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00292702

00292702

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IEE
2nd
International
Conference on Advances
in
Power System Control, Operation
and
Management, December
1993,
Hong
Kong
DEVELOPMENT OF A KNOWLEDGE-BASED SYSTEM
TO
IMPROVE POWER PLANT THERMAL EFFICIENCY
Alvin
C.R.Wong
C.Y.Teo
H.K.
HoNanyang
Technological
University
Nanyang
AvenueSingapore
2263
Gbstract
A
prototype knowledge-based system to monitorthe real-time thermal efficiency
of
a
250
MW
steam plantis discribcd. The performance of the steam plant is detcr-mined by evaluating the boilcr and turbine efficiency based
on
ASMWANSI
performance test code. Various abnormal
or
inefficient operating conditions can be dctcctcd, ana-lysed and diagnosed. The knowlcdgc acquired has bccnencoded
in
the
form of engineering models and objects,rules and mathematical formulae. The prototype systemcan be interfaced to the power plant's data acquisitionsystem and
will
provide useful operation guide and diag-nostic aid to the plant operator
to
improve thermal cffi-c enc
y
.
Keywords
:
nowledge-based systems,simulation, powerplant thermal efficiency, diagnosis.
1.
Introduction
The need for real-time diagnosis
of
steam
plant
hasbeen recognised for many years. Current economic andsocial factors put suingent requirement on steam powerplants to be operated at high efficiency. Although mostpower plants are equipped with extensive dah acquisition
and
performance monitoring system, this large volume ofdata and alarms usually do not provide many means
of
in-
telligent interpretation
and
diagonsis of problems for prc-dicting corrective measures. Power plant operators have tocope
with
the
day
today operational problems and are facedwith several hundreds of measurement values.
It
is ratherdifficult for them to analyse all the data and evaluateaccurately the performance of the plant operation. Thus,there isastrong tendency towards the development
of'
expert system to monitor the real-time thermal efficiencyand to advise operation
for
approriatc actions.Few
of
thcsc knowledge-based systems for timecritical processes are
in
daily operation because they do notinclude special real-time requirements. This paper reportsresearch into thereal-time complex domain of steam powerplant operation by developing a prototype system whichcombines the strength
of
frame-based representation and arule-based paradigm to provide process systems modeling,causal reasoning and temporal infercncing. The devclop-
ment
was motivated by an immediate need
for
a powerfuland flexible rwl-time knowledge-based system for thepower generation industries to improve thermal efficiency.
2,
Svstem
Architecm
The prototype knowledge-based system is imple-mented using
G2
object-orientated real-time expert systemshcll
[
1,2].
The architecture
of
thc system
is
shown
in
1. 
Knowledge is organiscd asobjects, rules and for-mulae segregated into eight workspaces
:
boiler drum,superheater, reheater, economiser, feedwater supply sys-tem, turbinc/condcnsor and fuel system. Each
of
theseworkspaces is
a
collection of process equipment related to
its
plant area.
For
example, boiler-drum workspace con-tains objects such as boiler-drum, pump, valve, sensor-transmitter, control Icr-blocks and their associated display
and
graphs.The process equipment
in
each workspace are rep-resented by
objecls.
Each object has a table of atuibutes.An attribute table contains knowledge about the object.Figure2 shows the objcct definition offuel-oil-pump and
a
partol its attribute table. Itdcfinesall theclassattributes,including the appearance
of
i&
icon,
its
name and othervalues of its variable. All classes
of
objects exists within ahierarchy ofclasses. Each class
in
the hierarchy inherits theattributes of its superior class.
If
the process equipmentclass has an Inllow atuibutc, then all sub-classes of
process
equipmcnt such as valve,
pump
inherit that Inflow attribute.Each class
of
objects is defined by an object definition thatspecifics the icon, the conncction and the attributes. Theobject definition isan abstraction of theobject. Theobjectsare graphically linkcd by a connection.Figure
2 
showsseveral connections joining
pumps
and olherequipment.
In
steam power plant, a connection might be a water-pipe
or
a stearn-pipc. Connecting posts
are
used to connect objectsacross workspace, indicating that endpoints
of
connectionson separate workspaccs arc actually joined.
A
Vuriuble is
a
class of object that receive valuesfrom external deviccs
or
G2
inference engine.
It
also
has
an
attribute table attached which allows the developer tochoose source of
data,
validity interval and othcr attributesconsistent
with
a
real-time environment. Senor variablesare designcd
for
real
or
simulated measurements.Figure
3 
shows the
I;.DF-A-dischurge-I)ressure
attribute associated
with
thc
FDF-A
objcct.
135
 
Knowledge BaseBuilder
L
-
1
Foreign FunctionInterface
I
SteamProperty
I
2
File
Interface
or
G2
Standard Interfacethrough conventionaldata acquisition
system
I
User
I
t
I
User Interface
t
Knowledge
Base
Meta-KnowledgeDiagnostic KnowledgeReal-time Inference EngintInheritanceForward chainingBackward chaining
Plant
Data
Acquisition
JI
-ct7
lant Simulator
Figure
1
:
Theschematic architecture
2.1
Real-time Inference Eneinehe
FDF-A-discharge-pressure
of
FDF-A
in 
3 
is a
quantitative variable
and has the value
281.0,
as
shown by
its
Last recorded value
attribute. Variables have
Vafidiry nterval
attribute, the length of time that the
Lastrecorded value
attribute of a variable will remain valid.Also, variables have a
Hisrory keeping specifcation
attrib-
ute
that you can use to keep histories of values that changesover time. Variables can get values from a number ofsources such as the inference engine, the built-in simulator,formula or external data files. The
Datu server
attribute ofa variable indicates
the
source from which the values for
the
variable can
be
obtained.
Rules
contain an expert's knowledge about what to con-clude and how to respond to the given sets of conditions.Most rules are generic
in
form and
they
apply to a wholeclass of objects.
A
formula
is an equation that provides a value
for
avariable. Two types
of
formulae,
specific
formulas and
generic
formulae are used
in
the knowledge base.
A
specific formula is
a
formula that applies to just
one
variable. Specific formula is used to calculate
the
value fora variable
if
the
Data server
for
the variable indicates thesource
is
from the inference engine as shown in
this
ex-ample.
A
generic formula applies to a whole class ofvariables. An example
of
a generic formula for any fueltank is"
the
volume
of
any tank
=
the level
of
the tank *thearea
of
he
rank".
Generic formula
is
used
to calculate thevolume of any vertical
tank,
if
the
variable that gives thevolume of the tank has a Data server attribute that indicatesinference engine and
if
no
specific formula exists for thevariable.The real-time inference engine reasons about the cur-rent state
of
the
application, and communicates it with
the
operator
or
initiates other activity
based
on the
state it hasinferred. The inference engine operates
on
the knowledgecontained
in
the knowledge base, the simulated values andvalues that
it
has received from sensors and other externalsources. The inference engine has the following functions:scans the rulesat the
rates
associated with each rule, focuses
on
the
key objects by trying rules that are associated witheach object regularly, invokes rulesof aparticularcategory
for
a particular class of object and backward chains
or
forward chains to other rules to find the values.
2.2
Plant Data AcauisitionThrough
G2
standard interface, the real time data
for
boiler and turbine can be obtained from the conventionaldata acquisition system. However, during developmentstage, the
real
time data is read from external files using
G2
files interface. The complete set of measurement coveringwhole range
of
boiler tempcrature, boiler pressure, gascontents,
fuel
flow,
turbine temperatre and pressure at eachinlet and outlet, turbine enthalpy and various stages ofturbine steam Ilow are stored
in
different files at threeloading points, namely
120
MW,
200
MW
and
250
MW.
All the measurements at other loading level are generatedthrough linear regression from the three loading levels.
2.3
Plant SimulatorThe prototype system has a simulator of a hypotheti-
136
 
FUEL-OII.-PUMP,
an
obiect-definitionFUEL-SYSTEM-OVERVIEW]
I
FUEL--OIL-PUMP-AClass nameSuperior classCapabilities and restrictionsClass restrictionsInhertited attributesDefault settingsAttribute displaysStubsAttribute specific
to
classFUEL--OIL-DAY-TANK
Color
Icon descriptionFUEL--OIL-HEATERfuel-oil-pumpPumpnonenonenonenonenoneinherited
an
nput fuel-line fuel-oil-inletan output fuel-line fuel-oil-outlcinheritedinheritedlocated at left
23;
located at right
8
Figure
2
:
Fuel-oil-pump object definition
in
fuel-system-overview workspacecal, dynamic steam power plant model built within itself.Access to the plant simulator can provide users with
the
op-portunity to experience dynamic situations and to repro-duce various situations
in
order to review relevant events.The plant simulator emulates the process dynamics of keycontrol variablessuchas flow, pressureand temperature
for
valves, pumps, vessels, heat exchangers and other processequipment.Time-based simulation is possible due to time-basedrepresentation of data
in
the development software. Everyvariablein thesystem, including
all
objectattributes, has anassociated validity interval which specifies how long thevalue remains valid before another value must be re-quested. An internal time base is used to time-stamp alldata, to react to expired validily intervals
in
variables, andto scan rules according to their specified scan intervals.When
the
validity interval for a variable has expired, anumber of options are pursued for obtaining a new value,depending on the data server specification. One option forobtaining a new data is to specify a value
or
evaluate
a
formula based
on
another object’s value. For example,
the
value for the flow to an outlet valve of
a
tank can bespecifiedas theoutflow of the tank connected to it. Anotheroption
to
determine the value
of
the object
is
to
use back-ward chaining or forward chaining. A third option is toobtain the value from an external source suchasa sensorinterface
or a
data file.
Both
shallow
and
deep
simulation knowledge areused. A shallow simulation is
a
collection of simpleheuristics that models
the
observed behaviour. In
con-
stract,
a
deep simulation models the principles underlyingobserved behaviour. These principlesare
the
causal knowl-edge that drives surface behaviour. Shallow simulation
in
is constructed using experimental test data from
a
steampower plant operating at steady state conditions embeddedinto mathematical functions and equations. Deep simula-Lion model
in
is
constructed using simulation formulae
based
on
physical principles such as (volume
*
pressure
/
temperature)
and
discrete-state simulation formulae. Anexample of the latter category of formula is
“state variable
:
ext value
of
the pressure-at-ouller
of
any
pump
=
thepressure-at-inlet
of
the pump
+
the delta-pressure
of
thepump, with initial value
1.015”.
Faults can be simulated manually by triggering certainfault conditions. When fault condition is simulated, thesimulatorchanges the valueofthe relevantactual datasuchthat the deviation between the
actual
and the
simulated
value exceed acertain threshold value. When this happens,fault effects may propagate through causal path and rules
will
be
activated
to
diagnose the fault. The fault simulationis only used when the data is not actually coming from theplant itself, and
is
used for the purposes of off-line testing/validation
of
the knowledge base and for training/tutoringof plant operators.2.4 User InterfaceThe user interface
is
a
link between
the
user, theknowledge base and the simulator.
It
contains graphicalrepresentations of meters, dials,
alarm
indicators, trendgraphics, and some objects
in
the steam power plant. Theknowledge system uses these graphical representations tosimulate a user control interface and
LO
elp explain events
in
the plant. Figure4 shows
an
xample of the user interfacewith a cause and effect table to highlight
the
established
137

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