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Real time simulation of medium size gas turbines

R. Chacartegui
, D. Snchez, A. Muoz, T. Snchez
Thermal Power Group (GMTS), Escuela Tcnica Superior de Ingenieros, Camino de los descubrimientos s/n, 41092, Sevilla, Spain
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 13 May 2009
Received in revised form 7 January 2010
Accepted 30 July 2010
Available online 23 August 2010
Gas turbine
Dynamic modelling
Real time
a b s t r a c t
A tool for gas turbine dynamic simulation is presented in this work. First, a thermodynamic model of the
engine is presented, capable of predicting engine performance at full and part load conditions. This model
considers modern features as variable geometry compressor and air cooled turbine expansion. Then, two
different control techniques are assessed in order to control the engine during transient operation. After
analyzing the stability and robustness of both controllers, one of them is selected due to its faster
response and better stability.
The complete model is validated and then applied to two different transient conditions. First, some per-
turbations are applied in order to see how the control system is able to compensate these abnormal sit-
uations in order to maintain the frequency of the shaft. Then, a ramp up from idle to peak load is
analyzed. This last study is aimed at assessing the stability of the model for the widest possible load
range. According to the results shown, the stability and robustness of the model is satisfactory.
2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Industrial gas turbines are complex thermal engines with high
installation and O&M costs. Their development requires that vast
sums of money be invested since a lot of engineering, testing and
experimental work is necessary. However, such delicate and hard
labour is not always economically feasible or technologically pos-
sible due to operational constraints. Thus, a computational tool
able to provide realistic estimations of the gas turbine performance
is of great interest if it allows transient operation analysis, control
systems design or the study of critical operational modes.
Dynamic models of gas turbines are made up from a combina-
tion of rst order ordinary differential equations and algebraic
equations obtained from the evaluation of fundamental principles
like the conservation of mass, momentum and energy at each
component of the engine. In order to obtain an accurate gas turbine
dynamic model, different approaches are available, whose com-
plexity varies according to the intended application. Hence, these
models have evolved from the rst simplied schemes [1] to fre-
quency domain analysis [2] and time domain simulations [35].
Thus, a complete model of the engine can be developed from its
geometry [6,7] or from performance maps either at engine or com-
ponent level. In this latter case, some assumptions like quasi-stea-
dy behaviour are introduced along with corrections to take into
account dynamic effects, as done by Camporeale et al. [3,4]. In
more complex models, performance maps are not directly used
for the turbomachinery but, instead, compressors are analyzed
through one-dimensional equations that are derived from the inte-
gral conservation equations and applied stage by stage to include
the effects of interstage bleeding and VIGV and VSV modulation
on the compressor map, thus obtaining corrected curves as done
by Kim et al. [5] and extended to the analysis of the start up of a
heavy gas turbine [8] and a combined cycle dynamic analysis [9].
This approach is required when only constant geometry compres-
sor curves are available.
In addition to the previous models and in order to obtain an
adequate response of the gas turbine model during transient oper-
ation, as it is the case for real gas turbines, automatic control sys-
tems must be designed to control the engine operating parameters
within the allowable operating range. Different control techniques
have been used to design control systems of gas turbines and
power plants. For instance, Rowen presented a control unit model
for a real engine which was based on a proportionalintegral speed
governor, suitable for heavy-duty engines [2]. This scheme was la-
ter used with small modications by Kim for a heavy duty gas tur-
bine dynamic model [5] and for a small turbine dynamic model [9],
including a proportionalintegralderivative speed governor and
modifying the control gains. PID controllers have also been applied
for modelling the control system either in combined cycles [10
12], microturbine systems [13] and even nuclear power plants in
[14], although in this case as a feedback PI without the derivative
term. In all these cases, the controllers were used to regulate the
mass ows of fuel, water and/or steam.
More complex control systems that might be able to solve some
recurrent problems found with conventional PIDs have been sug-
gested by some authors. Thus, fuzzy logic has recently been pro-
posed by Nelson and Lakany [15] to control the exhaust
0196-8904/$ - see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +34 954 48 72 42; fax: +34 954 48 72 43.
E-mail address: (R. Chacartegui).
Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 713724
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temperature of gas turbine engines, as a way to take into account
degradation issues over time and their effect on emissions. Nonlin-
ear controllers have also been proposed, like the sliding mode con-
trol scheme suggested by Panda and Bandyopadhyay [16], based
on a variable structure control that changes at the same time as
the dynamics of the system does. A PID variant was studied by
Wang et al. [17], who propose an adaptative PID control with back
propagation neural network self- tuning in exhaust temperature of
micro gas turbine. Chippereld and Fleming [18] proposed a mul-
tiobjective controller for a gas turbine using genetic algorithms. Fi-
nally an optimal LQR controller was studied by Camporeale et al. in
[19], where shaft speed was controlled by the fuel ow rate and
turbine inlet temperature was controlled by the air mass ow
through the variable geometry of the compressor.
In this work a real time simulation code for gas turbines, imple-
mented in Matlab-Simulink

environment [20], is presented. Based

on the work by Camporeale et al. [3], a non linear model of gas tur-
bines is developed and, then, a control system that complies with
the requirements of gas turbine operation, for both static and dy-
namic operation, is incorporated to it. Two additional control sys-
tems are analyzed as variants of the standard controller. One is
based on an optimal LQG control with cascade PI and parallel open
loop tuning and the other is based on an open loop PI controller
with serial lookup table. As said, the code has been implemented
in the Matlab-Simulink

environment and provides a user friendly

graphical interface for inexpert users.
This paper is structured in ve parts. The rst part deals with
gas turbine modelling, describing the main hypotheses and design
parameters. The second part deepens in the design of the control
system and describes two different controllers that are later eval-
uated. Third, a validation of the model is performed against real
operating data at stationary design and off design conditions.
Fourth, the most appropriate controller is selected and the dy-
namic behaviour of the engine is evaluated for different situations
including abnormal operation and start ups. Finally, main conclu-
sions are given.
2. Gas turbine model
The model presented in this work is based on a component by
component approach, i.e. models for individual components are
developed initially and later integrated in a complete simulating
tool. Among other minors blocks, functions are to be developed
for the following main components: compressor, combustor, tur-
bine, sensors and actuators [3,21]. Particular features of these com-
ponents, like variable geometry stator blades or blade cooling,
must be considered where appropriate.
2.1. Thermodynamic properties of gases
Gas properties are considered to depend on temperature and
composition throughout the engine. For the case of specic heat,
which is probably the most important property along with heat
capacity ratio c for modelling purposes, this assumption can be ex-
pressed mathematically by the following expression:

T 1
where x
and Cp
stand for molar fraction and specic heat of specie i
2.2. Compressor model
The compressor model comprises two complementary blocks.
First, the stationary performance is evaluated through a two step
process. Initially, steady state pressure ratio and efciency are cal-
culated from air corrected massow and corrected rotating speed
for variable speed shafts by means of a compressor map for
maximum cross sectional area aperture angle of the compres-
sor inlet guide vanes VIGVs, as shown in [3,5,9,22,23]. Then, a cor-
rection is incorporated to account for the real position of the
VIGVs that reduces the actual air mass ow passing through the
The aforementioned correction is expressed mathematically by
Eqs. (2) and (3), where h
= 1 and h
= 0 stand for VIGV at the
fully open and fully closed positions respectively:
is the reduction in air mass ow due to a partially closed po-
sition of the VIGVs and Dm
is the total variation in air mass
ow between fully open and fully closed positions of the VIGVs in
Eqs. (2) and (3). Note that all mass ows involved in Eqs. (2) and
(3) are meant to be corrected mass ows:


specic heat at constant pressure (kJ kg
h enthalpy (kJ kg
J shaft total moment of inertia (kg m
K discharge coefcient ()
LHV low heating value (kJ kg
_ m mass ow (kg s
mass of gases in the combustor (kg)
p pressure (Pa)
t time (s)
T temperature (K)
TET turbine exhaust temperature (K)
TIT turbine inlet temperature (K)
molar fraction of specie i ()
equivalent volume of plenum (m
W power (kW)
pressure ratio ()
c specic heat ratio ()
U ow coefcient (kg K

g efciency ()
q density (kg m
s time constant (s)
x shaft speed (rad s
c compressor
cool coolant
gen generator
mec mechanical
ref reference
t turbine
VIGV variable inlet guide vanes
714 R. Chacartegui et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 713724
where T
and p
are reference temperature and pressure, gener-
ally at ISO conditions 15 C and 1.013 bar.
The power consumption of the compressor is calculated as the
product of air mass ow and enthalpy rise between inlet and dis-
charge sections, where enthalpy is again the product between spe-
cic heat at constant pressure and stagnation temperature. If g
and b
are the internal efciency and pressure ratio of the compres-
sor, discharge temperature and power consumption can be calcu-
lated as follows:

_ _ _ _

Both specic heat C
and specic heat ratio c are evaluated at
the mean pressure between inlet and outlet sections of the com-
pressor in Eq. (5).
The above calculations have been done disregarding any un-
steady effects affecting mass conservation. However, these effects
must be included in a real time simulation and, therefore, a plenum
is added at the compressor discharge section to account for them.
The performance of this plenum constitutes the second block of the
compressor model.
The plenum is considered to be equivalent to an isentropic pas-
sage where the air velocity is assumed to be low enough as to ne-
glect momentum variations. Thus, conservation of energy, and
therefore temperature, and pressure across this component is
T; pj
T; pj
The continuity equation for the isentropic unsteady ow across
the plenum can be written as [3,24]:


c R T

_ m
_ m
from which pressure variations due to mass accumulation in the
compressor passages, transition duct and combustor can be
Finally, as a third block in the compressor model, and although
this phenomenon takes place downstream of the compressor, air
bleeding for turbine cooling is considered. The amount of air being
directed to the turbine cooling system is calculated by Eq. (9) [25].
Thus, assuming a value for the discharge coefcient K, which de-
pends on turbine design ultimately, the air mass ow bled from
the compressor for the nth blade row is:
_ m



where cd and in,n stand for bleeding conditions at compressor
outlet/discharge and conditions at the entrance to the nth turbine
blade row, where n varies depending on the number of cooled blade
rows of the turbine. The total bleeding air mass ow is:
_ m

_ m




Input data for the compressor model are the following:
Intake conditions: pressure, temperature and relative humidity.
VIGV position, a value between 0, fully closed, and 1, fully open.
Air mass ow in the previous tine step, to avoid algebraic loops.
Pressure at the injection point of each cooled blade row of the
Output data are:
Pressure ratio and efciency.
Power consumption.
Discharge pressure and temperature/enthalpy.
Air mass ow bled from the compressor for each cooled blade
row and total cooling air mass ow.
2.3. Combustor model
The combustor is considered to be a pure energy accumulator
where no unsteady effects regarding mass accumulation are taken
into account. Hence, pressure and temperature take the same val-
ues at all points of the combustor, which correspond to pressure
and temperature at its outlet section. Under these assumptions,
the equation of energy conservation is:

_ m
LHV _ m
_ m
p pgas;out
where low heating value LHV depends on fuel composition. Time
constant s
for Eq. (11) is calculated as follows:

c m
where M
is the total mass of gases inside the combustor at each
time step. M
depends on outlet pressure, outlet temperature and
composition and is calculated with the ideal gas equation under
the assumption of complete combustion of fuel to carbon dioxide,
water steam, nitrogen and oxygen.
Input data for the combustor model are the following:
Air mass ow, pressure and temperature at compressor
Fuel ow and composition.
Output data are mass ow, temperature, pressure, enthalpy and
gas composition at combustor outlet.
2.4. Turbine model
The model of the turbine comprises two different blocks, as it
was the case for the compressor. On one hand, a block evaluates
the steady performance of the turbine while, on the other hand,
a second block evaluates the unsteady performance due to the ef-
fect of mass accumulation at the interstage free spaces on pressure
variations along the expansion line.
However, with respect to the compressor model, there exists an
essential difference since the turbine is a cooled machine, partly or
entirely. Thus, the cooling air injected into the turbine affects the
pressure and temperature of the main gas stream owing through
it and, therefore, modies the expansion line of this component.
From a thermodynamic point of view, the turbine can not be con-
sidered an adiabatic machine.
In order to determine the starting point of the expansion line of
the turbine, pressure and temperature are needed at this location.
Both parameters are linked to the mass ow of combustion gases
through the following ow parameter, whose value is determined
at on design operating conditions:

: 13
Starting from these initial conditions, the expansion line of the
turbine is used to:
R. Chacartegui et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 713724 715
Evaluate enthalpy variations and, therefore, useful work.
Calculate the pressures at the different locations where cooling
air is injected into the turbine. With this information, the mass
ow of cooling air bled for each blade row can be calculated
through Eq. (10).
The expansion line of the turbine is constructed with the meth-
od proposed by El-Masri [26] and later used by other authors [3,5].
It can be divided into the following steps:
1. A mixing process between the main gas ow and the cooling
air for the rst stator, Eq. (10), takes place at the inlet to the
rst stage. The resulting temperature of the mixed ow is
calculated from the following mass and energy conservation
_ m
_ m
_ m
_ m
_ m
_ m
This process takes place at constant pressure, i.e. no pressure
loss, and is represented in gure A between points A and B.
2. A certain pressure loss is applied due to the mixing process. This
loss takes place at constant enthalpy and is usually evaluated
from experimental data, although there are available numerical
expressions to evaluate it. However, these equations require
that a detailed analysis of stage velocity diagrams be done
and, still, they need some experimental information [27]. In this
work, a 2% pressure loss is considered line BC in Fig. 1.
3. An adiabatic expansion process is now considered through the
stage, line CD in Fig. 1. Assuming a certain isentropic efciency,
which can be obtained from the Smith charts [28,29], the tem-
perature at stage outlet depends on expansion ratio and gas
composition as expressed by the following equation:
1 g
1 p

_ _ _ _
4. Next, a new mixing process between the main gas stream and
the cooling air of the rotor is considered, again at constant pres-
sure. The resulting temperature of the mixed ow is calculated
_ m
_ m
_ m
_ m
_ m
_ m
Note that the enthalpy of the cooling air is the same for Eqs. (15)
and (18) since the bleeding point at the compressor is common
for both of them. This mixing process is represented in Fig. 1 be-
tween points D and E.
5. Finally, a new pressure drop is considered as in step 3 above,
line EF in Fig. 1.
This procedure is applied to all the cooled stages in the turbine.
For the uncooled stages, if any, only step 3 is needed.
The previous equations constitute the rst block of the turbine
model, regarding steady performance. Now, unsteady effects due
to mass accumulation are considered by adding a plenum between
each pair of turbine stages. These plena are modelled as in the
compressor discharge section before, Eq. (8), but now V
is the vol-
ume of the free space between two consecutive turbine stages, and
c is evaluated for the composition and temperature of the expand-
ing gas at the specied location.
The model described in this section gives the distributions of
mass ow, temperature and pressure along the gas path of the tur-
bine. With this information, the power produced by this compo-
nent can be evaluated using the following equation:

_ m
_ _
n being the number of turbine stages.
Input data for the turbine model are: inlet temperature and
mass ow, composition of combustion gases, cooling air mass
ows and efciency. Outputs are temperature, pressure and mass
ow distributions along the gas path, exhaust temperature and
generated power.
2.5. Solving strategy
Sections 2.2 to 2.4 have shown models for the three major com-
ponents of a gas turbine engine and, for each of them, a list of input
and output data of the model has been given. It is worth noting
that these parameters are not independent and, instead, a unique
solution exists that satises all the equations at the same time.
Thus, an iterative process is required in order to nd the operating
point of the engine as exposed by El-Masri [27].
For real time simulation purposes, the time required for the
aforementioned solution to be obtained must be shorter than the
time needed by the physical system, in this case the gas turbine en-
gine, to achieve the new operating conditions, what depends on
the dynamic characteristics of the system. If such a simulator is
available, an appropriate set of sensors and actuators can be de-
signed as to control the engine in the required way. The following
Section describes different strategies that can be applied to control
the engine.
3. Control system
3.1. Preliminary considerations
An automatic control system capable of operating the gas tur-
bine engine autonomously is now designed. Such system must be
able to adjust the engine to the desired operating conditions and,
at the same time, comply with a number of operational constraints.
These constraints can be divided in the following groups:
Mechanical integrity: vibrations reduction, stress limitation,
temperature time gradient, abrupt action of actuators. . ..
Fig. 1. Model of expansion in a cooled turbine stage.
716 R. Chacartegui et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 713724
Safe operation: maximum temperature in the hot gas path com-
ponents, frequency/shaft speed oscillations, surge margin at the
compressor. . ..
Three different types of variables have to be dened before
designing the control system:
Variables to be controlled.
Variables to be measured. These measurements feed the con-
troller which, in turn, determines control actions.
Variables to act upon. Decisions made by the controller affect
these variables in order to control the system.
Any set point of the engine is dened by the amount of power
demanded by the grid and the frequency at which the power is
to be generated. Thus, it is mandatory that the power turbine ro-
tates constantly at 3000/3600 rpm 50/60 Hz for direct coupling
between engine and generator or at a another speed if a gearbox is
present. In any case, the dynamic behaviour of the power shaft of a
gas turbine is described by the following equation:


_ _

_ _
where x is the rotational speed, g
the mechanical efciency of
the power shaft, J the total moment of inertia of the shaft and P
and P
the power produced/consumed by turbine, compres-
sor and generator respectively. For single shaft engines, all these
variables are present. For multishaft gas turbines, P
is not pres-
ent and P
applies to the power turbine exclusively. The same
considerations are applicable to the calculation of J.
The power setting must be satised with the maximum afford-
able efciency, what depends mainly on the value of temperature
at turbine inlet. Therefore, since the high temperature section of
the turbine is very hazardous for sensors to operate reliably, the
turbine exhaust temperature, or gas generator exhaust tempera-
ture for multishaft engines, is taken as an indirect measurement
of its equivalent at turbine inlet [17,30], to guarantee that maxi-
mum efciency is achieved. Tuning the engine to this performance
is done by acting upon the fuel ow injected into the combustor.
The interdependence among these variables is expressed by the
following equation:

_ m
The last variable involved in the control system is the position
of the variable geometry blades of the compressor which is and
indirect measurement of the amount of air owing through the en-
gine. This air mass ow is needed since it affects the power con-
sumed/produced by the compressor/turbine, Eqs. (6) and (19),
and the turbine inlet temperature, Eq. (11).
Table 1 shows a summary of the controlled, measured and
manipulated variables of the control system to be implemented
in the turbine. It is observed that a strong interdependence exists
between manipulated and controlled variables. Such a control sys-
tem is usually dened as a multivariable system and its design is
somewhat complex due to the aforementioned interdependence,
especially for highly nonlinear systems like gas turbines.
3.2. Measurement and operating equipment: sensors and actuators
Sensors and actuators have to be dened and modelled before
designing the controller. For the rst case, and according to Table
1, sensors that measure the instantaneous value of shaft speed
and turbine exhaust temperature are needed. A set of thermocou-
ples with radiation shields is used to evaluate temperature at tur-
bine exhaust while, for the rotational speed of the shaft, a simple
tachometer is adopted. Fig. 2 shows the model of both sensors,
where the tachometer has been assigned a unity stationary gain
in the consideration that its response be much faster than that of
the thermocouples.
Looking at Table 1 again, actuators for the fuel delivery valve
and the variable stator vanes positioning lever are necessary. These
are shown in Fig. 3 where the complete fuel supply system deliv-
ery valve, piping, injectors and mixers has been considered.
3.3. Controller design
Three different controllers have been considered by the authors
in developing the complete real time simulator of the gas turbine.
First, a one step ahead adaptive controller was considered since
this control theory is suitable for unsteady non linear systems
whose dynamics are not known previously. However, when ap-
plied to the turbine, the commands on the actuators were found
to be too abrupt and, as a consequence, high frequency oscillations
of the manipulated variables, and consequently the controlled vari-
ables, were present. No convergence was found and, thus, newcon-
trollers were investigated which are further described in the
following subsections.
3.3.1. Optimal LQG control with cascade PI and parallel open loop
First of all, an optimal LQG controller with cascade PI and par-
allel open loop tuning is considered [31]. An internal loop makes
use of an LQG controller, called the slave controller, aimed at con-
trolling the generated power signal as an intermediate variable,
while an external loop uses a PI controller called the master con-
troller that controls the rotating speed. Since LQG controllers apply
to linear systems and gas turbine are highly non linear, a look up
table for open loop tuning is employed. This table, which is ob-
tained empirically by running the model at different steady states
conditions [22], provides a rst estimation of the corrective actions
needed to achieve the new operating conditions of the engine, later
corrected by the linearized cascade controller. Figs. 4 and 5 show
the block diagram and Simulink implementation of this controller
This cascade control system uses two feedback controllers,
though only one of them slave gives relevant information for
the engine user net shaft power. On the contrary, the master con-
troller is responsible for keeping the shaft speed at the same value
under any operating conditions. Thus, this master PI controller pro-
vides the set point for the slave controller.
Henceforth, if a perturbation happens in the inner loop power,
a corrective action is commanded by the slave controller in order
to prevent the perturbation from passing to the outer loop. If the
perturbation is located in the outer loop engine speed, the master
controller changes the set point of the inner loop controller.
3.3.2. Open loop PI controller with serial lookup table
Finally, an open loop PI controller with serial lookup table is
considered. This is similar to the previous controller but does not
Table 1
Variables involved in the control system.
Type of variable
Controlled Measured Manipulated
Generated power (P
) Rotating speed (x) Fuel ow (m
Global efciency
Turbine inlet
temperature (TIT)
Turbine exhaust
temperature (TET)
Compressor geometry
R. Chacartegui et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 713724 717
include the secondary control loop, which must now be of the open
type and therefore requires that a reference set point be given by
another controller in order to act upon changes in the dynamics
of the main loop. Thus, a conventional PI acts as the main controller
engine speed while the secondary controller makes use of a
look up table to estimate the appropriate corrective action fuel
system or compressor geometry. It is worth noting that this sec-
ondary controller acts upon the system if shaft speed deviations
are registered but does not control the exhaust temperature in
the closed loop. However, this temperature has been previously
controlled during the design process of the secondary controller
generation of look up tables. In this sense, it is considered that
the ramp up curve of the engine is smooth enough as to assume
that the dynamics of the exhaust temperature are not far from
the values obtained at stationary conditions. The validation of
the model, shown later, conrms this assumption. Figs. 6 and 7
show the block diagram and Simulink implementation of this
With respect to the previous one, this controller is easier in that
it does not require that the system be linearized at different load
4. Validation of the model at design and off design stationary
In this section, the model presented above is applied to the Sie-
mens V64.3 gas turbine and the results obtained are compared
with available data from this engine [4,21]. This is a single shaft
fuel exible unit commonly used in electricity generation and
combined heat and power production. The Siemens V 64.3 gas tur-
bine has two horizontal combustors, a 17 stages axial compressor
with variable geometry stator vanes in the rst four stages and a
four stages turbine. At the turbine, the rst seven blade rows are
cooled with air bled from the compressor. Since it is an industrial
engine, the shaft rotates steadily at 5400 rpm 90 Hz and turns
the generator at 3000 rpm 50 Hz through a gearbox with a
1.8:1 gear ratio.
Table 2 shows real and computed performance data at rated and
peak load operation for natural gas fuel and ISO ambient conditions
15 C, 1013 mbar and 60% humidity. It must be noted that, since
the compressor map of the reference engine was not available, a
standard map for a 17 stage compressor with lower mass ow
capacity has been scaled up and applied to the model as shown
in [32].
As shown in the rightmost column of Table 2, the maximum
deviations of the model from real data are below 2% and are asso-
ciated to exhaust temperature and fuel ow. The following
assumptions of the model are identied as the sources of these
Cooled turbine expansion line calculation, as described in Sec-
tion 2.4. The model assumes that cooling air is injected dis-
cretely between blade rows but the real cooling process is
continuous. The end point of the expansion line exhaust tem-
perature is affected by the cumulative error of the entire
Cooling air calculation. The amount of compressed air needed
for cooling depends on the expansion line of the turbine and
the discharge characteristics of the cooling system injection
holes at the turbine. The inaccuracy of the expansion line calcu-
lation and the lack of precise information about the geometry of
the cooling passages affect the calculated mass ow entering
the combustor. Thus, since the fuel ow depends on the air
mass ow into the combustion chamber, a deviation from real
data arises.
Fig. 2. Temperature and rotational speed sensors.
Fig. 3. VIGV and fuel system actuators.
Fig. 4. Optimal LQG control with cascade PI and parallel open loop tuning.
718 R. Chacartegui et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 713724
Fig. 8 shows real and computed data of efciency and perfor-
mance parameters for part load operation following a typical con-
stant exhaust temperature strategy. From idle to 50%, load is
increased by increasing turbine inlet temperature for variable
geometry compressor vanes at their closest position. Then, from
50% to full load, compressor vanes are opened while turbine inlet
temperature still increases, though at a lower rate than in the pre-
vious range. Again, good agreement between model and reference
is achieved with a maximum error below 4%, which is obtained at
very low loads near idle operation. From the information in Table 2
and Fig. 8, the model is considered to be accurate in a wide range of
operating conditions.
5. Control system analysis and transient performance
5.1. System selection
In order to analyze the stability and robustness of the control
system, and make the appropriate selection, the model is run at
different stationary power settings until convergence is achieved.
The results of such analyses for full load and 70% load are shown
in Fig. 9 where the following operating parameters are depicted:
fuel to air ratio, VIGV position and frequency; in all cases, the
variables are plotted against integration time. From the numeri-
cal point of view, the open loop PI controller shows a good per-
formance and time evolution in the whole load range while the
LQG controller performs satisfactorily for loads higher than 70%.
For the latter control system at loads lower than 70%, numerical
problems cause slow response in shaft speed control, requiring
180 s to achieve the rated value 5 s for the PI-based controller.
These time values in Fig. 9 are simulated operating time of
the engine and correspond to a computation time of less than 3 s
in a 1.73 GHz computer, considering that the differential and alge-
braic equation are implemented in Matlab-Simulink

ment. This software is a common environment for modelling
control systems, widely used by control systems researchers, that
perfectly conforms to the requirements of this analysis. For the
case of ordinary differential equations generated for both control
systems, these are solved with the ode23tb Matlab function, which
Fig. 5. Optimal LQG control with cascade PI and parallel open loop tuning. Simulink implementation.
Fig. 6. Open loop PI controller with serial lookup table.
R. Chacartegui et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 713724 719
is an implementation of TR-BDF2, an implicit RungeKutta formula
with a trapezoidal rule rst step and a backward differentiation
formula of order two for the second step. The same iteration matrix
is used to evaluate both steps.
From the information in Fig. 9, and considering that computa-
tion time is not high for any of the two controllers shown, the open
loop PI controller with serial lookup table is selected due to its
more stable behaviour in the numerical simulation.
5.2. Control system under the effect of perturbations
In this section, the performance of the selected controller under
perturbations occurring in some gas turbine components is ana-
lyzed [33]. This situation is modelled by introducing white noise
[34] under the form of a 20% perturbation in the rated value of
the selected variable. The analysis is shown for full load operation.
First of all, a failure of an actuator is simulated which can be
associated to a mismatch in VIGV positioning or a bouncing fuel
metering valve. The perturbation is considered to last for 5 s
and Fig. 10 shows in top left that the control system is able to
compensate for this perturbation keeping the deviation of fre-
quency from its rated value below 0.03%. The next perturbation
considered is due to fuel impurities or modied fuel composition
and is analyzed in the top right plot in Fig. 10. The perturbation
time is now increased to 10 s and, again, the control system mit-
igates its effect and reduces the maximum frequency deviation
below 0.008%. Third, a deterioration of the generator is consid-
ered, causing an irregular power demand. This situation is simu-
lated as a 20 s perturbation whose effect on frequency is shown
in the bottom left plot in Fig. 10. It is appreciated that frequency
oscillations are below 0.004%. Finally, a load rejection is consid-
ered in order to analyze the risk of gas turbine overspeed. This
failure is simulated with a step signal at 5 s of numerical integra-
tion. The bottom right plot in Fig. 10 shows an initial acceleration
followed by a speed reduction actuated by the controller. Eventu-
ally, after 20 s, the control system is able to maintain shaft speed
at its rated value.
Two preliminary conclusions are drawn from Fig. 10. First of all,
it is shown that the model of the engine performs stable simula-
tions at off design conditions of different kinds and for a wide
range of power settings (load rejection when running at full load).
Second, the control system credits its ability to act on the engine
minimizing the effect of perturbations of different kinds and avoid-
ing deviations from the frequency of the grid.
5.3. Transient performance of the engine
Finally, an analysis of the transient performance of the engine is
shown in order to illustrate the operational modes of the engine at
Fig. 7. Open loop PI controller with serial lookup table. Simulink implementation.
Table 2
Model validation.
Rated Peak load e
Reference Computed Reference Computed
Shaft power
61.5 61.5 66.7 66.7 0
Efciency (% LHV) 35.8 35.6 36.1 36.4 0.73
Pressure ratio () 15.6 25.6 15.9 15.8 0.44
Fuel ow (kg/s) 3.44 3.50 3.69 3.71 1.71
Exhaust ow
187 187 187 187.2 0.11
TIT (kg/s) 1250 1250 1298 1298.2 0.02
TET (C) 534 533.6 565 554.3 1.89
720 R. Chacartegui et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 713724
different power settings. For this dynamic analysis, a transition
from idle to peak load operation in 240 s is studied. This fast start
up might be representative of a hot start manoeuvre after, for
example, the load rejection considered in Fig. 10. For a cold start
with the engine at room temperature, the slope of the load line
should be decreased in order to reduce the time temperature gra-
dient of the hot section components i.e. increased start time.
However, since the analysis shown is from idle to peak load, this
operation could also be expected from a peaking unit where the
faster deterioration of the engine due to fast starts is compensated
for by the higher economical revenue of high electricity prices. Re-
sults are shown in Fig. 11.
The following ve operational modes/stages are appreciated in
Fig. 11:
Fig. 8. Part load operation: efciency left and internal parameters right shown for reference circles and model solid line [8]. All parameters normalized to rated
Fig. 9. Comparison of controllers as a function of integration time: fuelair ratio (top left), VIGV position (top right), frequency (bottom).
R. Chacartegui et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 713724 721
1. Idle operation, from 0 to 10 s. VIGVs at their closest position
and minimum turbine inlet temperature TIT.
2. Idle to 50% load, 125 s total time. Fuel ow and turbine inlet
and exhaust temperatures are increased but VIGVs are still
at their closest position. Hence, pressure ratio is almost
3. 50100% load, 250 s total time. The engine operates at con-
stant turbine exhaust temperature. VIGVs are opened pro-
gressively, therefore increasing air mass ow and pressure
ratio. Turbine inlet temperature also increases but at a lower
rate than in the previous stage so that turbine exhaust tem-
perature remains constant. At full load, VIGVs are fully open
and turbine inlet temperature is at its rated value.
4. Full to peak (108.5%) load. Additional power is obtained by
increasing turbine inlet temperature above its rated value.
As a consequence, turbine exhaust temperature and pressure
ratio increase while VIGVs remain at the fully open position.
5. Steady operation at peak load for the rest of the time period
Overall, fuel mass ow increases linearly from idle to peak load
while VIGVs are only used from 50% to 100% load. In this range,
their position varies linearly. In other words, from idle to 50%
and from 100% to peak load, power control is done by means of fuel
ow exclusively. Thus, turbine inlet temperature is seen to change
substantially with load within this range. For middle loads, 50
100%, VIGVs and fuel ow are used simultaneously to change the
power setting. Since air and fuel ows are now varied at the same
time, turbine inlet temperature increases at a lower rate than in
the previous load range.
The aforementioned control regimes can also be appreciated in
the bottom left plot in Fig. 11 showing compressor performance.
Three different stages are identied. For low loads, VIGVs remain
at their closest position and the power consumed by the compres-
sor is hardly affected by a negligible increase in pressure ratio.
Then, VIGVs start to open and compressor power increases sub-
stantially due to the effect of pressure ratio and circulating mass
ow. Finally, from full to peak load, compressor power increases
at a lower rate affected by pressure ratio but not mass ow since
VIGVs remain at the same position.
With respect to frequency, an initial drop is shown in Fig. 11,
bottomright, due to initial loading of the engine while the opposite
situation is appreciated when peak load is achieved. In this latter
case, there is a tendency of the engine to accelerate that is imme-
diately corrected by the control system. In both situations, the sta-
bilisation time is 10 s and the process is smooth without over
oscillations. Frequency deviations are below 0.002%.
6. Conclusions
The main conclusions of this work are the following:
A dynamic model of performance for gas turbine engines has
been developed and validated. This model is based on zero-
dimensional conservation equations applied to each component
of the engine for steady state performance calculations and
intermediate plena to account for unsteady effects.
Two controllers have been considered for the automatic opera-
tion of the engine, both of them showing good results at steady
state off design performance and small computational time
Fig. 10. Effect of perturbations: actuators (top left), fuel (top right), generator (bottom left) and load rejection (bottom right).
722 R. Chacartegui et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 713724
requirements. However, the open loop PI controller with serial
lookup table is selected for dynamic operation due to its stabil-
ity, reliability and robustness. Results for the dynamic analysis
show that this controller is more stable than the LQG option.
The validation against steady state performance data is fully
satisfactory in spite of the model incorporating some internal
The ability of the model to act on the engine when perturba-
tions of different nature take place opens a broad eld of oper-
ational analysis with the tool developed.
In summary, a very useful tool for dynamic simulation and anal-
ysis of gas turbine engines is presented in this paper. This model
has proved to be accurate at predicting part load analysis of the en-
gine and able to simulate abnormal operation. The application of
such operating conditions to different power plant analyses will
be reported in future works by the authors.
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