The present paper reports a numerical-experimental study on the dynamic behavior of a compression system based on a multistage centrifugal blower and fitted with an innovative device for the dynamic suppression of surge instability. The control device is of passive type and is based on the aeroelastic coupling of the basic compression system with a hydraulic oscillator. The controlled system is modeled at first by using a nonlinear lumped parameter approach. The simulated system dynamics within a wide range of operating conditions allows a parametric analysis to be performed and the optimal values of the control parameters to be singled out. Such optimal values are then used to design the hydraulic oscillator, which results in a technically feasible and very simple configuration. Finally, experimental tests are carried out on the compression plant with and without the passive control device, which demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed control system in suppressing surge instabilities, at least within the limits predicted by the numerical simulation.
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