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Dynamic Model for a Dome-Loaded Pressure Regulator

A generalized physical model describing dynamic behavior of a fast-acting, dome-loaded, gas pressure regulator was developed. The regulator is designed to respond quickly to command changes, and to operate over a wide range of ow rates and pressures. The analytical lumped-parameter model developed consists of a set of nonlinear, rst-order, ordinary differential equations with respect to time, accounting for mass and energy conservation at regulator outlet, command dome and internal feedback compartments. It also accounts for the equation-of-motion for the poppet and the control piston-assembly. The numerical solution, based on a RungeKutta method, is amenable to an extensive parametric study of regulator performance, and serves as a useful analytical tool for designing new pressure regulators. Several tests were performed on a fast-acting regulator to verify the physical model. Good agreement between predictions and measurements was obtained. The effect of several parameters, geometrical and operational, on regulator performance was studied. S0022-0434 00 00402-0 Keywords: Dome-Loaded Pressure Regulator, Regulator Dynamics, Regulator Performance, Control, Simulation, Pneumatic Device

E. Wacholder
e-mail: RafaelIsrael Armament Development Authority, P.O. Box 2250, Haifa, 31021, Israel

J. Dayan
TechnionIsrael Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering Faculty, Haifa, 32000, Israel. e-mail:


Gas dome-loaded pressure regulators DLPR , having fast response and large ow rates, are essential equipment in modern high-energy chemical lasers, as well as in some special industrial applications. These regulators have been continuously developed and improved over the years in a few centers around the world , and though the principle of operation of todays equipment is the same as 30 or 40 years ago, the modern regulators are quite different in appearance, accuracy and in their fast dynamics compared to the old regulators. Nevertheless, dynamic analysis of such regulators has not been reported for almost three decades. In fact, only a few papers dealing with the dynamic and static behavior of the more familiar spring-loaded pressure regulator SLPR have been published. Tsai and Cassidy 1 introduced, probably for the rst time, a systematic analysis, linear as well as nonlinear, of a simple SLPR. For simplicity, they assumed a linear viscous friction force on the command piston and on the poppetstem seals. Dustin 2 , presented a nonlinear investigation of a more complicated SLPR, with more realistic nonlinear constant dry friction force, but restricted the model to choked ow through the valve, and neglected gas temperature dynamics. Anisimikin et al. 3 , investigated the stability of a regulator with a linearized model including nonlinear friction force. Sverbilov and Anisimikin 4 presented a linear model for the study of a very simple SLPR, operating under an arbitrary load. It should be pointed out that, for many years, the trial-and-error method of developing the various kind of pressure regulators was the only accepted way see, for example, Dustin 2 ; Tsai and Cassidy 1 . Most probable, this was the result of the inherent difculties in the modeling of these regulators, due to the nonlinearities and coupling among the equations describing the dynamics of both the uids and the mechanical parts. The main source of nonlinearities are the gas processes, the dry Coulomb friction acting on the poppet-command piston assembly, and the dependency of the free cross-ow area on the poppet location. These difculties, together with the slow running nonlinear programs, led to various attempts to linearize the equations around the operating point. Though it is possible to obtain various analytical solutions
Contributed by the Dynamic Systems and Control Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS, MEASUREMENT, AND CONTROL. Manuscript received by the Dynamic Systems and Control Division December 17, 1997. Associate Technical Editor: Woong-Chul Yang.

as well as stability criteria in this way, these are of very limited value, since such models are only suitable for small deviations around the selected equilibrium point. Thus, caution must be exercised if an attempt is made to extend these results to large changes in the working conditions. In this paper, we present a carefully built analytical model developed for a newly designed DLPR. The analytically obtained dynamic model and its simulated response contributed considerably to the understanding of the various effects inuencing actual regulator behavior. Thereafter, for the remainder of the regulator development, computer runs of the model were substituted for a large portion of the previously required physical tests, which saved a great deal of time and expensive resources. Moreover, the model is now available for future designs.

Regulator Description and Operation

The DLPR discussed in this paper is schematically shown in Fig. 1. It was developed for applications requiring very fast dynamic response, i.e., capability of reaching the desired value of the outlet pressure within a fraction of a second from its opening, while exhibiting stable and damped behavior. The DLPR operation is based on force balance. The desired outlet pressure is dictated by applying a reference pressure to the upper side of the command piston. This pressure causes a displacement of the poppet opening or closing the outgoing passage and a respective change in the regulator outlet pressure. The regulator has a built-in feedback control loop, since the outlet pressure acts on the lower side of the command piston and the poppet through one or more pressure-equalization holes. At steady state, this pressure applies a balancing force on both command piston and poppet. Regulators having this arrangement are said to have a balanced poppet. This special feature reduces, but does not cancel, the effects of changes in inlet supply pressure on the regulated outlet pressure. Initiating a command to the regulator is governed by a threeway solenoid valve Fig. 1 . Initially, the command volume is open to atmosphere and the regulator is closed. When the solenoid valve is activated, it closes the opening to atmosphere, and connects the upper side of the command piston to the desired reference pressure from a pressure accumulator. A needle valve controls the ow of the command gas from the accumulator to the upper side of the command piston. This restriction later referred to as command orice affects the rate of regulator opening Transactions of the ASME

290 Vol. 122, JUNE 2000

Copyright 2000 by ASME

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5 According to Potter and Levi 6 the time required to obtain signicant pressure changes in the system is much greater than the time for wave propagation indicated by Reynolds and Kays 7 . Thus, the gas dynamics can be considered as continuum of quasi steady states. 6 The compression and expansion processes are adiabatic. This assumption is reasonable, as long as the gas dynamic processes within the regulator are faster than the heat-transfer processes at and through the walls. 7 The gas behaves ideally. This is probably a reasonable assumption for the entire operation range of the regulator when either air or nitrogen at moderate pressures is used. A possible deviation from ideal-gas behavior may occur for very high pressures. 8 The specic heats of the gases are constants, a reasonable assumption for the considered gases at temperatures in the neighborhood of standard atmosphere. 9 The volume at the regulator exit is lumped. Thus, dynamic effects and possible pressure distribution in a long pipe connected to the exit are neglected in the parametric study. Nevertheless, adding a simple pipe model was also attempted in order to facilitate comparison between the measured and the calculated outlet pressure time-response. Measurements were taken at a distance of 2 m from the regulator exit. The Governing Equations. The equation-of-motion represents the balance of the inertia, friction, pressure, and spring forces acting on the poppet and the command piston. The schematic force diagram and main nomenclature are presented in Fig. 2. Positive forces are assumed to act in the upward direction, while, for the mechanical parts, downward motion, i.e., opening the valve, is considered positive. The equation is M x K sx F s A

Fig. 1 Schematics of gas DLPR and experimental arrangements

and its dynamic stability, the entering command-pressure forces, the command-piston and poppet movements, and permits the ow of gas through the regulator. As the outlet pressure rises, both pressures under the command piston and under the poppet rise with it. The lag between these two pressures and the outlet pressure is dictated by the size of the pressure equalization holes, and this, in turn, affects the characteristics of the response. When equalization of forces, above and below the poppet and piston, is reached, the regulator is operating at steady state.

f sgn x

A s1 0

A s2 P s A 1 P 1 A 3 P 3 (1)

A o2 P o A P

where, and are empirical correction factors for the force acting symmetrically on the poppet surface, according to assumptions 2 and 3. A s2 and A o2 are the conical surface areas of the poppet related to the valve opening area A p , A s2 A s2,o A p cos A o2 A o2,o A p cos (2) (3) (4)

Analysis and Modeling of the Regulator Dynamics

The presented analysis is based on the following assumptions.


x sin

d x sin cos

1 Generally, the poppet and command piston are moving as a single unit. Separate movements of these parts are assumed to occur only during extreme imbalance between the feedback pressure sensed under the poppet and the pressure above the poppet. Assuming a single unied movement for the poppet-command piston assembly greatly simplies the dynamic equations. 2 In computing the force balance on the poppet, it is assumed that a sharp boundary, perpendicular to the conic edge and located at the narrowest cross-section of the ow, divides the free space around the poppet. In the space directly below this boundary, the pressure is close to the inlet pressure, while above this boundary, the pressure is close to the outlet pressure. The exact proximity of these pressures to the inlet and outlet pressures, respectively, is determined experimentally. This assumption is based on a somewhat simpler approach stated by Anderson 5 . 3 The forces acting on the poppet are symmetric. In reality, possible asymmetric forces and moments can be formed around the poppet by the ow through the valve due to the single inlet and single outlet conguration. Neglecting these effects signicantly simplies the force-balance analysis. 4 The seals of the command piston and the poppet produce a constant Coulomb friction force, acting in a direction opposite to the poppet-command piston assembly movement. Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control

A o2,o and A s2,o are the exit side and supply side conical surface areas of the poppet, for a closed regulator, and d is the diameter of the poppet seat. See Figs. 1 and 2 for nomenclature and denitions. The dynamic equations for pressure and temperature at the regulator exit and in its internal compartments, based on the above-stated assumptions, were derived from the mass, momentum and energy balances. The analysis is applied to a general case of variable control volume moving piston with single inlet and single outlet ows, assuming ideal gas behavior and constant specic heats 8 : dP dt dT dt RT 2 VP R T inm in Tm out V T in 1 m in T 1 m out AP x V (5) 1 AT (6) x V

where, V V(0) Ax. For the pressure and temperature at the lumped-exit volume, the equations are d Po dt R T m T om o Vo s s (7)

JUNE 2000, Vol. 122 291

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d P1 dt

sgn P o P 1

R T m V1 o 1

A 1 P x V1 1

(12) (13)

V 1 V 1,o A 1 x

With the above-mentioned assumptions, and by neglecting the small volume variations due to poppet motion, the pressure dynamics at the feedback compartment under the poppet is given by d P3 dt sgn P o P 3 R T m V3 o 3 (14)

The DLPR dynamics comprises a set of seven coupled, nonlinear, ordinary differential equations with respect to time, namely: 1 , 7 10 , 12 , and 14 . In order to solve this set of equations, the ow to and from the various volumes must be specied. For a general case of choked and nonchoked compressible ow through a restriction, the mass ow rate is given by Andersen 5 , p. 20 m C dA f N in,outP in/ RT in (15)

where C d is the geometry dependent discharge coefcient of the restriction, f 2/ 1

1 / 2 1


N in,out accounts for the ratio of inlet to outlet pressure conditions in and out, respectively . For choked ow N in,out 1; else, it is less than one, as calculated by N in,out N P out / P in P out / P in 1 2

P out / P in 2 1
1 /

1 / 1


Fig. 2 The schematic force diagram and main nomenclature for the DLPR, a Forces acting on the poppet and on the control piston, b Poppets schematic diagram.

Applying Eqs. 15 17 to the ow through the passage controlled by the poppet movement yields: m s C ds A p f N s,o P s / RT s (18)

dT o dt

RT 2 o VoPo

Ts 1 ms To

1 mo


where N s,o N( P o / P s ) is given by Eq. 17 , and variations in A p are controlled by the poppet displacement, according to Eq. 4 . The ow through the exit nozzle is m o C doA noz f N o,envP o / RT o (19)

For the command-dome volume, the pressure and temperature are given by dP dt dT dt sgn P

sgn P

R T m V T T 1 m

A P x V


RT 2 V P

1 A T x V (10)

where N o,env N( P env / P o ) is, again, determined by Eq. 17 . P env is the environment pressure at the nozzle exit. The ow through the restriction needle valve into the command dome is m where N and T while N of V . N

Cd Ac f

N P / RT


where subscript o denotes conditions upstream of the command orice and subscript conditions at the command dome. It should be noted that uid can enter and exit through a single port only. The direction of ow through this port affects the temperature and pressure of the uid in the dome. Thus, T T o for positive sgn(P o P ), which applies to the case when uid enters the dome, while T T for negative sgn(P o P ) applies to uid leaving the dome. It should also be noted that the volume in the command dome is changing due to the command piston movement, and is given by V V

, o

N P /P

, P


for ow into V P , and T T for ow out

N( P

/ P ), P

Because of the wide range of ow regimes into the command volume from choked ow to zero , C d varies, but can be approximated by the linear correlation based on 5 Cd 1.0 0.7 P / P

A x


The pressure dynamics at the feedback compartment under the command piston is evaluated in a similar manner to that of the exit volume. Neglecting temperature variations by assuming T 1 T o , and recalling that the motion considered here is in the opposite direction with respect to the coordinate x which causes a change in sign for the displacement and the velocity terms , the equations are 292 Vol. 122, JUNE 2000


Similarly, the ows into the two feedback compartments are m 1 C d1 a 1 f m 3 C d3 a 3 f where, for entering ow Transactions of the ASME N 1 P 1 / RT o N 3 P 3 / RT o (22) (23)

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Table 1 Construction data of the DLPR Symbol Poppet angle Main valve orice diameter Range of effective diameter of the restriction to dome Pressure-equalization holes 4 in command piston, 1 in poppet Area of upper side of command piston Area of lower side of poppet Outlet nozzle area Volume of outlet tube Initial command volume Piston and poppet mass Spring constant Spring preset force Friction force varied in the parametric study d dc d3 d1 A A3 A noz Vo V ,o M Ks Fs f Value 45 deg 67.5 0.88 4 1.08 10 2 3.47 10 3 7.04 10 4 3.5 10 3 4.0 10 5 1.46 2.68 105 3.80 103 0500 Units Degree mm mm mm m2 m2 m2 m3 m3 kg N/m N N

Fig. 3 Simulation of regulator reaction to a 60.5 bar step change in command pressure inlet pressure 122 bar. Run conditions: 0.8, 0.4, f 100 N, d c 1.06 mm, d 1 d 3 4 mm, F s 3800 N.

N 1 N o,1 N P 1 / P o , P 1 N 3 N o,3 N P 3 / P o , and P3 while, for exiting ow N 1 N 1,o N P o / P 1 , P 1 N 3 N 3,o N P o / P 3 , and P3 P3 . Po

Po ,

P1 ,

Simulation of Regulator Dynamics

The dynamic response of the DLPR is simulated by solving the model equations, for a given set of initial conditions and a forcing function the command pressure at the dome as function of time . The numerical integration was carried out by a fourth-order RungeKutta algorithm 9 . The physical constraints limiting the movement of the poppet were also included in the program. These constraints zero the value of the coordinate x in case it becomes negative during the calculations, since the poppet obviously cannot pass its seats. In addition, the velocity x of the poppet is set to zero when x 0. Physically, this means that the poppet has been completely stopped by its seat plastic collision and the regulator is closed. Similarly, another constraint limits the maximal opening of the valve, and x is set to x max while the poppet velocity is, again, set to zero (x 0) when this limit is exceeded. The simulated model solutions for the regulator operation presented here, always start with a closed valve (x x 0) and with atmospheric pressure at both regulator command-dome and exit. The simulation of the regulator response to a step change in command pressure is presented by the curves in Fig. 3. The simulation was conducted for the regulator whose geometrical measures and other characteristic data are given in Table 1, and for command pressure of 60.5 bar and inlet gas pressure of 122 bar. The effective needle-valve ow diameter command orice diameter at the inlet to the command dome was 1.06 mm. An approximate friction force of 100N has been included in the model. This parameter is not known exactly, and its inuence on the calculated Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control

results was studied. A representative constant correction factor of 0.8 and 0.4 affecting Eq. 1 was used throughout the calculations. It can be seen that the regulator exhibited stable and generally damped response. It achieved steady state after approximately 0.37 s, and the outlet pressure reached 46 bar. The feedback pressure, P 1 , was almost identical to the outlet pressure, P o , throughout the valve opening process, due to four pressure-equalizing holes 4 mm in diameter through the command piston. On the other hand, there is only a single hole, of the same diameter, in the poppet, and this caused a delay in the response of pressure P 3 . Except for the small overshoot during the initial stages of regulator opening, the displacement of the poppet was overdamped. A 0.02 s delay time between poppet movement and command exists due to the build-up of the required minimum pressure 7.7 bar within the dome necessary to overcome the preset force of the spring. The temperature within the command dome rose, during the rst 0.02 s coinciding with the poppet delay time , to a maximal value of approximately 380 K, due to the adiabatic compression process. This was followed by a short undershoot due to an abrupt increase in the command volume as the poppet began to move, and then remained almost constant. However, the temperature at the regulator exit rose to 360 K, but then returned slowly to its initial value of 293 K.

Experimental Testing of the DLPR

Several tests were conducted on a DLPR designed and developed at Rafael for high gas-ow rates up to 10 kg/s and quick opening. Its geometrical and operational data corresponding to Figs. 1 and 2 nomenclature are given in Table 1. The general scheme of the experimental set-up is also shown in Fig. 1. The experiments were conducted with air source pressurized cylinders of 200 bar maximal pressure. In the experimental set-up, the regulator exit arrangement consisted of two parallel tubes, each of 30 mm diameter and 2 m long, discharging through a common 30 mm diameter orice. As described in Section 2, command pressurized air is obtained from a pressure accumulator through the adjustable needle valve Fig. 1 . The effective needle valve adjustment is determined by separate tests of lling a known volume with air owing in choked-ow regime. In all of the experimental runs, a step input was applied to the regulator command-dome by means of the three-way solenoid valve. Initially, this solenoid valve was closed allowing the regulator command-dome to be ventilated to the atmosphere. Then the solenoid valve was opened, shutting off the atmospheric vent of the dome, and allowing the inside pressure to build up to the accumulator pressure and to operate the regulator. Two to three seconds later, after steady-state conditions were denitely achieved, the JUNE 2000, Vol. 122 293

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Table 2 DLPR test data for initially closed valve. P o dome nal pressure, P s supply upstream pressure, P o outlet pressure at the regulator, P o ,nozpressure at exit nozzle, d c command orice diameter, t d dead time, t f settling time. Run # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 P o bar 61.5 60.5 60.5 60.7 60.7 20.0 6.0 10.0 83.0 85.0 82.5 Ps bar 125 122 122 118 116 114 113 113 112 198 165 dc mm 1.06 1.06 1.21 1.02 0.94 1.06 1.06 1.06 1.06 1.06 1.06 Po bar 61.5 66.7 P o,noz bar 40.5 40.2 41.2 41.5 42.0 9.6 1.0 3.6 66.0 55.0 57.0 tf s 0.44 0.46 0.35 0.44 0.63 0.34 * 0.17 0.8 0.40 0.46 td s 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.06 * 0.11 0.016 0.025 0.025

*Valve did not open.

Fig. 4 Empirical correlation for the correction factors and as function of outlet to inlet pressure ratio assuming

experiment was shut off by closing the solenoid valve. Eleven experiments were made, for which the data are summarized in Table 2. During the rst nine runs, the pressures were measured at four different locations: P 0 in the accumulator, P at the command dome, P s at the inlet to the regulator, and P o,noz at the exit orice the far end of the 2 m long pipe, just before the opening to atmosphere . For comparison with the experimental results of the rst nine runs a simple model for the pipe, which takes into account the effect of the pipe on the pressure drop and time response 8 , was added to the regulator model. For the last two experiments, the pressure, P o , at the immediate vicinity of the regulator outlet at the beginning of the 2 m long pipe was also measured. The rst ve test runs were conducted with almost identical command pressure but the needle valve opening was changed to study its effect on the regulator response. The rise time became shorter as the command orice diameter was increased. It varied from 0.63 s for a 0.94 mm orice diameter in run 5 down to 0.35 s for a 1.21 mm orice diameter in run 3. Runs 6 to 9 were conducted with xed valve opening but with different command pressures, to study the regulator response at different operating points. As the command pressure was lowered, the rise time became shorter, going down to 0.17 s for a command pressure of 10 bar in run 8, but at the same time, the pressure response delay time was increased up to 0.11 s for the same run. Note that in run 7, with a 6 bar command pressure, the valve did not open because it did not reach the required minimum pressure to overcome the spring preload see Section 4 and Table 1 . Runs 10 and 11 had command orice diameter and command pressure similar to those in run 9, but the inlet supply pressures were higher 198 bar and 165 bar, respectively . As a result, shorter rise times 0.4 s and 0.46 s were obtained, compared to a rise time of 0.8 s in run 9 for inlet pressure of 112 bar. The values of the steady-state outlet pressure were used to derive an empirical estimate for the correction factors and of the force acting on the poppets upper face, in Eq. 1 . Figure 4 presents a semilog plot of and as functions of outlet to inlet pressure ratio. These values were derived with the rather articial assumption of . Note that these correction factors are not constant. They approach 1.0 at the two limits of pressure ratios 0 and 1.0, and have a minimum at pressure ratio of about 0.2. The experimental results for three of the test runs were plotted dotted curves , along with the theoretical calculated predictions from the model continuous curves . Figure 5 describes regulator response in run 2 representing the general behavior for all the rst ve runs. Only rise time, which was affected by the different needle valve opening, was different as discussed earlier. The model reconstructs the initial delay time behavior quite accurately. It also correctly predicts the transient of the command pres294 Vol. 122, JUNE 2000

Fig. 5 Regulator response in run no. 2 for command pressure of 60.5 bar and needle valve openings of 1.06 mm. Run 2 conditions: P o 60.5 bar, P s 122 bar, d c 1.06 mm.

Fig. 6 Regulator dynamics at low command pressures of 20 bar for run no. 6. Run 6 conditions: P o 20 bar, P s 114 bar, d c 1.06 mm.

sure inside the dome. However, in most of the experimental runs, especially those with high outlet pressures, there are some structural discrepancies between the predicted and the measured transient response of the outlet pressure. Right after the beginning of the run, the actual pressure rises slower and in a more gradual way, exhibiting S-shape behavior, compared to the predicted exponential-shape similar to rst-order lag response pressure rise. Substantial effort was invested to identify the source of this discrepancy. Some of these efforts, such as adding the above mentioned pipe model, assuming isothermal operation, and studying the effect of very high friction, did not provide an acceptable explanation. In all these attempts, the calculated pressure response has an exponential-shape similar to the one in Fig. 5. It is possible, however, that the pressure distribution namely, and , hence, the force on the upper side of the poppet, is dynamically changing as a function of the ratio between the inlet and outlet pressures, similar to Fig. 4 indication see further discussion in Section 6 . Figure 6 describes the regulator dynamics at low command pressures for run 6. Run 8 yielded similar behavior. Again, the model reconstructs quite accurately the initial behavior and the long delay time. Transactions of the ASME

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Fig. 7 Dynamic response of the regulator for a d c 2 mm command-orice diameter

Parametric Study of the Nonlinear Dynamic Model

The general agreement between the model predictions and the experimental results indicates that the model is reasonably correct, and is capable of predicting the general dynamics of the regulator. Thus, the effects of the physical and geometrical parameters, f ,d c ,d 3 ,d 1 ,F s pre-applied spring force , P o , and P s , were studied by simulation. The effect of friction on the DLPR time response was studied by varying the value of f in the model between 0 to 500 N. The dome pressure and the outlet pressure showed damped response during the entire opening process similar to that in Fig. 3 even for zero friction. Only the simulation of the poppet displacement showed some small-amplitude high-frequency vibrations 310 Hz at the beginning of the process. The minor role of the friction in damping the pressure response is probably an indication that most of the DLPR damping is related to the pneumatic process. Figure 7 shows the regulator dynamic response for a 2 mm command orice diameter, which is larger than the 1.06 mm orice of the nominal case in Fig. 3. The forcing function 60.5 bar step input to the command dome and other DLPR parameters are the same as for the nominal case. The regulator equipped with the larger opening shows a much faster response compared to the regulator response with nominal opening,settling within 0.15 s versus 0.37 s. The command dome pressure and the outlet pressure show small overshoots. The dome pressure oscillates slightly during the transient, while the poppet responds with an initial sharp overshootabout six times larger than in Fig. 3changing to high frequency 700 Hz with high but decaying amplitude. Near the steady state, the poppet movement turns into a lower frequency 60 Hz and lower amplitude decaying movement. Further simulations for larger orices indicate that overshoots of the outlet pressure, poppet movement and the oscillations amplitude are all intensied. The effect of reducing the size of the equalizing holes is depicted in Fig. 8, for d 1 d 3 2 mm physically, d 1 d 3 4 mm . This causes increased overshoot in the outlet pressure response, and increased settling time. Nevertheless, smaller equalizing orices cause increased damping of the poppet movement. It should be noted that the feedback pressure P 1 under the command piston reaches P o faster than the pressure under the poppet P 3 , due to the four pressure equalizing holes under the piston compared to only one hole through the poppet. However, P 3 is the pressure dictating the rate at which P o reaches steady state. It was found,

for the DLPR under study, that enlarging the diameter d 3 even up to 12 mm in order to shorten the delay of P 3 , improved the overall DLPR response but with only minor effect on the damping. The preload force applied to the poppet by the spring, and the spring constant selection are determined at an early design stage, mainly according to considerations dealing with preventing leakage between the poppet and its seals. The effect of initial spring load and spring constant on the regulator dynamics was studied by reducing the preload force by a factor of 10 with respect to the actual load used in the experiments. The overshoot in poppet movement increases substantially, and the forces acting on the low stiffness spring may cause it to fail as actually did happen during experiments . Increasing command pressure increases overshoot of the poppet movement and lowers its damping. At the same time, the rise time is also increased a trend supported by the experimental ndings of Table 2 . However, the dead time delay is shortened from 0.025 s at 20 bar to 0.005 s at 90 bar command step input. Studying the effect of the inlet supply pressure shows that the outlet pressure overshoot increases with increase in the supply pressure, but the rise time decreases. For the same command, the nal steady state regulated pressure increases if the supply pressure is reduceda phenomenon that was more pronounced in the experiments than in the predictions Finally, a cross comparison summary of the various parameter effects on regulator dynamics is presented by the curves in Fig. 9. All these curves are given as a function of the restriction size at the inlet of the command dome inlet, d c . Figure 9 a summarizes the dependence of the poppet movement overshoot at the beginning of regulator opening. This dependence is given for several cases of initial spring loading and different pressure-equalizing holes. The command pressure in all these cases was a 60.5 bar step input. Figure 9 b presents the overshoot of the controlled outlet pressure P o as a function of the restriction diameter d c , for various sizes of the pressure-equalizing holes. Effect of supply pressure is also shown for one size of pressure-equalizing holes. Figure 9 c depicts the settling as function of d c . For d c 3.5 mm, the opening time is inversely proportional to the restriction diameter. This inverse proportionality is steeper for d c 1.5 mm, while for d c 1.5 mm the dependence is more gradual, but overshoot appears at the regulated pressure. For d c 4 mm, the regulated pressure starts developing oscillations that increase the time to reach steady state. These phenomena are related to the time lag in the dynamics of P 3 , the pressure under the poppet. The shape discrepancy between the measured and predicted outlet pressure response led to an intense study of the validity of the model assumptions. Four different modications have been tried: a Expanding the model by adding a simple pipe dynamics of several stirred tanks in series 8 instead of assumption no. 9. b Assuming an isothermal, rather than adiabatic dynamic process assumption no. 6 . c Assuming very fast dynamics in the feedback volumes V 1 and V 3 , with respect to V and V o . This simplication is justied for very small feedback volumes and very large pressureequalizing holes, causing P 1 (t) P 3 (t) P o (t), but it requires a minimal amount of friction ( f 170 N) to stay stable. None of the above three modications provided the expected S-shape response during the middle section of the transient. They all stayed rather exponential in shape and some even deviated from the correctly predicted initial and steady-state responses of the original model. d Finally, the model had been tried with varying correction factors reinspecting assumption no. 2 . Values for and were obtained from Fig. 4 for P o (t)/ P s (t) during the calculations of the dynamic response note that and were derived from experimental measurements at steady-state conditions . Figure 10 JUNE 2000, Vol. 122 295

Fig. 8 The effect of changing the size of the equalizing holes d 1 d 3 2 mm

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Fig. 10 Effect of variable correction factors and the model predictions for conditions in run 2

Fig. 4 on

depicts the results of such calculations for run No. 2. Obviously, the predictions are much closer to the entire measured dynamical and steady-state data than those of Fig. 5. The new assumption, namely, that the pressure distribution over the upper face of the poppet is changing dynamically, can be explained by an analogy to an over-expanded variable-area choked-nozzle. The pressure distribution and the pattern of pressure recovery shock waves downstream of the nozzle throat shifts location as a function of pressure ratio in quite a complicated manner. This explanation is even more applicable to the annulus shaped nozzle created between the poppet and the seat. Thus, a time dependent force, which is changing along with the transient, is acting on the poppet surface and is different lower than the force predicted by assumption no. 2.

Summary and Conclusions

Theoretical analysis and experimental testing of a dome loaded gas pressure regulator were presented. This is a high-ow fastresponding regulator, for which design and development are usually costly and time consuming. A nonlinear dynamic model describing the response of the major regulator variables was suggested, and its predictions were experimentally validated. The following conclusions and observations have resulted: 1 The dynamic response of the regulator is nonlinearly dependent on the magnitude of the command-dome pressure the DLPR set point . For increasing command pressures, the system damping decreases and the poppet displacement displays greater overshoot. On the other hand, opening time is shortened as commandpressure magnitude decreases. 2 The size of the inlet command orice, d c , is a very important factor in determining the rate at which the regulator opens, the magnitude of the poppet-movement overshoot and the regulated outlet pressure. For the investigated regulator, only a narrow range of needle-valve opening (d o 0.95 1.8 mm) produces fast 0.150.6 s , damped opening with tolerable overshoot in the regulated pressure and the poppet movement. 3 The pressure equalization holes in the poppet and command piston affect poppet damping and overshoot in the regulated outlet pressure. Too small holes may cause overshoot in the outlet pressure because of delay in the feedback. Too large holes reduce the outlet pressure overshoot, but also reduce the amount of damping of the poppet. The model predicts improved response for this regulator if d 3 is increased to 610 mm. 4 The preload force applied to the poppet by the spring mainly affects the overshoot of the poppet opening at the beginning of the regulator response. Large spring force reduces the overshoot. Thus, it is recommended to select the spring and its initial compression not only by static consideration prevention of gas leaks while the regulator is closed , but also by dynamic considerations. 5 The regulator response is almost unaffected by the internal seals friction force in the 0500 N range. Transactions of the ASME

Fig. 9 Cross comparison of the various parameter effects on regulator dynamics as a function of the restriction opening, d c . a Dependence of overshoot in poppet movement on d c for different initial spring loading and pressure equalizing holes. b Overshoot in outlet pressure, P o , as function of d c for various sizes of the pressure equalizing holes and for different supply pressures. c Settling time as a function of d c .

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6 High supply pressure causes large overshoot in the regulated outlet pressure, but reduces the regulator opening time settling time . If, during the regulator operation, the inlet stream supply pressure drops e.g., because of source depletion , the nal outlet pressure rises slowly creeps upward . The actually detected pressure rise was even higher than that predicted. 7 The experimental correction factors and for the force acting on the poppet are not constants, but vary with the ratio of outlet to inlet pressures. This is explained by the complicated dynamics of the ow expansion process through the DLPR annulus nozzle. Using variable coefcients improves the model prediction of the transient pressure behavior. It should be mentioned that in the course of this study, a linearized model was also derived and veried by experiments. Obviously, the results are valid only for small variations in continuous steady-state operation. This additional work will be described in a paper under preparation.

1 Tsai, D. H., and Cassidy, E. C., 1961, Dynamic Behavior of Simple Pneumatic Pressure Reducer, ASME J. Basic Eng., 83, p. 253. 2 Dustin, M. O., 1971, Analog Computer Study of Design Parameter Effects on the Stability of a Direct-Acting Gas Pressure Regulator, NASA TN D-6267. 3 Anisimikin, Yu. S., Kvasov, V. M., Kravchenko, Yu., Suslin, E. I., Shorin, V. P., and Chibizov, V. V., 1976, Stability Analysis of Gas Pressure Regulator Operating Under High-Temperature Conditions Over a Wide Flow Rate Range, Sov. Aeronaut., 19, No. 1, p. 94. 4 Sverbilov, Y. Ya, and Anisimikin, Yu. S., 1981, Evaluation of Multi-Purpose Gas Pressure Regulator Stability, Sov. Aeronaut. 24, No. 3, p. 62. 5 Andersen, B. W., 1967, The Analysis and Design of Pneumatic Systems, Wiley, New York. 6 Potter, J. H., and Levy, M. J., 1961, The Free Expansion of Dry and Moist Air, ASME J. Eng. Ind., 83, No. 1, Feb., p. 97. 7 Reynolds, W. C., and Kays, W. M., 1958, Blow-Down and Charging Process in a Single Gas Receiver With Heat Transfer, Trans. ASME, 80, p. 1160. 8 Nabi, A., 1986, The Dynamics of Fast Responding Dome-Loaded Pressure Regulator, M.Sc. thesis, Technion, Haifa. 9 White, F. M., 1974, Viscous Fluid Flow, McGraw-Hill, New York.

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