Experimental Results of an Active Tip Clearance Control System for a Centrifugal Compressor PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author Affiliations
Duane Mattern, Link Jaw

Scientific Monitoring, Inc., Tempe, AZ

Mark Henry, Bob Fagan

Allison Engine Company, Indianapolis, IN

Paper No. 97-GT-032, pp. V004T15A009; 8 pages
  • ASME 1997 International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition
  • Volume 4: Manufacturing Materials and Metallurgy; Ceramics; Structures and Dynamics; Controls, Diagnostics and Instrumentation; Education; IGTI Scholar Award
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, June 2–5, 1997
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7871-2
  • Copyright © 1997 by ASME


Increases in compressor efficiency and pressure ratio can be achieved by controlling the blade tip-to-shroud clearance. The design and test results of a fail-safe active tip clearance control system for a centrifugal compressor are presented. An electromagnetic actuator is used to pull the compressor impeller axially to reduce the tip clearance. The actuator acts against a preloaded Belleville spring. The controlled variable is an averaged, tip-to-shroud clearance which is measured with a capacitance displacement sensor and averaging electronics. A scheduled digital PI control law was used to account for the nonlinear effects of the electromagnet with electrical current and gap size. Closed-loop tip clearance control is demonstrated over the clearance range from 0.003 inches (0.127 mm) to 0.012 inches (0.305 mm). A simplified model of the system is presented along with open and closed-loop dynamic test results. Changes in the compressor performance due to tip clearance control are also presented.

Copyright © 1997 by ASME
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