Control Valve Setpoint Not Achievable

It is possible that the control valve cannot achieve the specified control setpoint. There are several actions the valve can take in such cases. By default, the Always Control (Never Fail) feature is selected. This option is physically unrealistic but useful for modeling purposes. The reason this option is physically unrealistic is that the valve can add pressure to maintain control, thus acting like a pump. If this occurs, the user is clearly warned in the output. The Always Control option is useful because it gives a clear indication to the user of how far away the valve is from being able to control. The pressure added to control can be seen in the Warnings section, or in the Valve Summary table on the Output window.

Flow Control Valves

For flow control valves, other options for valves which cannot achieve control are to have the valve Open Fully or Close. By default the valve fully opens. Once the control valve loses control, whether open or closed, AFT Fathom will solve the model again.

Pressure Control Valves

Pressure control valves are more complicated. These valves have two potential actions when control cannot be achieved. The first action is when the control cannot be achieved due to insufficient upstream pressure. The second is due to excessive downstream pressure. The default behavior for pressure reducing valves is to Open Fully due to insufficient upstream pressure, and close due to excessive downstream pressure. The defaults for pressure sustaining valves are the opposite. You can override the default behavior by clearing the Use Default Actions selection and specifying the desired actions.

AFT Fathom will determine if the valve can maintain control based on the Loss When Fully Open value. If this fully-open pressure drop is greater than the pressure drop which balances the system, the control valve can't achieve its setpoint. In other words, the control valve can’t open wide enough (becoming less restrictive) to achieve control, and will revert to using the Loss When Fully Open specified by the user. If you enter data in the Open Percentage table on the Optional tab, you can select to have the data taken directly from the table for the 100% open case. You can also choose to not have any losses associated with the valve in the full-open state by selecting None.