Design and implementation of automatic control for a condensation-induced depressurization system

Fen Du, Bo Zhang, Chao Zhu, Zhiming Ji, Chao Hsin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study develops a control system to automate the operation of a condensation-induced depressurization technology, which is used to achieve sub-atmospheric pressure in an open-flow system on ground. The continuous depressurization is maintained via an integrated series of chambers inside which vacuum is regenerated by condensing and refilling of saturated steam. The low pressure generated inside the chambers is then used to alternatively extract the air out of a flow system for maintaining its sub-atmospheric pressure. The thermodynamic cycle in such a vacuum chamber consists of three sub-processes: air purging to ambient by steam refilling, depressurization by steam condensation, and air-extraction from a flow application. As one chamber undergoing these consecutive processes, another chamber operates in a coordinated different phase to seamlessly maintain a continuous air-extraction operation. This new system provides a quiet and efficient way of using low-grade energy to generate hypobaric environment for needed applications. A cascade arrangement of a proposed multiple-chamber operation is also illustrated. A control system is designed and implemented to realize the automatic and coordinated operation in a dual-chamber, laboratory-scaled system. Exemplified results on process characteristics such as chamber depressurization and air purging are also provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1146-1158
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part I: Journal of Systems and Control Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Vacuum-driving flow
  • condensation
  • control system design
  • control system implementation
  • depressurization
  • steam purging


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