Using Machine Learning Tools to Predict Compressor Stall

Hipple, Samuel
Bonilla-Alvarado, Harry
Pezzini, Paolo
Shadle, Lawrence
Bryden, Kenneth
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Ames Laboratory
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Mechanical Engineering
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Ames LaboratoryMechanical Engineering

Clean energy has become an increasingly important consideration in today’s power systems. As the push for clean energy continues, many coal-fired power plants are being decommissioned in favor of renewable power sources such as wind and solar. However, the intermittent nature of renewables means that dynamic load following traditional power systems is crucial to grid stability. With high flexibility and fast response at a wide range of operating conditions, gas turbine systems are poised to become the main load following component in the power grid. Yet, rapid changes in load can lead to fluid flow instabilities in gas turbine power systems. These instabilities often lead to compressor surge and stall, which are some of the most critical problems facing the safe and efficient operation of compressors in turbomachinery today. Although the topic of compressor surge and stall has been extensively researched, no methods for early prediction have been proven effective. This study explores the utilization of machine learning tools to predict compressor stall. The long short-term memory (LSTM) model, a form of recurrent neural network (RNN), was trained using real compressor stall datasets from a 100 kW recuperated gas turbine power system designed for hybrid configuration. Two variations of the LSTM model, classification and regression, were tested to determine optimal performance. The regression scheme was determined to be the most accurate approach, and a tool for predicting compressor stall was developed using this configuration. Results show that the tool is capable of predicting stalls 5–20 ms before they occur. With a high-speed controller capable of 5 ms time-steps, mitigating action could be taken to prevent compressor stall before it occurs.