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Compensators - GATE Study

Material in PDF
In these GATE Preparation Notes, we discuss Compensators. These are used for
performance improvement. In the previous lesson about Design and Tuning in Control
System, we studied the different types of controllers and their usage in time response
improvement. Improvement in parameter can be brought in, either through time
response specifications or through frequency response specifications. Once a set of
performance specifications has been selected, the next aim is to select a configuration
forth overall system. To improve the performance, comparators can be used in the

This topic on Compensators forms an important part of Control Systems. Here we will
learn about concepts such as Cascade Compensators, Feedback Compensators,
Phase Lead Compensators, Phase Lag Compensators, Lag Lead
Compensators, Maximum Lead-Lag Frequency, and Maximal Phase Lead-
Lag. This topic is important from the point of view of GATE EE and GATE EC. It is
also useful for exams like IES, BSNL, BARC, DRDO etc.

Before starting this module, you are advised to take a look at some of the previous
articles. You can download this article in PDF to refer and revise later.

Recommended Reading –
Design & Tuning in Control Systems

Routh Hurwitz Stability Criteria

Stability of Control Systems

Time Response of Second Order Systems

Polar Plot and its Analysis

Nyquist Plot & Its Stability Criteria

Bode Plot & Relative Stability

In terms of block diagram and transfer function, the compensator can be placed either
in the cascade (or series) with the main transfer function or in the feedback (or parallel)
path. The positioning of compensators is shown as follows.

Cascade Compensation

Feedback Compensation

In general, there are two situations in which compensation is required. In the first
situation, the system is absolutely unstable and the compensation is required to stabilize
it as well as to achieve a specified performance. In the second case, the system is stable
but the compensation is required to obtain the desired performance. They are used
when the system alone cannot meet the required specifications due to the physical
limitation of components used.

The types of compensators used are

1. Phase Lead Compensator

2. Phase Lag Compensator

3. Lag Lead Compensator

Phase Lead Compensator

General form of lead compensator is given as

Gc (s) =
1 1
Here, z = ,p =
T αT
α= < 1 for lead compensator
The pole zero location of lead compensator in s-plane is given as

Transfer function of compensator can also be written as

s + z z (z + 1)
Gc (s) = =
s + p P ( s + 1)

α(1 + sT)
Gc (s) = α<1
(1 + αsT)
Now, α is an attenuation factor hence lead compensator is always used with an amplifier

(1 + sT)
After applying amplifier, Gc (s) =
(1 + αsT)

√1 + ω2 T 2
|Gc (jω)| = , ∠Gc (jω) = tan−1 (ωT) − tan−1 (αωT)
√1 + α2 ω2 T 2
Critical frequency due to zero, ωz =
Critical frequency due to pole, ωp =
ωz < ωp(∵α<1)
The Bode plot for the system can be drawn as

From the plot above, phase lead compensator can be said as analogous to high pass
Maximum phase is achieved at ωm frequency

at ω = ωm , =0

ωm = = √ ωz ωp
(Try to derive it yourself).
Maximum phase, ϕm = tan−1 (ωm T) − tan−1 (αωm T)
ωm T − αωm T
= tan−1 [ ]
1 + αω2m T 2
tan ϕm = ωm T [ ]
1 + αω2m T 2

1 1−α
= .T[ 1 ]
T√α 1 + α. 2 . T 2

tan ϕm =
At ω = ωm, magnitude is Mm

√1 + ω2m T 2 √1 + T2
T2 α
Mm = =
√1 + α2 ω2m T 2 √1 + α2 .
. T2
T2 α

Mm =
In dB, Mm = 10 log10 dB.
If we realize phase lead compensator in an RC circuit, it will be like

Vo R2 R1 C
Gc (s) = = 1 =s+ R1 +R2
Vi R1 s+( ) . 1/R1 C
R2 + sc
1 R2
R1 +

Comparing with standard compensator equation, we get

T = R1 C, α = <1
R1 + R 2

Phase Lag Compensator

Transfer function for a phase lag compensator is

Gc (s) =
1 1
Where p = , z = for β > 1
βT T
The pole zero location for log compensator is drawn as

Lag Compensator is analogous to a high pass filter.

β(1 + sT)
Transfer function can also be written as Gc (s) =
(1 + βsT)

√1 + ω2 T 2
Removing β through attenuator, Gc (s) =
√1 + β2 T 2

Critical frequency due to zero, ωz =
Critical frequency due to pole, ωp =
Since β > 1, ωz> ωp
The Bode plot of the system can be drawn as

For phase lag network, ωm =
tan ϕm =
Mm = 10 log10 dB
(Try to verify it yourself)
In realization of phase lag compensator, the circuit is given as

1 1
R 2 + sC 1 s+
R2 C
Gc (s) = 1 = R1 +R2 [ 1 ]
R1 + R 2 + s+ R +R
sC R2 ( 1 2 )R2 C

Comparing with the standard lag compensator equation, we get

R1 + R 2
β= > 1, 𝑇 = R2C

Lag Lead Compensator

The general form of lag lead compensator transfer function is

s + z1 s + z2
Gc (s) = .
s + p1 s + p2
Here z1, p1are lag compensator parameter while z2, p2 are lead compensator parameters.

The pole zero location is given as

Z1 Z2
= β > 1, = α < 1
P1 P2
1 + sT2 1 + sT2
The transfer function can also be written as Gc (s) = ( )( )
1 + βsT2 1 + αsT2
The Bode plot for the lag lead compensator can be drawn as

1 1
ωm1 = , ωm2 =
T1 √β T2 √α
1−β 1−α
tan ϕm1 = , tan ϕm2 =
2√β 2√α

1 1
Mm1 = 10 log10 dB, Mm2 = 10 log10 dB
β α
From above plot, Lag Lead Compensator is analogues to Band Reject Filter.

The given compensator can be realized as

While designing compensator, it should be kept in mind that the frequency of maximum
phase must be equal to gain crossover frequency. Only then it will increase phase

Phase Margin without Compensator = 180° + ∠GH(jω)|ω=ωgc

Phase Margin with Compensator = 180° + ∠GH(jω)|ω=ωgc +ϕm |ωm=ωgc

In the next article we will learn about State Space Analysis.

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