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Nonlinear Control and Modeling of Rotating Stall in an Axial Flow Compressor


Behnken, Robert Louis (1997) Nonlinear Control and Modeling of Rotating Stall in an Axial Flow Compressor. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/ke8m-n471.


This thesis focuses on understanding the use of air injection as a means of controlling rotating stall in an axial flow compressor, involving modeling, dynamical systems analysis, and experimental investigations.

The first step towards this understanding was the development of a low order model for air injection control, the starting point of which was the Moore and Greitzer model for axial flow compressors. The Moore and Greitzer model was extended to include the effects of air injection and bifurcation analysis was performed to determine how the closed loop system dynamics are different from those of the open loop system. This low order model was then used to determine the optimal placement of the air injection actuators.

Experimental work focused on verifying that the low order model, developed for air injection actuation, qualitatively captured the behavior of the Caltech compressor rig. Open loop tests were performed to determine how the placement of the air injectors on the rig affected the performance of the compressor. The positioning of the air injectors that provided the greatest control authority were used in the development of air injection controllers for rotating stall. The controllers resulted in complete elimination of the hysteresis associated with rotating stall. The use of a throttle actuator for the control of the surge dynamics was investigated, and then combined with an air injection controller for rotating stall; the resulting controller performed quite well in throttle disturbance rejection tests.

A higher order model was developed to qualitatively match the experimental results with a simulation. The results of this modeling effort compared quite well with the experimental results for the open loop behavior of the Caltech rig. The details of how the air injection actuators affect the compressor flow were included in this model, and the simulation predicted the same optimal controller that was developed through experimentation.

The development of the higher order model also included the investigation of systematic methods for determining the simulation parameters. Based on experimental measurements of compression system transients, the open loop simulation parameters were identified, including values for the compressor performance characteristic in regions where direct measurements were not possible. These methods also provided information on parameters used in the modeling of the pressure rise delivered by the compressor under unsteady flow conditions.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Mechanical engineering ; Axial Flow Compressor
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Mechanical Engineering
Awards:Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award, 2021
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Brennen, Christopher E. (advisor)
  • Murray, Richard M. (co-advisor)
Group:Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:3 September 1996
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-07102006-085216
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2845
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:03 Aug 2006
Last Modified:22 Jul 2021 17:41

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