Xiaoxu Li

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Washkewicz College of Engineering

Subject Headings

Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering


The quality of control loop is very important in hydraulic machineries, where pressure must be accurately regulated in the presence of various disturbances. Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) control has dominated the industry for a long time and it is by far the most popular general purpose controller for pressure control. The purpose of this study is to conduct a simulation and experimental study comparing PID with an emerging new technology, namely active disturbance rejection control (ADRC). For the purpose of this study, an experimental testbed similar to those used in industry settings is used; its mathematic model is derived and used in the simulation study. A linearized model is also derived for the purpose of PID tuning, where various methods such as the standard Ziegler-Nichols method, the pole-placement and the trial-and-error method are tested. As for the tuning of ADRC, a method is proposed to determine the critical gain parameter, which is the only plant parameter needed. All the simulation and experimental tests are designed based on the practical scenarios, so that the controller tuning, the tracking performance, the disturbance rejection capability and the energy consumption can be studied meaningfully for future industrial applications. Initial results indicate that, with the same bandwidth, ADRC can be used in a wider range of set point tracking than PID. Furthermore, ADRC is easy to tune and has clear advantages over PID in terms of disturbance rejection and energy saving in all simulation and experiment results. In summary, results of this study indicates that ADRC, as a general purpose controller, is a viable solution for pressure control applications, and an alternative to PID.