Due to its nonlinear nature, the supply fan at air handling units with the controller tuned at the design condition tends to be aggressive and oscillate under partial load conditions. The objective of this paper is to develop and validate a gain scheduling control strategy to improve its nonlinear control performance. First, a control-oriented model, which does not require numerous physical parameters and extensive test data, is developed to study the nonlinearity of the fan system. Based on the theoretical model and experimental verifications, the issue of an aggressive response with a conventional fixed-gain controller is caused by the fact that the system gain is proportional to the ratio of the duct static pressure to the fan speed. To address the issue, a scheduling function of the measurable duct static pressure and fan speed is proposed to be included in the conventional fixed-gain controller to compensate for the fan system gain variation. The gain scheduling control strategy is found to approximately maintain the identical control performance under all operation conditions. Most importantly, the gain scheduling control strategy can be readily implemented without intensive computation and additional measurements, showing a promising potential in industrial applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Building and Construction
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes