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Vol. 136, Issue 1, January 2012, pp. 83-95




Digital Imaging and Piezo-dispenser Actuator in Automatic Flocculation Control


*a Jani TOMPERI, b Markus HONKANEN, c Pasi KALLIO, a Kauko LEIVISKÄ,
b Pentti SAARENRINNE, d Iiris JOENSUU, d Marjatta PIIRONEN


a Control Engineering Laboratory, Department of Process and Environmental Engineering,
P. O Box 4300, FIN-90014 University of Oulu, Finland

b Tampere University of Technology, Department of Energy and Process Engineering,
P. O. Box 589, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland

c Tampere University of Technology, Department of Automation Science and Engineering,
P. O. Box 692, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland

d Kemira Oyj, Espoo R&D Center, P. O. Box 44, FIN-02271 Espoo, Finland

* Tel.: +358 8 553 2462, fax +358 8 553 2304

E-mail: Jani.Tomperi@oulu.fi


Received: 3 November  2011   /Accepted: 24 January 2012   /Published: 30 January 2012

Digital Sensors and Sensor Sysstems


Abstract: This study presents an image-based on-line control system for a coiled pipe flocculator. A digital imaging technique developed previously is utilized to measure the characteristic floc size and a high-pressure piezo-dispenser is introduced for accurate dosing and rapid mixing of the flocculant. The controller is a conventional PI controller. Step change experiments on feed water quality, flow rate and desired floc size have been carried out for controller tuning and testing. The paper shows that the piezo-dispenser provides better flocculation results than a conventional dosing pump, and the flocculation result can be automatically controlled even when the feed water quality rapidly changes. The proposed flocculator is a simple, inexpensive and practical system for long-term laboratory tests to investigate the functionality of flocculants on varying feed waters.


Keywords: Water treatment, Coiled pipe flocculator, Piezo-dispenser, On-line control, Digital imaging


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