Evolutionary Optimization of Feedback Controllers for Thermoacoustic Instabilities

Abstract : We present the system identifcation and the online optimization of feedback controllers applied to combustion systems using evolutionary algorithms. The algorithm is applied to gas turbine combustors that are susceptible to thermoacoustic instabilities resulting in imperfect combustion and decreased lifetime. In order to mitigate these pressure oscillations, feedback controllers sense the pressure and command secondary fuel injectors. The controllers are optimized online with an extension of the CMA evolution strategy capable of handling noise associated with the uncertainties in the pressure measurements. The presented method is independent of the specifc noise distribution and prevents premature convergence of the evolution strategy. The proposed algorithm needs only two additional function evaluations per generation and is therefore particularly suitable for online optimization. The algorithm is experimentally verifed on a gas turbine combustor test rig. The results show that the algorithm can improve the performance of controllers online and is able to cope with a variety of time dependent operating conditions.
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Nikolaus Hansen, Andre Niederberger, Lino Guzzella, Petros Koumoutsakos. Evolutionary Optimization of Feedback Controllers for Thermoacoustic Instabilities. IUTAM Symposium on Flow Control and MEMS, Sep 2006, London, United Kingdom. ⟨inria-00276217⟩

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