Most thermostatic controllers utilise proportional PI or PID temperature control, which is set up in the factory and fixed. ICO uses a heuristic real-time adaptive PID control; in this case the proportional control parameters are adjusted as the controller heats up and stabilises. Based on the heat-up rate, the load and volume of liquid are calculated and an assessment made of liquid type; the control algorithm is then adjusted accordingly. The benefit to the user is that the controller applies the optimum control algorithm for any given situation. This is a feature not available on competitive products, as the fixed control is always a compromise.
ICO offers additional safety for users working with oil, as excessive localised heating at the heater element is prevented, and cracking avoided; cracking oil can produce toxic fumes and may present a potential fire hazard.
With Labwise™ software it is possible to see the control adapting in real time on the status display, as the controller heats up and locks onto the desired temperature.