Research Articles

Pelton Turbine Needle Control Model Development, Validation, and Governor Designs

[+] Author and Article Information
Randell M. Johnson

Lead Engineer
Transmission Planning and Strategy,
Northeast Utilities,
Hartford, CT 06141

Joe H. Chow

Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
Troy, NY 12180

MATLAB and SIMULINK are trademarks of The MathWorks, Inc., Natick, MA.

Manager Hydro Projects,
Anchorage Municipal Light & Power,
Anchorage, AK 99501

1The research was performed when R. Johnson was a Ph.D. student at RPI, prior to his current affiliation with Northeast Utilities.

2Corresponding author.


Contributed by the Dynamic Systems Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control. Manuscript received July 28, 2008; final manuscript received September 17, 2012; published online December 19, 2012. Editor: J. Karl Hedrick.

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 135(1), 011015 (Dec 19, 2012) (10 pages) Paper No: DS-08-1227; doi: 10.1115/1.4007972 History: Received July 28, 2008; Revised September 17, 2012

Underspeed needle control of two Pelton turbine hydro units operating in a small power system has caused many incidents of partial system blackouts. Among the causes are conservative governor designs with regard to small signal stability limits, nonminimum phase power characteristics, and long tunnel-penstock traveling wave effects. A needle control model is developed from “water to wires” and validated for hydro-turbine dynamics using turbine test data. Model parameters are tuned using a trajectory sensitivity method. In the governor design proposed here the needle regulation gains are distributed into the power and frequency governor loops with a multi-timescale approach. Elements of speed loop gain scheduling and a new inner-loop pressure stabilization circuit are devised to improve the frequency regulation and to damp the traveling wave effects. Simulation studies show the improvements of the proposed control designs.

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Fig. 1

Needle control functional diagram

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Fig. 2

Needle servomotor block diagram

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Fig. 3

Elastic tunnel-penstock simulation diagram

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Fig. 4

90 MW plant load rejection test data

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Fig. 5

6 MW unit load acceptance test data

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Fig. 6

Unit emergency shutdown test data

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Fig. 7

Uncompensated single unit bode plots

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Fig. 8

Governor regulator diagram

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Fig. 9

Traveling wave damper

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Fig. 10

Root locus with pressure stabilization

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Fig. 11

Response with pressure oscillation stabilizer

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Fig. 12

Compensated system frequency responses

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Fig. 13

Speed-loop gain scheduling time response



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