Hydraulic fracturing is one of the key technologies for producing shale oil and gas. During hydraulic fracturing, a blender is used to mix sand with water and chemicals to obtain a fluidic mixture that will be pumped down a well to frack rocks. In order to achieve high-quality fracturing during a job, the blender needs to maintain its tub level as well as the density of the fluidic mixture. In this paper, an auto-tuning proportional-integral (PI) control is developed for the blender automation system to maintain the tub level of its fluidic mixture. The control system adopts a single-loop PI with gains that can be auto-tuned during a job. A relay feedback test is conducted for auto-tuning the PI gains online. The auto-tuning PI control has been successfully tested in a blender simulator. Experimental results have shown that the control performance was improved after auto-tuning and that the control system was adaptive to variation in system parameters.

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