Vibration control of a flexible rotor/magnetic bearing system subject to direct forcing and base motion disturbances

M. O. T. Cole, P. S. Keogh, C. R. Burrows

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During operation, a rotor/magnetic bearing system may be subject to various sources of vibration, either directly applied to the rotor or transmitted through the bearings owing to base motion. This paper considers controller designs that are capable of attenuating vibration arising from either source. It advances the current state of research in the area since other controller designs have considered only the direct forcing case. If base motion is not considered in the design of the controller then this disturbance may cause the bearing clearance limits to be reached. Controller design is formulated as an H optimization problem, with mixed design objectives. A new controller is derived that can simultaneously reduce vibration and minimize the effect of base motion on relative rotor to bearing displacement. Account is taken of the fact that the bearings can apply only limited control force. The design study was complemented by a programme of experimental work. The base of a rig was subjected to impulse inputs and the results show the effectiveness of the new controller design. It is demonstrated that proportional, integral and derivative (PID) controllers, or controllers designed for unbalance vibration attenuation only, may result in rotor contact with retainer bushes, while the new controller may prevent contact. The potential now exists for continuing safe operation of flexible rotor/magnetic bearing systems such as compressors, gas turbines, generators, etc., in transport applications, during seismic events or in environments with expected base input disturbances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-546
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1998


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