed, I/Os, Redundant field I/O controller, I/O communication channel,
Redundancies at controller and main communication system and network. There could be
redundancy at work station also. However most of the workstations used now a days have access
to all the plant data, so if the concerned operator has security access to certain data operator can
use any other workstation to run the plant. Again in redundancies there are level, such as 1:1
back up or 2 of 3 redundancies. Unlike field instrument redundancies discussed in chapter III,
here along with back up one has to keep in mind when such fall back occurs how to bumps in the
system. For example, if two controllers were working in tandem, then a few actions need to be
done such as output from one has to be inhibited, and output of the active controller has to be
tracked by the second one so that in case of failure of the active one hot standby has to fall back
without any bump to the system. Also another aspect one must keep in mind that in case of Hot
standby system either some other processor has to check the healthiness of the controllers or each
of them must also check each other otherwise how one can be declared as faulty so that standby
controller can take over.! TMR system is a classical example of the same /redundancy. In case of
redundant system one advantage is there that on line up gradation can be easily but one needs to
be careful not compromise system safety.
4.0.4 DCS SAFETY ASPECTS: Conventionally Safety instrumentation Systems earlier were separate
from DCS. Now these are integrated to develop a system which have the benefits of DCS at the
same time the safety of SIS is maintained. These are discussed at length in clause nos. 2.2.2 thru’
2.2.7 in section 2.2 of this chapter. YEL Pro safe RS is an example of the same.
4.0.5 SYSTEM INTEGRATION: As discussed at the beginning that power plant is very much
interconnected as well as interconnected. This is not only restricted to the main plant but it may
be necessary to integrate various off sites. Naturally it is almost impossible to have all these
plants to have the same family of systems. Also at a later date new plant unit may be augmented

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POWER PLANT INSTRUMENTATION PRACTICES Chapter no name: VII   Intelligent Control 
                                                                            Section no: 4.0  Integrated DCS  ­­DDCMIS 

and that needs to be integrated so as to have data exchange between these units and off site etc.
So Ethernet and OPC foundation have provided DCS suppliers to access and exchange
information amongst the various network and helping the user to integrated the systems. Such
integration provide IMPROVED OPERATION &MAINTENACE Of the Plant, Better Inventory,
Better management Information system, Remote access for manufacturer for trouble shooting etc.
Thanks to international standard IEC 61158-2 which made it possible to have some
standardization of Field buses which is an important means to integrate various systems as
discussed at length in Section 1.0 of this chapter.
4.0.6 CONTROL ALGORITHMS: From this point onward concentration will be on theoretical aspects
of control systems mainly feed back control systems. These are necessary to understand various
algorithms discussed later. For refreshing the memory on basics of control system any standard
book on control system may be consulted.
1. BASIC PID ALGORITHM : Basic PID controller can be conceived as shown in Fig No. VII/4.0-
1 Basic PID( Parallel Form), where error is generated at the input of the controller where it is
subject to the mathematical treatment as shown by the equation O = Kp*e + KI*∫e dt+
KD *de/dt. As error is fed parallel to the proportional, integral & derivative operator it is
parallel form. O = Kp*e + KI*∫e dt+ KD *de/dt
Equation in Parallel Form : Basic PID controller

Set point
“S” e
KI ∫ Output “O”

- e=S-M

Measured for direct action

value “M” KD d/dt e=M-S

Fig No. VII/4.0-1 Parallel Form : Basic PID controller

In most of the cases error is fed to the proportional controller then out of the same is fed to the
other operators as shown in Fig No. VII/4.0-1 Basic PID non interactive. Since even the value
O = K {eto+ error is fed to
1/T*∫e the other
dt+ T operators.
*de/dt 1/T*∫e dt
Basic Non interacting or ISA PID controller
Set point
“S” e Controller
KC Output “O”

value “M” TD* d/dt

Fig No. VII/4.0-2 Basic PID controller non interactive.

KC being a proportionality constant is dimensionless and expressed in % whereas T integral

action time & TD are expressed in Seconds unit of time. There is another term Proportional Band
which is defined as PB= (1/KC)*100. So as KC increases PB decreases. Generally for stability
PBs are kept >100%. As is known Proportional controller introduces error in to the system
whereas integral action integrates the error so, it provides zero error at steady state. For faster

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POWER PLANT INSTRUMENTATION PRACTICES Chapter no name: VII   Intelligent Control 
                                                                            Section no: 4.0  Integrated DCS  ­­DDCMIS 

response Derivatives actions are introduced in to the system, but this in general is responsible for
generation of noise in to the system. There is another kind of basic PID control algorithm where
derivative is done on the proportional error prior to integrate the same. This is also known as
interacting PID controller. A typical such one is shown in Fig No. VII/4.0-3 Basic PID controller
Interacting type. Here integration is done not only on proportional error but also on the derivative
of the proportional error. In case of persistence of error for long time at the input, on account of
integral action , the output may grow to the highest possible value. This is RESET WINDUP an
important feature in PID control system. In all modern controllers Anti reset wind up features
are provided, so as to avoid uncalled for overshoot and disturbance to the system. It is necessary
that the control system be tuned for proper response for a change in set point so that there is no
output spike & bump due to derivative and proportional action. Also it has to cope up with rate
of change of set point so that it is not too Slow. Stability is an other major goal of control system.
On account of Delay, dead time and high Process gain there may be in stability and/or oscillation
in the system may set in. Therefore tuning of control system is essential. What is Tuning of
controller? By tuning the controller, one tries set the controller parameters like gain, integral
time, dead time etc. so that the controller can effectively match the process dynamics.
Conventionally “Ziegler –Nichols” method is used for controller tuning.
O = KC1 {e + TD *de’/dt+ 1/T*∫[e’ + TD
Set point
“S” e’ Controller
+ e + +
’ Output “O”
+ +

Measured 1/T*∫e dt
TD* d/dt
value “M”

Fig No. VII/4.0-3 Basic PID controller Interactive Type

1/T*∫e dt

e Controller
KC Output “O”

Set point
“S” Filter TD* d/dt

value “M”

Fig No. VII/4.0-4 PID controller with filter at Set point & measured Variable .

In order to have better system response, set points and measured variables are applied through
filters as shown in Fig No. VII/4.0-4 PID controller with filter at Set point & measured Variable.
This kind of approach many times prevent sudden spikes in to the system. Some times dead band
timers are kept in the circuit so as i.e. to avoid spurious signal to affect the control system

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POWER PLANT INSTRUMENTATION PRACTICES Chapter no name: VII   Intelligent Control 
                                                                            Section no: 4.0  Integrated DCS  ­­DDCMIS 

2. SETPOINT APPLICATIONS: As is clear from the above discussions that each of the terms such
as P,I,D acts on error which is created due the difference between the measured variable and set
point. So while applying the set point to the controller suitable measure in the controller needs to
be taken such that there will not be any spike or bump at controller output due to sudden change
in the set point( if there be). The contradicting factors are if it is set to take care of rate of change
of set point then the system response will be slow, where as if is used to set to reject disturbance
then, there will be overshoot. So necessary softening effect is necessary along with suitable
tuning. At the output. Also to effect procedure less & bump less transfer from manual to Auto, set
points are applied through a filter so that error is does not effect sudden change at the output.
3. VARIOUS CONTROL TYPES USED IN POWER PLANTS: Other than PID control algorithm,
there are a few other types also used in power plant controls. These are:
• CASCADE CONTROLS: this is multi loop structure where outer loop has the set point ( acts
as master controller) and output of the same goes to the inner loop or slave loop. There are a
few advantage of this loop such as disturbance in second variable can be corrected at the slave
controller without effecting the primary variable. Slave loop helps to reduce the process lag ,
as a result the system response is fast. In power plants Steam temperature control has cascade
control applications.
• FEEDFORWARD CONTROLS: Feedback controls has inherent system lag, between a
changing of the manipulated variable and the effect of the change on the
controlled variable. In Straight cut, feed forward system, the major
components of load are entered into a model to calculate the value of the
manipulated variable required to maintain control at the set point. In
combustion control at many places Steam pressure is used as main control
variable whereas steam flow/boiler load is used as feed forward signal and
injected in to the loop.
• RATIO CONTROL : it is a straight forward control in fact an elementary feed forward control
system. Advantage of this loop is that here control variable – flow ratio can be kept constant.
May not be in crude form but in different fashion same type of control systems is deployed for
fuel flow control which is to have a ratio with air flow.
4. POSITION AND VELOCITY ALGORITHMS: The PID controller algorithm discussed so far
produce the output to determine the position demand for the final control element. Thus this type
of control algorithms are known as Position Algorithms. The control algorithms which
determine the rate of change of the final control positions is known as Velocity Algorithms. These
are effective in digital implementation in DCS. These are used for set point controllers for
supervisory controls. In this system, the output is effective keeping in mind the previous position
so that it generates ΔO =On –On-1 In DCs previous position is stored in memory, after the Velocity
algorithm is calculated it is added to the previous position and is stored as new “last position” .
For this the Transfer is effective Bump less. With velocity algorithms Reset action on error is not
effective so, it needs to be used as override action. However as the sampling rate in PLC and DCS
are quite fast than the process change there may not be much advantage of velocity algorithms.
However in DCS many times while measuring a parameter, its rate of change is also measured,
and depending on requirement velocity algorithms may be applied as over ride.
5. AUTO TUNING AND ADAPTIVE CONTROL SYSTEM.: There are two processes involved
in the tuning of the controller, one is to learn the process dynamics another to make the
manipulated measured constant. This is not an easy task, as these two factors are contradictory
in nature at times. So many DCS manufacturers use AUTOTUNING method when the tuning
parameters are continuously adjusted depending on the process dynamics. They use to inject
excitations at loop to sense the process response. These excitation could be very small but enough
to analyze control variable in response to the change. Such excitation injection could be at the
gain, Set, and/or controller output depending on the manufacturer’s design. The aim is to
understand the process dynamics , once it is effectively done, necessary tuning parameters can be
set, till there is no further change in the system. Many of the advanced controllers are done with
the help of mathematical models with prediction. In all these process models are used. However
there are other methods such as Model free Adaptive control. Model Free Adaptive(MFA)
control does not require precise quantitative knowledge of the process, no special control for any
process etc. MFAs could be single loop and/or multi loop types also. There is another category of
control system these are Self Tuning Controller. These normally refers to Single controller but it

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POWER PLANT INSTRUMENTATION PRACTICES Chapter no name: VII   Intelligent Control 
                                                                            Section no: 4.0  Integrated DCS  ­­DDCMIS 

could be part of DCS so it is mentioned here. In any case there will be three basic components of
self tuning systems these are :
• System Identifier : This algorithm is responsible to estimate the parameters for the process.
• Synthesizer: to Calculate new controller parameter based on estimation algorithm result.
• Control Block: This is the main control algorithm whose parameters are being evaluated by
For any further details standard book on advanced control system may be referred to.
6. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE : This part of the computer science has also been applied power
plant control systems. Use of Expert systems & Fuzzy Control systems are found in power plant
controls. These have been discussed in Clause 1.12.1 & 1.12.2 in Section 1.0 of this chapter.
7. OPTIMISATION.: Alike any other system it is aim of power plant control is to get maximum
profit while maintain the safety and production quality as well as without degrading the
equipment life. So while optimizing it is important to take into considerations a few points like
Over all design, Equipment performance vis a vis control strategies and operational philosophy of
the equipment /system. Normally for optimization independent variables are identified. These are
fed to a Black box ( the mathematical model) . This model will calculate the performance
parameters based on various constraints like Disturbances, and intermediate variables etc. Major
problem here is to really define the problem scope and choice of optimization techniques.

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POWER PLANT INSTRUMENTATION PRACTICES Chapter no name: VII   Intelligent Control 
                                                                            Section no: 4.0  Integrated DCS  ­­DDCMIS 

4.0.7 STANDARD LIBRARY FUNCTIONS: In any DCS there are a few standard functional
algorithms available. In fact the control loops are functionally represented in terms of the same. A
list of such algorithms have been presented in the table VII/4.0-1 Standard Library function. The
symbolic representation of some these functional blocks have been shown in the Control loop
drawings included in chapter VII & IX. This actually gives the functional description of the
action. In this connection discussions on IEC standards IEC 61131-3 & IEC61804 as discussed
in clause no 4.1.5 may be referred to also and for this reasons input /output also have been listed n
the table.
Table VII/4.0-1 : Standard Library functions
Summing Sum of inputs
Difference Difference. Between Inputs Error Gen
Median Selection of mid value Of inputs
Average Sum divided by no. of input
Multiplier Multiplying two/more inputs
Divider Divided an input with other
Scale & bias Scaling input + bias value KX + C
Function generator Output as function of I/P Functions to be
Hi Lo Selector Selection of hi or lo of inputs Max/min
Dead time Output after sp. time
Comparator Compare with SP or with other DO or
input for sp Difference switchover
Comparator +CO Same as above with CO CO: Change
Computation Lead/Lag Output increase Or Decrease Between inputs.
Allowed when compared.
Pulse generator When input crosses limit a
pulse/trend of pulses
Differentiator Calculation of rate of change Of Input
Integrator Integration Of Input
Square root Square Root extractor
Pulser Pr.& Temp Compensation Q=√(hP/T)
Log function Output as Log of Input
Exponential Output as Exp of Input
Limiter/ clamp Output limiter
Limit Value Generate DO when input crosses
Monitor the set limit
Tr. Selection Selection of transmitters on
1 0f 2 selection One out of two Chapter3
2 out of 3/median Selection of 20f 3 inputs Chapter 3
AND/OR/NOT Ex OLCS functions of Input(s) Boolean Logic
Switch Types of Switching functions Latch, Unlatch
Timer Delay of specified time On/Off Delay
Counter Counting of pulse etc. With DO
Flip Flop Temporary memory RS/JK flip
OLCS flop etc.
Functions Drive Drive control with functions Trip, permissive
various conditions and logics etc
Sub Group function Logical Sub group function Owner’s choice
Pulser Generate mono shot spike or
pulse when input reached
Change Over Input change over May be based on
third AI/DI

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POWER PLANT INSTRUMENTATION PRACTICES Chapter no name: VII   Intelligent Control 
                                                                            Section no: 4.0  Integrated DCS  ­­DDCMIS 

PID PID functions with Ratio, Gap,

anti reset windup etc.
Other PID functions Feed forward/ tracking/output
Set point functions Set point ramp , set point
Auto manual Switch over & tracking
Auto Tuning Auto/Adaptive tuning
Others To complete the list.


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