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Research Papers

Flow-Rate Observers in the Suppression of Compressor Surge Using Active Magnetic Bearings

[+] Author and Article Information
Se Young Yoon

e-mail: syy5b@virginia.edu

Zongli Lin

Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
University of Virginia,
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4743

Paul E. Allaire

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
University of Virginia,
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4746

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY. Manuscript received July 12, 2012; final manuscript received August 20, 2012; published online June 5, 2013. Assoc. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Turbomach 135(4), 041015 (Jun 05, 2013) (11 pages) Paper No: TURBO-12-1140; doi: 10.1115/1.4007600 History: Received July 12, 2012; Revised August 20, 2012

Surge is a dynamic flow instability that can cause extensive damage to compressors and other components. One common challenge that many surge control methods in the literature face when implemented in industrial applications is the unavailability of the high performance actuators and accurate flow rate measurements that are required to suppress surge. In this paper we present the experimental results of employing active magnetic bearings in order to suppress the surge instability in a centrifugal compressor. In addition, we compare how the selection of the flow estimation method affects the effectiveness of the implemented surge suppression controller. The experimental data demonstrates that the best combination of controller and flow estimator tested in this work allows the compressor to operate deep into the former surge region when the controller is activated, moving the minimum flow rate at the surge initiation point by 21%. This allows the compression system to operate at the highest efficiency/pressure point in the characteristic curve, while still retaining a very conservative surge margin separating the allowed compressor operating region from the surge inception point even if unexpected system changes occur.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Compressor picture with inlet and exhaust pipe

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Fig. 2

Experimental test rig layout. Throttle valve locations are at 2.2 m, 7.1 m, and 15.2 m along the exhaust pipe.

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Fig. 3

Single stage centrifugal compressor with magnetic bearings

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Fig. 4

Compressor characteristic curves

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Fig. 5

Layout of the instrumentation in the compressor surge test rig

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Fig. 6

Absolute compressor pressure measurements as the system is driven into surge by closing the throttle valve from 19% to 17% opening. The compressor is operating at 16,290 rpm.

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Fig. 7

Compression system model block diagram

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Fig. 8

Measured plenum pressure rise at 10,290 rpm and 40% throttle opening

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Fig. 9

Commanded impeller axial displacement at 10,290 rpm and 40% throttle opening

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Fig. 10

Measured frequency response of Ψp in case 2 as the throttle valve is closed during the uncontrolled test at 10,290 rpm

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Fig. 11

Measured frequency response of Ψp in case 2 as the throttle valve is closed during the controlled test at 10,290 rpm

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Fig. 12

Measured frequency response of Ψp in case 2 as the throttle valve is closed during the uncontrolled test at 13,910 rpm

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Fig. 13

Measured frequency response of Ψp in case 2 as the throttle valve is closed during the controlled test at 13,910 rpm

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Fig. 14

Measured frequency response of Ψp in case 2 as the throttle valve is closed during the uncontrolled test at 16,290 rpm

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Fig. 15

Measured frequency response of Ψp in case 2 as the throttle valve is closed during the controlled test at 16,290 rpm

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Fig. 16

Measured plenum pressure rise at 16,290 rpm and 18.5% throttle opening

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Fig. 17

Commanded impeller axial displacement at 16,290 rpm and 18.5% throttle opening

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Fig. 18

Measured frequency response of Ψp in case 3 as the throttle valve is closed during the uncontrolled test at 16,290 rpm

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Fig. 19

Measured frequency response of Ψp in case 3 as the throttle valve is closed during the controlled test at 16,290 rpm

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Fig. 20

Measured compressor characteristic curve for the controlled compressor

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Fig. 21

Measured plenum pressure rise at 16,290 rpm and 16.4% throttle opening

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Fig. 22

Commanded impeller axial displacement at 16,290 rpm and 16.4% throttle opening

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