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Methods and apparatus for controlling rotary machines

United States Patent

September 1, 2009
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
A control system for a rotary machine is provided. The rotary machine has at least one rotating member and at least one substantially stationary member positioned such that a clearance gap is defined between a portion of the rotating member and a portion of the substantially stationary member. The control system includes at least one clearance gap dimension measurement apparatus and at least one clearance gap adjustment assembly. The adjustment assembly is coupled in electronic data communication with the measurement apparatus. The control system is configured to process a clearance gap dimension signal and modulate the clearance gap dimension.
Bagepalli; Bharat Sampathkumaran (Niskayuna, NY), Jansen; Patrick Lee (Scotia, NY), Barnes; Gary R. (Delanson, NY), Fric; Thomas Frank (Greer, SC), Lyons; James Patrick Francis (Niskayuna, NY), Pierce; Kirk Gee (Simpsonville, SC), Holley; William Edwin (Greer, SC), Barbu; Corneliu (Guilderland, NY)
General Electric Company (Schenectady, NY)
11/ 424,951
June 19, 2006
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention as provided for by the terms of Contract No. DE-AC36-99GO10337, Subcontract No. ZAM-4-31235-05 awarded by the Department of Energy/Midwest Research Institute, National Renewable Energy Laboratory Division.