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How does a MOOG servo valve operates..how can a controller get feedback??

what is the
difference betwen a moog valve connected to a simplex controller and TMR based triple
controller?? how does a voting occurs if one controller fails??

VK,
Here is a link to a cutaway view of the internals of a Moog servo-valve on Page 4, Fig. 6, 'Jet
Pipe Servovalve (1957):
http://www.servovalve.com/technical/newtb_141.pdf
That servo-valve in Fig. 6 is very similar to but not exactly like the Moog servo-valves used
on GE-design heavy duty gas turbines. There is one KEY component missing from the
drawing which will be described below. But in almost every other respect the servo-valve
shown in Fig. 6 is nearly identical to the ones used on GE-design heavy duty gas turbines.
Note that the servo-valve shown in Fig. 6 is a two-coil servo-valve, and that the servo-valve
in Fig. 6 is shown in the position that shuts off the flow of hydraulic fluid to and from a
hydraulic actuator. That's because the Control Ports of the servo-valve are blocked by the
Valve Spool (or spool piece). In the position shown in Fig. 6, internal hydraulic forces acting
on the ends of the Valve Spool are keeping the Valve Spool in the position shown.
An electro-hydraulic servo-valve converts electrical signals to hydraulic fluid flow to and
from a hydraulic actuator, and also stops the flow of hydraulic fluid flow to an actuator (in
the position as shown in the drawing in Fig. 6). The hydraulic actuator might be used to
position a fuel control valve, or the IGVs (Inlet Guide Vanes) of a GE-design heavy duty gas
turbine, or a steam control valve. These devices (valves and IGVs) need to be stopped in an
infinite number of positions anywhere between fully open and fully closed. By controlling the
flow of hydraulic fluid to and from the hydraulic actuator the device can be opened and
closed. The valve is opened or closed by allowing hydraulic fluid to flow to or from a
hydraulic actuator. And, by shutting off the flow of hydraulic fluid to and from the hydraulic
actuator the device can be held at any of an infinite number of positions between fully open
and fully closed.
(Some older GE-design heavy duty gas turbines use servo-valves to position valves that only
fully open or fully closed. Isn't this fun? But not on newer units.)
The electrical signals sent to the servo-valves are DC currents. And they are "bi-polar"-meaning they can be any value between -10 mA and +10 mA. Negative current increases the
flow of fuel or air or steam. Positive current decreases the flow of fuel or air or steam. "Zero"
current stops the flow of hydraulic fluid to/from the actuator, causing the hydraulic actuator-and the valve (or IGVs)--to remain at its current position. Notice "zero" is in quotation marks.
The device at the top of the servo-valve in Fig. 6 is a two-coil "torque motor" (sometimes
servo-valves are called torque motors, too). The amount of mechanical force produced when
current flows through a coil is directly proportional to the amount of current flowing through

the coil. If the current flowing through the two coils in Fig. 6 is 0.00 mA, then the Valve
Spool will be just as shown in Fig. 6, and no hydraulic fluid will flow through the Control
Ports of the servo-valve to or from the hydraulic actuator.
When there are three coils, each driven by a single controller (processor), the magnetic forces
are "summed" by the torque motor. If one Speedtronic controller fails, its servo-valve output
current will (usually) go to a large positive value, to shut off the flow of fuel or air or steam.
But, if the other two controllers are working properly they will each put out some negative
current to overcome the forces developed by the single positive current and the flow of
hydraulic fluid through the servo-valve will be reduced to zero--keeping the device being
positioned by the actuator at the present position.
(Some Speedtronic servo-valve outputs have suicide relays with NC (Normally Closed)
contacts that are connected across the output terminals. Under normal operating conditions,
the suicide relay is energized and the NC contacts are open. When a serious problem is
detected the suicide relay is de-energized closing the NC contacts and preventing any current
from being applied to that controller's servo-valve coil. In a TMR control system, the servovalve outputs with suicide relays (every output does not always have a suicide relay) will use
a single relay for each controller's output.)
By applying negative current to the coils in Fig. 6, the Valve Spool will move to cause
hydraulic fluid flow to or from the hydraulic actuator to increase the flow of fuel or air or
steam. If the current goes back to 0.00 mA, the Valve Spool in Fig. 6 will move back to the
position shown in Fig. 6 and the flow of hydraulic fluid will be shut off and the hydraulic
actuator will stop moving and remain in its present position which will keep the fuel flow or
air flow or steam flow or pressure steady at the present flow-rate or position or pressure.
Applying positive current to the coils will cause the Valve Spool to move in the opposite
direction, changing the flow of hydraulic fluid to or from the hydraulic actuator to decrease
the flow of fuel or air or steam. Again, if the current goes back to 0.00 mA, the Valve Spool
will move to the position shown in Fig. 6 and stop any flow of hydraulic fluid to or from the
hydraulic actuator--holding the hydraulic actuator in a stable position.
When the reference (position or flow-rate or pressure) for the device being positioned by the
actuator is equal to the feedback from the process (position or flow-rate or pressure), then the
regulator driving the servo-valve output currents has a zero error--and puts out zero current.
The feedback is usually subtracted from the reference to develop an error. If the feedback is
less than the reference the error is positive, and the regulator puts out negative current (to
increase the flow or fuel or air or steam or position or pressure). If the feedback is greater
than the reference the error is negative, and regulator puts out positive current (to reduce the
flow or fuel or air or steam or position or pressure).
The point of all this is: to increase the flow of fuel or air or steam from zero it's necessary to
put out a negative current. Once the desired position or flow-rate or pressure is reached, if the
current is reduced to "zero current" the flow-rate or position or pressure will remain at its
present value. If it's desired to reduce the position or flow or pressure it's necessary to put out
a positive current, until the desired position or flow or pressure is reached and then by putting
out "zero current" the present position can be maintained. More positive current the faster the

flow or pressure or position will be reduced. More negative current the faster the flow or
pressure or position will be increased. And, holding the current at "zero current" will hold the
present position or flow or pressure. Note again, "zero current" is in double quotation marks.
Now for the BIG DIFFERENCE between the servo-valve shown in Fig. 6 in the link above
and the ones used on GE-design heavy duty gas turbines: There is a spring at one end of the
Valve Spool. That spring is called the "fail-safe" spring. It's purpose is to move the Valve
Spool to a position that ports oil to or from the hydraulic actuator to shut off the flow of fuel
or air or steam in the event that hydraulic pressure is lost or all currents to the torque motor
are lost. That spring (there's only ONE spring) is always applying a force on the Valve Spool
that must be overcome by the torque motor when it's desired to keep the device being
positioned at some position other than fully open or fully closed by shutting off the flow of
hydraulic fluid through the servo-valve.
It was already said that when the reference equals the feedback the regulator error will be
zero, and the output current will be "zero current." But, the Speedtronic panel is capable of
adding, and does add (continuously!), a "bias" (extra) current to the output which will
overcome the fail-safe spring tension and keep the Valve Spool at the position shown in Fig.
6. That extra current is called "null bias" current. And it's always being put out by the
Speedtronic, whether or not the regulator error is zero, because there always force being
exerted by the fail-safe spring on the Valve Spool regardless of the position of the Valve
Spool.
In a TMR control system with three coils in the servo-valve torque motor the amount of null
bias current needs to be split evenly between the three controller servo-valve outputs. The GE
specification says that the fail-safe spring requires a total of -0.8 mA, +/-0.4 mA to overcome
the tension and keep the Valve Spool in the position that shuts off the flow of hydraulic fluid
to the hydraulic actuator, keeping the flow or pressure or position stable and steady (usually
called the "steady-state" position). (Negative current because negative current is required to
increase the flow of fuel or air or steam or pressure). -0.8 mA divided by three equals -0.267
mA, per controller. And, there is a range, and an upper limit and a lower limit to the range!
The range is -0.133 mA to -0.400 mA, per processor, meaning that the null bias current for
any controller should never be less than -0.400 mA nor more than -0.133 mA. And the same
amount of null bias current should be set for each controller supplying current to a
particular servo-valve.
IF IT'S EVER NECESSARY TO EXCEED EITHER LIMIT OF THE NULL BIAS
CURRENT RANGE OF A SERVO-VALVE, THE SERVO-VALVE SHOULD BE
CONSIDERED TO HAVE FAILED AND IT SHOULD BE REPLACED.
IF THE AMOUNT OF CURRENT BEING PUT OUT BY ONE CONTROLLER IS
*PERCEIVED* TO BE EXCESSIVE WITH RESPECT TO THE OTHER TWO
CONTROLLERS, ADJUSTING THE NULL BIAS CURRENT VALUE OF THAT ONE
CONTROLLER WILL DO ***NOTHING*** TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM. IN
FACT, IT WILL MAKE ANY PROBLEM WORSE. NEITHER WILL ADJUSTING
THE NULL BIAS CURRENT OF THE OTHER TWO CONTROLLERS SOLVE THE
PROBLEM, BECAUSE THE PROBLEM IS NOT WITH THE FAIL-SAFE SPRING.

ALTHOUGH THERE IS AN ADJUSTING SCREW ON THE FAIL-SAFE SPRING,


ADJUSTING THE SCREW SHOULD NEVER BE DONE IN THE FIELD. IT
USUALLY ULTIMATELY RESULTS IN THE NEED TO REPLACE THE SERVOVALVE, AND USUALLY AFTER SEVERAL, IF NOT MANY, MAN-HOURS OF
WASTED TIME AND LOST PRODUCTION. THIS SCREW IS QUITE OFTEN
MISTAKENLY TURNED WHEN TRYING TO REMOVE THE INTERNAL FILTER
(as shown in Fig. 6) TO CLEAN AND REPLACE IT. AGAIN, THAT USUALLY
RESULTS IN A FAILED SERVO-VALVE. ADJUSTING THE FAIL-SAFE SPRING
TENSION SHOULD ONLY BE DONE IN A FACILITY WITH THE PROPER
TESTING SET-UP.
Servo-valves used with TMR control systems have three coils; those used with SIMPLEX
control systems have two coils (yes, two, for redundancy; if one coil opens or the circuit for
one coil opens the other will still be working and keep the turbine running). On some control
system retrofits ("upgradations"--gotta love that word!) from a TMR control system to a
SIMPLEX control system, the servo-valves are NOT replaced. One of the three coils is
shorted to prevent it from adversely affecting servo-valve operation. (I can just anticipate the
next question: Can a SIMPLEX, two-coil servo be used in a TMR application? Probably, but
not without some machinations and chicanery that I wouldn't want to do or even try to
explain how to try to do.)
The amount of null bias current for the single controller of SIMPLEX for a two-coil servovalve is -0.8 mA, +/-0.4 mA. Not -0.4 mA (half of the value), but -0.8 mA. The Speedtronic
circuitry takes into account the two servo-valve coils and does the necessary "halving" of the
null bias current.
The other difference between the servo-valves used on GE-design heavy duty gas turbines
with TMR control systems and the one shown in Fig. 6 of the link above is that the coils
won't be mounted in/on the torque motor exactly as shown in Fig. 6. But, the forces will still
be "summed" in the torque motor, which is the "voting" that's commonly referred to for
servo-valve outputs.
Now, there's a lot of other stuff that goes on inside the servo-valve (jet pipe and internal
hydraulic flows and Cantilever Feedback Springs) but that's all "background" stuff and not
important to the function of the servo-valve and how it works on the gas turbines.
I'm not quite sure about the question about how a controller gets feedback. Feedback from the
servo-valve? Or feedback from the device being positioned by the hydraulic actuator the
servo-valve is controlling the flow of hydraulic fluid to and from? The regulator providing
the servo-valve current (one per output per controller in a Speedtronic) gets feedback from
the device (either position, from an LVDT; or flow-rate, from a speed pick-up; or pressure,
from a pressure transducer) and sums it with the reference (from the sequencing or
application code running in the controller) and the error determines how much, and the
polarity of the, current being applied to the servo-valve coil.
I think all of your other questions have been answered. And then some.

Hope this helps!