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Implementation of conductivity sensors in the Murdoch University pilot plant

Pol, David (2016) Implementation of conductivity sensors in the Murdoch University pilot plant. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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The strength of the Instrumentation and Control Major at Murdoch University relies heavily on the operation and capability of the Pilot Plant. This facility exposes students to real-world systems and provides an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to common industrial equipment. As such, it is continuously desired to increase the capabilities, and optimise the performance of the pilot plant to provide students and staff with a facility that can be used to deliver the best possible introduction to the process control industry.

This project builds on knowledge acquired from the Industrial Computer Systems and Instrumentation and Control majors at Murdoch University and uses skills and knowledge developed from both disciplines to deliver a final operational product. Modbus TCP conductivity sensors were installed on each tank of the continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR) system, and a previously unused tank was used to introduce an electrolyte solution to the system. This increases complexity by providing additional process variables that can be measured in each tank, and controlled by making using of the dye tank pump and recycle stream.

This document is created with future students in mind, and as such it is recommended to use this document as a first point before considering conductivity experiments. Instrumentation and software used is introduced and followed by an explanation of the Modbus protocol and how this communicates with the Experion system. The report then explores the implementation of these sensors and the thorough testing that preceded to ensure successful operation.

Many issues were found, and limitations of the system will be discussed. As well as this, the development of conductivity control strategies utilising the dye tank pump and recycle stream were created to analyse the performance of the new equipment, and its viability for use in future coursework.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Cole, Graeme
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