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1 Speed Control

This chapter explains the role of speed-controlled drives in general automation and industrial robots, identifies the basic elements of the speedcontrolled system, defines the control objective, and devises control strategies. Fundamental terms related to continuous- and discrete-time implementation are defined. An insight is given into the role and characteristics of the torque actuator, comprising the servo motor and the power converter. Separately excited DC motor coupled with an inertial load is analyzed as a sample speed controlled system.

1.1 Basic structure of the speed-controlled system


In the realm of motion control, the task of controlling the speed of a moving object or tool is frequently encountered. The actual speed of rotation or translation should be made equal to the set speed. The difference between the actual and set speed is known as the speed error. It is the task of the speed controller to keep the speed error as small as possible, preferably equal to zero. To achieve this result, the controller generates the torque/ force reference. To begin with, let us consider the system where the rotational speed is controlled, with the inertia of the moving parts J, the friction coefficient B, and the load torque TL . The rate of change of the actual speed is given in Eq. 1.1, where Tem represents the driving torque. The necessary elements of a speed-controlled system are given in Fig. 1.1. The desired speed (* in Fig. 1.1) is referred to as the speed reference or the set point. When the desired speed changes in time, the speed-reference change is called the reference profile or trajectory *(t). The speed error is found to be the difference between the set speed and the speed feedback fb . The error discriminator is shown as the leftmost summation junction in Fig. 1.1. The speed controller, represented by the transfer function WSC (s), processes the error signal and generates the torque reference Tref , the latter producing the driving torque Tem .

1 Speed Control

Fig. 1.1.

Basic elements of the speed-controlled system.

d = Tem TL B dt

(1.1)

The torque Tem is the systems driving force, and its role is to make the actual speed track the reference * in the presence of disturbances and the load torque TL variations. As inferred from Eq. 1.1, the driving torque should compensate for the load changes TL, suppress the effects of friction B and other secondary phenomena, and provide the inertial component J d/dt in the phases of acceleration and braking. In practical implementations, Tref is a digital signal brought to the input of the torque actuator, represented by block WA(s ) in Fig. 1.1. In order to facilitate the speed control task, it is desirable to use actuators where the actual torque Tem tracks the reference Tref accurately and without delays. Hence, the ideal torque actuators transfer function is WA(s ) = 1 or WA(s ) = KM = const. Most actuators make use of power amplifiers with sufficiently large bandwidth and electric motors. The power amplifier supplies the motor windings with appropriate voltages and currents, thus enabling the motor to generate the desired driving torque Tem at its output shaft. The motor shaft is coupled to the load either directly or through a mechanical transducer that may convert the rotation into translation, thus providing the driving force instead of the driving torque. A power amplifier makes use of semiconductor power switches (such as transistors and thyristors), inductances, and capacitors and performs the power conversion. It changes the voltages and currents of the primary power source into the voltages and currents required for the motor to generate the desired torque Tem. In most cases, the primary power is obtained either from a utility connection (AC) or from a battery (DC). Given the

1.1 Basic structure of the speed-controlled system

potential use of both AC and DC motors, power amplifiers may be requested to perform DC/DC, DC/AC, AC/DC, or AC/AC power conversion. The power amplifier is connected to the electric motor, and the combination of the two is referred to as an electric drive. Most available electric drives provide the torque Tem , which responds to the command Tref with a time lag ranging from several tens to several hundreds of microseconds. The motor torque is determined by the current circulating in its windings. Consequently, the torque response time depends upon the current control-loop bandwidth, and is, therefore, limited. Hence, the desired transfer function (WA(s) = KM = const.) can hardly be achieved. On the other hand, the desired speed-loop response is measured in tens of milliseconds. In most cases, delays introduced by practicable torque actuators are negligible compared with the dynamics of the mechanical subsystem and the desired response time of the speed loop. In such cases, the speed loop analysis and tuning can be performed under the assumption that the torque actuator has a static gain KM and no associated dynamics or delays. The speed feedback fb (Fig. 1.1) is obtained at the output of the block WM (s ). The feedback signal fb is not an exact copy of the actual speed , due to a limited resolution of some shaft sensors, owing to the need to filter out the noise and high-frequency content, and due to specific techniques of speed signal acquisition and/or reconstruction. The transfer function WM (s ) describes the signal processing within the shaft sensor and the associated circuits. If we consider a brushed tachogenerator with an RC low-pass network, said transfer function becomes WM (s ) = 1/(1+ sRC ) = 1/(1+s). In cases when electromagnetic resolvers are used [2], the function WM (s ) is more complex. In the design and tuning of speed controllers, the transfer function WM (s ) must be taken into consideration. In cases when time constants involved in feedback filtering and processing are found to be considerably smaller compared with the desired speed response times, the function WM (s ) can be neglected and considered equal to one (fb = ). Specifically, the tacho-filtering RC network with = 100 s can be ignored in designing a speed controller with a desired rise time of R = 10 ms. The speed control system given in Fig. 1.2 is used in the preliminary analysis of speed controllers. It has an idealized speed measurement system (fb = ) and a torque actuator that provides a driving torque Tem equal to the reference Tref . The system makes use of a separately excited DC motor that drives an inertial load J. The excitation current ip and motor field p are assumed to be constant. Therefore, the torque is in direct proportion to the armature current ia . For the given driving torque Tem , the armature current ia must be equal to Tem /(kmp), where km is the motor torque constant.

1 Speed Control

For this reason, the torque reference Tref , derived from the speed controller WSC (s), becomes the armature current reference Ia* = Tref /(kmp). For the sake of simplicity of introductory considerations, the power amplifier supplying the armature current in Fig. 1.2, is reduced to an idealized, controllable current source. In practice, the DC drive power amplifiers operate on the basis of commutating the switching power transistors or thyristors, and they are associated with an analog or digital current controller. The amplifier supplies the armature voltage uAB to the motor. The armature current changes according to the equation La dia /dt + Ra ia = uAB ea , where La and Ra denote the armature inductance and resistance, while ea = kep represents the back electromotive force induced in the armature winding. The current controller actuates the power switches in order to obtain the voltage uAB that compensates ea and suppresses the error i = Ia* i a . The current controller produces the voltage reference u*AB by multiplying the error by the proportional and integral gains. With sufficiently high loop gains, the error i has negligible values. In such cases, the impact of the electromotive force ea on the armature current can be neglected. Further considerations assume an ideal current controller where Ia* = ia .

Fig. 1.2.

Separately excited DC motor supplied from a controlled current source, used as the torque actuator in a simple speed-controlled system.

Most contemporary speed controllers are implemented in a digital manner; that is, they reside within the program memory of microcontrollers and digital signal processors (DSP) dedicated to motion-control tasks. In other words, their control actions take place at discrete, equally spaced time instants, paced by the interrupt events of a microcontroller/DSP. The analysis, synthesis, and tuning of such discrete-time (or digital ) speed controllers involves the z-domain representation of relevant signals and transfer functions (i.e., z-transform). Prior to digital speed controllers, the speed control functions WSC (s) were historically implemented in a continuous

Problems

domain, mostly by means of analog electronic circuitry comprising operational amplifiers, resistors, and capacitors. Ancestors to digital controllers, the continuous-domain speed controllers are frequently referred to as analog . The analysis of analog speed controllers involves s-domain representation of signals and functions (i.e., Laplace transform). To facilitate understanding of the basic concepts, analog speed controller analysis, synthesis, and parameter setting are discussed in the next two chapters. Digital, discrete-time implementation is considered from Chapter 4 onward. Chapter 2 explains the basic concepts of the speed controller design. Necessary control actions are inferred from the speed-controlled system in Fig. 1.2. Hence, it is assumed that the speed measurement system introduces no delays (fb = ). In the same way, an ideal torque actuator is assumed with Ia* = ia and Tem = Tref . The load is assumed as inertial, having no friction (B = 0). The analysis given in Chapter 2 considers the basic proportional and integral control actions, derives key transfer functions, formulates design goals, gives insight into the closed-loop bandwidth and parameter setting, and discusses the impact of various disturbances on the speed controller structure. In Chapter 3, the impact of the dynamics and transfer functions related to the speed feedback acquisition and torque actuation on the design of analog speed controllers is examined. For simplicity, the traditional DC drive with analog speed control is taken as a design example. The delays in torque actuation are discussed and derived for the most common power amplifiers used in conjunction with the speed controlled DC drives. The parametersetting procedures frequently used for tuning conventional PI analog controllers are reviewed and discussed, including the double ratios, symmetrical, and absolute value optimum. The bandwidth and performance limits are attributed to intrinsic drawbacks of the analog implementation. At the end of Chapter 3, the place and role of the analog speed controller within the conventional cascaded structure of motion-control systems is outlined, along with the description and the need for feedforward control actions. Chapter 4 and the succeeding chapters discuss digital, discrete-time speed controllers.

Problems
P1.1 Consider the speed-controlled system in Fig. 1.2, comprising the speed controller WSC (s), the separately excited DC motor with kmp = 1 Nm/A, the inertial load with parameters J = 0.1 kgm2 and B = 0, and a power

1 Speed Control

amplifier that can be modeled as a controllable current source. The power amplifier provides the armature current ia (t) = Tref (t)/km /p. The torque reference is obtained from the proportional speed controller as Tref (t) = KP . The gain KP is set to 10 Nm/(rad/s). The load torque is constant and equal to TL(t ) = TLOAD = 10 Nm. Determine the difference between the speed reference * and the actual speed in the steady state. Note that the torque developed by the separately excited DC motor equals Tem = km p ia . P1.2 For the system described in problem P1.1, determine the closed-loop transfer function WSS (s) = (s)/*(s). Calculate the bandwidth frequency fBW from the condition |WSS( j 2fBW)| = 1/sqrt(2). P1.3 For the system described in P1.1 and P1.2, determine the output-speed transient response to a step change in the reference speed by using the Matlab command step (). Estimate the rise time R (i.e., the time interval required for the output speed to change from 10% to 90% of its steady-state value) from the figure. Compare the value fX = 0.3/R to the bandwidth frequency fBW obtained in P1.2. P1.4 Assuming that the previous system has friction B = 1 Nm/(rad/s), determine the closed-loop transfer function WSS (s) = (s)/*(s). Given the speed reference of *(t) = *= 100 rad/s and with TL = 0, calculate the steady-state values of the output speed and speed error. P1.5 For the system described in P1.4, calculate the bandwidth frequency fBW from the condition |WSS ( j 2fBW)| = 1/sqrt(2).