Part 2


Chapter 3

Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills
N.W. Rees and G.Q. Fan



There can be no doubt that the ideas of modelling and control have generally been found quite acceptable within the electric power generation industry. With the introduction of modem distributed control systems (DCSs), it is now possible to implement many of the ideas resulting from modelling and control studies, although control engineers generally feel much more could be done than is currently the case (Rees and Lu, 2002). The control vendors and the applied control literature now regularly describe 'modem' control systems for the industry. Particular attention has been paid to steam temperature control (Mann and Lausterer, 1992; Nakamura and Uchida, 1989), load pressure control (Maffezzoni, 1996; Waddington and Maples, 1987) and water level control (Kwatny and Maffezzoni, 1996; Peer and Leung, 1993). An area of power plant control that has received much less attention from modelling and control specialists is the coal mills. This is in spite of the fact that it is now accepted that coal mills and their poor dynamic response are major factors in the slow load take-up rate and they are also a regular cause of plant shut-down (Maffezzoni, 1986). The reasons for this lack of interest are uncertain but relate very much to the idea that modelling mills is very difficult, if not impossible, and that mills are subject to all sorts of disturbances such as wear, choking and unknown coal properties, beyond the wit of the engineer to model. Against this, however, there is plenty of evidence that properly modelled and controlled mills can respond much better than at present; indeed it has been suggested that performance equal to that of oil-fired plant is possible (Rees, 1997). In the rest of this chapter we take a closer look at the modelling and control of coal mills and give some ideas from our own experience, and from that of others, where the future automation of this important area may be going.


Thermal power plant simulation and control


Modelling of coal mills

The problem of the transient performance of coal mills has been recognised for some time. Early work by Profos (1959) on pressure and combustion control, introduced models of coal mills relating input demand to firing rate by transfer functions, consisting of a first-order lag and a pure transport delay. Typical values of these parameters for different types of mills were given. Numerous studies based on these models using step response or frequency response testing have been carried out both for single-input single-output (SISO) systems and multivariable control (Bollinger and Snowden, 1983; Hougen, 1980; Neal et al., 1980). Slightly more complicated models based on overall mass balancing (O'Kelly, 1997; Rees and Mee, 1973) or heat balance analysis (Dolezal and Varcop, 1970) have also been developed. Whilst these models have been beneficial it is now recognised that some aspects of particle size distribution as well as the complicated internal structure of the mill must be considered (Corti et al., 1986; Robinson, 1985). We will discuss this matter soon but first we need to look a bit more closely at the mills themselves.


Vertical spindle mills

There are many types of coal mills in use, with one of the most popular types being the pressurised vertical spindle bowl mill as shown in Figure 3.1. This mill is very popular because it is economical; however, it has very low coal storage so that good control is very important. In operation, raw coal enters the mill down a chute dropping on to a constant speed of rotation table or bowl. The coal then moves under centrifugal force outwards and under three passive rollers where grinding and crushing take place. The coal output then moves towards the throat of the mill where it mixes with high-speed hot primary air. The heavier coal particles are immediately returned back to the bowl for further grinding whilst the lighter particles are entrained in the air flow and carried into the separator section. The separator contains a large amount of coal particles in suspension by the powerful air flow. In addition some of the heavier particles entrained in the primary air-coal mix lose their velocity and fall back onto the mill table as shown, for further grinding, whilst particles that are travelling fast enough enter the classifier zone. These particles are given a swirl behaviour by vanes or deflector plates. The lighter particles are drawn out of the resulting vortex as classified pf fuel for the burners, whilst the heavier particles hit the side of the classifier cone and drop back onto the mill table for further processing. As in the separator the classifier contains a significant mass of suspended coal. These masses of coal, together with the mass of coal on the mill table and the three recirculating loads, primary, secondary and tertiary, play a major role in the dynamic behaviour of the mill. As shown in Figure 3.1 the main inputs to the mill are the raw coal and the primary air while the output is the pf flow. The size distribution of the pf flow particles or 'finers' is usually required to be less than 75 microns and cannot be measured. It is determined largely by the intemal mill behaviour and the classifier settings which

1 Physical structure of a vertical spindle mill .Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills Raw coal 65 from feeder 06~O Deflector plates Tertiary recirculating load Secondary recirculating load Primary recirculating load Flash drying zone Mill throat Figure 3.

1 and 3. which is easily measured and controlled by hot air and cold air dampers.~ ~ Phsff ~r~_~ ] [ I m~r~ i Separator I I M~. ~pf fT. 3.2 Schematic of a vertical spindle mill . There is no doubt that mill control would be much improved if particle size measurements were available. rhff = kfrhrc is the amount of fine coal in the raw feed that is blown straight out of the mill. rhrc and rhpf represent the raw coal flow entering the mill and the pulverised fuel flow leaving.. rhpre. and the differential pressure between the top part of the mill and the under bowl. The size distribution of the raw coal input is measured infrequently using mechanical sieves and the particles are mainly in the range 75 microns to 70 mm.2 Modelling vertical spindle mills . mill motor current. separator and classifier by the primary airflow rhpa. rhsff and thtff represent the entrained coal flow picked up at the throat. This AP measurement is very useful in helping to understand mill recirculating load. but no satisfactory measuring equipment has yet been developed.mass balance models A useful physical model of the mill can be developed using internal mass balances.2 show the key mill structure and the variables necessary to write the mass balances.66 Thermal power plant simulation and control are usually not varied during mill operation. Mpr is the mass of coal on the table. A block diagram schematic of the mill is shown in Figure 3.. Roll Figure 3. Other important variables around the mill are mill temperature. I ii ow. mtre mtff ClassifierMtfl. which gives some indication of mill load.. rhg the flow of coal to the grinding table.2.2. Air flow can be measured accurately although the measurement is often noisy. rhsr e and rhtre are the recirculating loads and rhpff. and rhgc the output of the grinding mills. Figures 3.

5) (3.ksrerhsff rhtre q. This model considers coal in 15 particle sizes with detailed physically based models developed for each box.7) (3. Eleven particle sizes are assumed in the raw coal but the grinding model is much simplified over the size mass balance model (Prasher. The suspended mass of coal in the separator Msr and the classifier Mtr can be calculated from dMsr = (1 . The following mass balances can be written by inspection: rhg -.ksre)rhsff .8) .w0 (1 .2 but the processes in each box are simplified. The recirculating loads in equation (3. In the bowl modelling. Likewise.thff where w0 and Wl represent the moisture in the raw coal and in the coal on the bowl. dt (3.thtre -[.rhsff dt dMtr = (1 -.kpre)rnpff .1) (3.-rhsr e -4. the flow of raw coal from the chute to the grinding zone has been modelled in terms of centrifugal effects and the difference in height of the raw coal as it flows across the coal bed. ksre and ktre are the appropriate steady-state gains and the time constants rpre. for example.2) (3.4) (3.3) rare = ff/pre -[. The entrainment of coal from the table into the separator and classifier is examined using Lagrangian particle calculations and empirically determined classification functions.2) can be adequately determined from drhpre rpre dt t'sre drnsre dt rhpre q.-dt where kpre. 1981).ktrerhtff d/htre "t'tre.rhsre q.1 .2 has been developed by Robinson (1985). treatment of the grinding zone includes an analysis based on known communition theory and established breaking rate functions and breakage distribution functions. As a consequence of all this detail the model consists of 76 ordinary differential equations and is more of a knowledge-based model (Maffezzoni.kprerhpff (3. 1996) than a control model.Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills 67 A detailed transient model of the mill based on Figure 3.rhtre /hpf = ff/tff .6) .rhtff.kf)rhrc q-. rsre and rtre are due to aeroresistance and inertia to the flow with the finer particles having longer time delays. A more control-oriented model has been developed by Fan (1994) and Fan and Rees (1994).thre 1 -wl (3. It is an excellent reference model and highly recommended reading but too complicated for most control studies. This model uses the same physical structure as shown in Figure 3.

but a simpler model is used here based on the idea of 'similarity' (Fan.68 Thermal power plant simulation and control To complete the model we need to determine the mass of coal Mpr on the table and the entrainment flows rhpff.rhg .thg -.rhpff.rhgc (3.11) where kpr is a shaping factor that depends on the area of the particle flow path.13) where all the shaping constants have the same structure as kpf but with their own local parameter values. In this study R has been determined by measuring the weight of coal in each of 11 sieve sizes and feeding this information into a Matlab program for calculation (Fan. the density of the air and the volume of the mill occupied by the fine coal particles near the classifier. (3. Assuming that the mass of primary air passes quickly through the mill then the secondary and tertiary final flows can be expressed by similar formulas: rhsff = ksrMsrrhpa rhtff = ktrMtrrhpa (3.12) (3. To determine the entrainment rate of the coal by the air at the throat.9) dt However from the entrainment point of view it is the ground coal conditions at the rim (throat) that matter so that we really need to know the flow output of the grinding rolls rhgc. The coal mass balance on the table can be written as dMpr -. in the separator and in the classifier we need to find a relationship between the air mass flow rate at the point of interest and the pick-up rate of the coal particles. 1981).10) where R is the size reduction rate of the raw coal particles and rhgc is defined as the flow of ground coal such that 80 per cent of the particles will pass through a 75 micron sieve. 1994). the area of the primary air flow path.13) so that rhpf : kpf(Mtr + Mff)rnpa -. which results in the rolls being described by 1 drhgc R dt -. Kunii and Levenspiel (1969) show that the entrained particles travel at the same velocity as the carrier air and from this it is straightforward to show (Fan. 1994) that rhpff = kpr Mprrhpa (3.14) . Prasher. This can be determined in a complex way using the size mass balance concept (Prasher. Since a small amount of 'finer' coal enters the mill in the raw coal and gets blown straight out again as pf coal it is appropriate to add this flow to equation (3.rhtre. 1981). 1994. rhsff and rhtff. The particles are picked up by the drag force and will be entrained as long as this force is greater than the gravitational force. (3.

u 2 e d due ~ ~ ' to air velocity (%) Transfer Fen2 Mill level (kg) Coal returned due to mill rim (%) dmd Raw coal Saturation Transport (kg/s) Sum aulrll Grinding zo~e~Vtable (kg) . 3. This model uses three particle sizes that are carried through all the calculations.2.Q Mill pf flow (kg/s) I ~ Transfer Fen3 Coal returned due to classification (%) Coal near classifier (kg) Gain7 Co. The mill temperature Tm measured at the mill outlet is a critical variable from a safety viewpoint.Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills 69 :D Sum6 Gain9 Small portion fine coal (%) . A non-linear function such as this allows saturation to be modelled as might occur for example in mill choking. and must be controlled within narrow bands. ].too high a A p .Matlab/Simulink ® simulation A complete Simulink simulation model of the mill based on the above mass balance is shown in Figure 3. Raw coal (l~g/s) Primar air (kg/s) Figure 3.... The grinding model is similar to equation (3.. Likewise mill differential pressure A P measured between the mill under-bowl and the separator is a critical variable since it is an indirect measure of mill recirculating load .. An interesting non-linear model is described for the entrainment of coal of the larger ground size at the bowl rim.3. This is expressed as rhpff = kpr(mprmgc) n' thpa (3.temperature. it is essential for any control studies that thermodynamic and hydrodynamic effects are also considered. pressure and energy issues Whilst the mass balance model describes the pf flow quite well.10) except that of the two particle sizes in the ground coal the production of one is seen as proportional to the mass of raw coal on the table while the production of the other is proportional to the mass of the larger size ground coal on the table..3 Verticalspindle mill.3 Modelling vertical spindle mills .15) where nl is an experimentally fitted constant and Mgc is the mass of ground coal on the table. It is interesting to compare the above model with the more empirical model developed by O'Kelly (1997)...

Tin)C2 C)moi -----to0rhrc(Ta .qpao . 3. changes in the air flow path area due to the suspended coal.to0)thrc(Ta .A P As the primary air flows through the mill.Tin) C)rci = (1 .Tm A simple and useful model of mill temperature can be obtained from a global input/output energy balance. Another useful measurement and model relates to the energy E needed to drive the mill and its coal load. A P and E are outlined below.Tin)C3 qpao = C1 thairTm 0pro = C2rhpfTm qmoo = C3tolrhrcTm + Co(wo . raw coal and the moisture.1 Mill t e m p e r a t u r e .16) where the 0 terms represent the input and output heat in the primary air. a differential pressure A P is developed between the under-bowl pressure and the pressure in the separator. By standard techniques these quantities can be written as: C)pai = Clthpa(Tpa . The simulation equations for Tm. suggest that significant improvements are possible using this approach.2 Mill differential pressure .2. 3.70 Thermal power plant simulation and control indicates possible mill overload and will trip the plant.3.= qin -.qpfo -. rhair is the air flow outlet of the mill and the coefficients Ci are the appropriate specific heats.qout = 0pai + qrei + C)moi-. The mill energy balance then results in MmCn---~.2.16) with the above substitutions represents the temperature equation used in the simulations. picking up coal from the table. It may be possible to improve the temperature model by including heat generated during grinding so that the temperature of the coal bed differs from the measured pf outlet temperature.Ümoo dTm (3. however. This would require a higher-order dynamic model and much more information on coal mass and surface parameters.3. This pressure loss is caused by frictional losses. The problem is complex because there is a mixture of single-phase air flow below the bowl and two-phase coal/air flow in the separator. Mill wear can also be related to A P.tol)rhrc where Tpa and Ta are the primary air and ambient air temperature. coal and air mass temperature in the mill. It is assumed that the mill temperature is measured in the mill pf outlet duct and that this lumped parameter Tm is the same as the mill body. Equation (3. Early results. and energy lost by the air in picking up the coal. . and Mm and Cn are the mass of metal in the mill and its specific heat.

A similar relationship for the consumed energy is given by Corti et al.17) where dh is the distance between the mill entry and the measuring point. These parameters can be determined off-line and stored in a look-up table relating their values to operating conditions or they can be determined adaptively on-line.3 Plant tests. the mill power consumption E is mainly a function of the amount of coal mass m on the mill grinding table. 1969) then E = mkB(Z21/2 -. Since z2 is determined by the mill classification settings which are fixed. (1986) that data collection was being carried out by ENEL in Italy.18) Assuming Eu is given by Bond's law (Kunii and Levenspiel. coal hardness and other operational issues can be resolved. and it has been suggested by Corti et al. kpa. and the raw coal distribution is more or less constant. 3. Unfortunately there is little coal mill data available so that most of the few models available in the literature are qualitatively evaluated or checked against a number of simple step responses. (3. The parameters kpe. 3.19) where kB is a constant depending on the coal. Consequently. In addition by observing the mill power requirements for coal pulverising. the global model is represented by a set of constant-coefficient lumped-parameter models. kre and krl are complex functions of mill air flow. Some frequency response testing has been performed (Neal et al.•2 A P = kpedh + kpadth~a + (1 + Tms) 2dmrc + krldMtr (3. 1980). (1986). This will be discussed in subsequent sections. results and fitting model parameters Models of physical plant are of course only as good as how well they fit the data. useful information about mill wear.. Details are given in Fan (1994) with the resulting equation for A P being kree-Tds .2. . then the energy E required by a mill charged with coal mass m is E = m E u + W. If Eu is the energy required by a unit mass of coal particles to be ground from size Zl to size z2 and W is the energy required to drive an empty mill.3 Energy model Large coal mills consume significant amounts of power amounting to about 500 kW at full load.z l I/2) (3.Modelling and control o f pulverised fuel coal mills 71 A global model for A P can be developed from an energy balance between the air input and the mill measuring point. It should be noted that the mass of the mill M is constant.3.

2 when fitted to data collected from power stations in New South Wales. In the other two experiments mill controls were removed. Once the first set of parameters was determined the simulation model was run in parallel with the mill and the resulting error signal was then used to further refine parameters. Data logging includes the mills (six of them) and appropriate pressures. In addition special tests were carried out. but a small set of parameters varied with load and other factors such as wear. It was quickly found that a large number of parameters were constant throughout plant operation. data from the special tests and design data were used in a heuristic way. To cope with these variations a distributed model parameter set was determined as discussed later. one a 500 MW plant and the other a 660 MW plant.72 Thermal power plant simulation and control In this section we describe some model data fitting carried out using the model from section 3. In this test the mill PA flow was constant and the feeder speed step changed after 90 and 430 samples. the model has the same 70 per cent load parameters as the previous simulation. on an empty mill to determine the no-load relationship between mill A P and primary air. Rather steady-state data. plant technical staff and operators so that model parameter estimation was possible without excessively disturbing the plant or placing too much demand on the operators. It was developed in a collaborative project between the University of New South Wales and Pacific Power International in a project designed to develop and test modern control concepts as applied to coal mills. The tests were also carried out for new mill rollers and worn mills. it is worth mentioning the fact that the data was collected from experiments carried out on two plants. transient data. Since the experiments were carefully designed it was possible to fit many of the parameters to the data by simple least squares. Australia. the data are not available for general use. This means that step and ramp changes are made and during the experiments normal plant controls are maintained except around the mills.5 a similar test is carried out but at 80 per cent load. Three different mill control configurations were used. The parameters used in the model were determined for 70 per cent load as the feeder speed indicates. However. Extensive experiments were carried out for five different power demands between 60 and 90 per cent MCR. Although this approach might appear somewhat ad hoc it is a very effective engineering approach and an excellent way of building up knowledge and understanding of the plant for modeller and plant engineer alike. Unfortunately. In the first experiment. The experiments were specially designed by the modellers. In passing. temperatures and flows from all around the boiler turbine plant.4 where the mill power and mill A p outputs are shown. It can be seen that the model responses are quite satisfactory. The fitted model test results against the data are shown in Figure 3. No particular parameter identification method was used to fit the model parameters. or air flow with constant fuel set-point. Deterioration in the results is obvious both for . power demand was set constant. Following each step the plant was allowed to settle before the next step occurred. plant power demand was ramped up and down with the normal mill mass/mass control in place so that fuel and primary air varied. In Figure 3. and a step change was applied to fuel flow with constant primary air setpoint. for example.

15 1.3 I I l I l I I [ 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1. 300 . 900 . I I I I I I I d 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 Figure 3.1 1. 400 . A similar test at 50 per cent load showed even worse transient performance. 600 . After 800 samples both feeder speed .4 Step changes in feeder speed at 70per cent load (fixed parameter model): solid line -field test data.model output.05 C [ I I I i I I I 100 22 20 o = 18 16 14 I 200 .25 ~. In the first 600 samples the feeder speed was constant and the air varied. 700 . dotted line . 500 . Figure 3.2 1.Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills 75 73 70 65 L 6C 100 360 ~" 340 320 o 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 300 280 b 1.6 shows the results of a more complicated test. 800 . Sample time = 3 s steady-state values and for the transient response. 1.

. . .. . ~7 16 14 I I [ l I l I 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 Figure 3. . . . .74 Thermal power plant simulation and control 85 80 75 .3 1.5 Step changes in feeder speedat 80per cent load (fixedparameter model). .2 24 I I I I I I I 100 I 200 I 300 I 400 I 500 I 600 700 800 ~" o 22 20 . . . dotted line . . .. . It can b e seen t h a t the data fit for a fixed m o d e l for this test is n o t very g o o d a n d especially after 800 s a m p l e s w h e r e the error increases. . . . . ~ - - . . . . . S u c h a n e v e n t is n o t u n u s u a l and c o u l d c a u s e the mill to b e shut down. .4 1. In this data the mill is ' c h o k i n g ' d u e to the h i g h coal flow a n d low air flow..6 1. 100 i i i r 70 ¢~'ll~r~Pd~t'~'~|L~'g~ t 200 300 400 500 f i i i I 600 i I 700 800 400 380 360 340 32O 300 1. .5 e~ I I I I I I I 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 1.model output. . . . . . T h i s . .." solid line -field test data. . . Sample time = 3 s a n d air vary t h r o u g h r a t h e r large c h a n g e s .

model output. ~ . ~ m .Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills 90 80 70 60 50 40 0 450 ~" 400 350 o . It might be noted that in these figures we have not chosen to show the p f flow from the mill. L i = ~ .Llll i .5 22 ~ o i. . This is because it cannot be measured and so cannot be c o m p a r e d with the model. ~L.LO 75 i I 500 lO'O0 1500 300 b 250 0 500 ' 1o'o 0 1500 15 0. ~ l . 500 0 ' 1 00 O' 1500 20 18 16 d 14 I 0 500 1000 15oo Figure 3. . . however. .4. m . is largely missed by our fixed parameter model. We will discuss this in section 3.6 Step changes in both airflow and feeder speed (fixed parameter model): solid line -field test data. . dotted line . Sample time = 3 s p h e n o m e n o n .

.l i n e a r i t i e s in the p l a n t so t h a t one set o f p a r a m e t e r values w i t h the s i m p l e m o d e l c a n n o t g l o b a l l y fit the data.... .7 Step changes in feeder speed at 70 per cent load (distributed parameter model): solid line ...........05 I I I I I I I I 0 22 100 I 200 I 300 I 400 I 500 I 600 I 700 I 800 I 900 ~ 20 - - .. dotted line .3 1.%-" ~ -=- 18 16 14 I I I I I I I I d 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 Figure 3.15 1.-. . . i i 60 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 360 340 o e~ ~ 320 300 280 0 1. ......... T h i s difficulty can b e o v e r c o m e by u s i n g a d i s t r i b u t e d p a r a m e t e r set m o d e l w h e r e different p a r a m e t e r s are u s e d for different o p e r a t i n g c o n d i t i o n s as m e a s u r e d . " - t . ~T -.r...25 I I l I I I I I 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 t~ 1..76 Thermal power plant simulation and control 7 5 . ..1 C 1...T r T 70 65 LT.. Sample time = 3 s T h e mill m o d e l l i n g p r o b l e m s j u s t d e s c r i b e d are d u e to the n o n . . .. ... .test data.model output.- .2 1. ....

6 are shown with the distributed models in Figures 3.25 1. 400 .7-3.35 1. dotted line . . The results of the same experiments shown in Figures 3.43. 300 .model output. 70 a 400 0 1 O0 . Sample time = 3 s by mill feeder speed and PA flow.3 1. 200 . 500 .4 1.9 and are obviously much . By dividing the operating space up into regions and then forming a database of parameter sets for each region a more satisfactory model can be produced.test data.45 I I I I I I I 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 1. 600 700 800 ~' 380 360 340 320 3O0 0 1.8 Step changes in feeder speed at 80 per cent load (distributed parameter model): solid line .2 0 24 22 2o I l l I I I I 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 14 d 0 I I I I I I I 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 Figure 3.Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills 85 77 8o 75 LI. .

Figure 3.4 1.10 shows the distributed results for a 'worn mill' over a range of loads and these are also good. 500 10 0 1500 Figure 3.:. 50 40 450 ~" 400 I I I a 5OO i 1000 i 1500 o 350 300 b 2513 1.model output. The results of Figure 3..9 are particularly interesting since they show the 'choking' behaviour well.. however.test data. Sample time = 3 s improved. dotted line ..8 22 20 18 16 14 L I 500 1000 1500 i l y ...2 1 ' 500 i 10'0 0 i 1500 0.8 1.. It should be remembered.6 1. The modelling results shown in this section are very encouraging.78 Thermal power plant simulation and control 90 80 70 i ~" 60 ~..9 Step changes in both airflow and feeder speed (distributed parameter model): solid line . that to obtain this behaviour requires a lot of plant .

Modelling and control o f pulverised fuel coal mills 80 79 60 t~ 50 0 350 300 o ~ 200 i 400 I-- I I -- / 600 800 1000 1200 1400 --.5 a n alternative a p p r o a c h will b e discussed.2 1 I I I I I I 0 24 "~ o Z~ d 22 20 18 16 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 I ~ I I I I 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 Figure3.10 Operation with a worn mill (distributed parameter model): solid line . for all loads a n d for c h a n g e s in o t h e r factors such as coal calorific value a n d m o i s ture.4 1. dotted line . Sample time = 3 s testing a n d data collection.~ I I I I I I b 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1. In section 3.test data. a n d thus requires a large database. .6 1.8 1.250 200 0 2 .model output. w h i c h m u s t be d o n e for g o o d a n d w o m mills.

In this figure the controlled outputs are steam pressure and MW load. it is 0 2measurement aemana / ~-] ~ I gen.80 Thermal power plant simulation and control 3. There are a number of key issues that must be discussed in relationship to Figure 3.. With most plants now controlled by distributed control systems.4. In operation the unit demand sets the set-point for pressure and power output. The figure also shows an oxygen controller._ Gen. L.11.11 Unit fuel. The two most important issues are the use of pulverised fuel pf feedback in the fuel control loop and the contents of the milling group box. In practice. and the controlled variables are fuel flow and TV position. Fundamental to this balance is the steam pressure at the inlet to the throttle valves (TVs) or turbine governor valves. it is helpful to fit mill control into the broader base of unit control. it is fairly straightforward to set controller parameter values for stable operation over an acceptable load range. The unit load controller essentially maintains the balance between thermal power in the boiler.. either locally (LC) or remotely (RC) from the load dispatch centre..4 3. ~ FUce~Air . Variations of the controller structure are also possible. air and MW controllers and power plant .11. MW measurement I TV position measurement i ~A1 ~ ] nator ]M~ output Figure 3..~ I Steampressure Pulverised fuel measuremer ~ m e ~ surerr er tf___q I set-point Bo~l~t~Pl~eSrS.. [02 set point I [ I 02 controller F 1 [ Flue gas r-] [ I Steampressure output ~ ] ~ Heat~Bc le-~r . the use of derivative control in the feedforward signals.g. There are many ways in which this can be done. and the control systems do the rest. but increasingly coordinated or integrated controls are used as shown in Figure 3.1 Mill control General issues To understand mill control and all its issues. since fuel gas composition is strongly linked with furnace behaviour.. Isu'. and mechanical-electrical power developed by the turbine generator. e.

. . . . . . as set by the unit demand. . . . . . . In addition. Its control is usually fairly simple and is done by measuring the air pressure . . . . . .~ 6 I Pressure measurement Feeder speedmeasurement1 I controller I HOtair [ . . . 3. . . .12 shows a more detailed description of the unit fuel control part of Figure 3. .2 Control studies on a single mill As we have seen it is very important that the milling group and hence the individual mills provide the correct amount of fuel. .11. Figure 3. . 6 Figure 3. it is usual to replace this measurement by the feeder speed measurement of fuel flow. In addition. mill choking and mill fire. In the rest of the chapter we will first consider the control of a single mill in an attempt to improve how an individual mill is actually controlled. . . . . .4. Primary air flow and temperature are significant influences in mill control as we shall now see. In steady-state operation this is a satisfactory thing to do. . . This means that depending on load. Secondary air flow is important in the furnace but does not affect the mill. . . . . since pf flow cannot be measured. . . . . but transiently there are significant differences resulting in challenging environmental problems during load change that significantly reduce maximum load change rates. . . The above two issues of fuel flow measurement and multiple mill use are key issues in overall mill control. . . . . . . . For safe and efficient mill and furnace operation primary and secondary air flow must also be correct.12 Unit fuel control with air/fuel mass/mass submill control not possible to measure the pf feedback and in addition the milling block is not just one mill but many mills . .Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills 81 . . mills must be switched in and out of service. Feeder1 Submail 2 controlsystem • 3 ~ 4 ~ 5 . . The final part of the chapter will then discuss overall mill control and the development of an intelligent operator advisory system. . . . . . ~ Hot air damper 1 . . . . . . .~ demand [ Fuel controller [-~ PIPI + +__~ ~+ ~ +1~ ! 1 4 . . . Pressure set-point + ( ~ Steampressure controller 1-----] + PID ~ . I Fuel control signal [ I. These operator diagnostic issues are of great importance and must be considered in the development of any useful mill control system. . .up to eight for example for a 500 MW unit. especially calorific value and wetness. there are major mill problems due to the uncertainty in mill input. Note that the fuel demand is for the entire mill group and this has to be split into the fuel demand for each of the individual mills. . Mill performance is also influenced by mechanical issues like mill wear.

set-point LFdr. In this mode the overall fuel demand is compared with the fuel being produced as measured by the feeder speed. PA controller pf Mill temp. measurement Mill temp. is fairly straightforward and is based on the so-called 'load line' of the mill. There are a number of ways of controlling the mill to meet all these requirements with the most usual being so-called mass/mass mill control."~ demand J ~ l pf -O I ~ I ~ ~ ~ MILL PA flow STemp "~" Cold • air ql I Hot air Figure 3. controller) Fuel controller ~ ~ Fuelcontrol I ' " I ] r signalto mills S~ Fdr.Air damper • .Sensors ~ Raw c o a l j Fuel control ~ l J signal ~ " i oa. The minimum air flow is set by the need to establish a satisfactory recirculating load in the mill.82 Thermalpower plant simulation and control in the hot air duct to the burners and controlling this by simple feedback to a desired set-point. which is usually used since it allows fuel to move first. This load line is predetermined for a mill and shows the relationship between the air mass flow and the coal mass flow required for the mill to operate in the safe air-fuel range of 1.' feedback Othermill fdr. spd..5. The air temperature is set by the requirements of having the coal sufficiently dry in the mill whilst at the same time not having the mill temperature too high and thus risking mill explosion. Where:* . a PI fuel controller then regulates the feeder speed as required.f.5-2. The basic idea behind the control of primary air and fuel to the mill.13 for the air follow mode.PA flow spd. The box RB is the rnnback controller whose purpose will be described later. spd. meas. Note that it is a purely static relationship and most mills are only operated at 40-100 per cent MCR. In the PA controller the feeder speed and the computed air flow are compared with the load line in the function generator (FG) and an error signal generated to drive the Fuel [ demandlb~ (Frompres. . the submill control system. The mass/mass mill controller can be operated in either air follow mode or coal follow mode with the basic idea being shown in Figure 3.13 Mass~mass control of mill (air follow mode) .. computation | .

2~U U:L Imeasurement tl Mill temp. .. I I .£-"x. The mill mass/mass controller is simple and reliable and extensively used. since a high A P indicates dangerous mill operation (ICAL. x / ~ I ~ Fdr. Any difference. however. -point "\ P T / .PA flow computation I1_Air damper ." %wi7 I ' PAiow[ ~ Fi~~°ntr°l ] K I ~ Coalfeeder ~ temp. poor since it does not continuously use information about the internal coal storage in the mill.~ " . which is an important factor in dynamic mill control. Simultaneously the temperature control loop adjusts the cold air input so that the mill outlet temperature remains at its set-point.Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills 83 hot air damper thus modulating air flow.. Fuel ] Fuelcontroller ~ demand x~ 1--7 Fuelcontrol [ (Frompres~? " ~ signalto mills| controller) ~ _ _ ~ Othermill PA flowmeas. will cause a change in feeder speed with an increase in pressure ratio indicating too high a recirculating load and vice versa. ] Milltemp. spdN. Should this value rise too high then the runback controller (RB) reduces the coal feeder speed to a minimum value securing safe operation of the mill. 1989)._. The pressure ratio is defined as A P divided by A Pair.otair Figure 3. however.14 where the main difference can be seen to be the use of feeder speed as a control variable working on a pressure measurement ratio. Where: * .. set . Its transient operation is. ] . the recirculating load derivative. . ~ demand [ . instead of the fuel demand error. which is then used to control hot primary air flow.-Sensors ~ils. as shown. The mill AP measures the resistance of the mill to the primary air flow and is thus indirectly measuring the amount of coal in the recirculating load in the operating mill. This pressure ratio is compared to a predetermined constant KRLD.O C RC° ~ d a i r M I L ~L - - " I . the recirculating load. 1989).14 Mill control using Hardgrove index . The performance of the mass/mass controller can be improved using a method based on the Hardgrove grindability index (ICAL. and if they are equal no change in feeder speed from its normal mass/mass value is used.~ _. This method is shown in Figure 3.

the output of the mills in the form o f p f flow or energy is not measured. provided all the functions required to set up the Hardgrove control loops are known. Unfortunately. attempts are made using lag-lead filter networks.84 Thermal power plant simulation and control Based on this idea the feeder speed can either be increased or decreased to take into account the transient effects of the recirculating load. More success has been achieved by inferential methods. This of course is not surprising since the pf flow is now controlled directly by feedback. that the basic problem with the mass/mass control remains. no account is made for the dynamics of the primary air response and the coal response. modifying the pressure ratio. 1987). however. Improved pulveriser control is usually achieved by lagging the PA flow to the load demand change whilst having the feeder speed respond immediately and including a lead feedforward signal from the PA flow measurement (Peet and Leung. It has been suggested (Fan. ICAL. 1994). and a number of these are working on-line (Waddington and Maples. The sensitivity of the controller performance to its parameter values and the cost of setting the system up properly are. In both the above control systems. have performance almost matching oil-fired systems. In practice. usually based on Kalman filtering using mill models.15 show that for a mill operating alone under mass/mass control or Hardgrove control the performance of the Hardgrove controller is significantly faster. 1993). because of the out-of-balance fuel-air ratio. wear and moisture. The difference in the speed of response causes significant pollution problems during transients. such as load. if one is available.indeed it has even been suggested that pulverised fuel mills might. the lag and lead settings are strongly affected by the operating conditions of the mill. or on a more ad hoc basis (Clarke et al. The reasons for this can be seen from Figure 3. 1989). namely. rapidly resulting in an overshoot in feeder response.3 Mill control using p f flow Many attempts have been made to develop suitable instruments for on-line measurement of pf flow (Maffezzoni. 3. Parameters of the model can then be fitted to . 1994.4.. when appropriately tuned. In section 3. however. The extra coal contains a percentage of fines that are immediately transported to the pf flow. excellent performance is possible from this control system . It should be noted in passing. The model can be obtained either by linearising a dynamic model of the system (Fan.15c where the Hardgrove controller has an overshoot in coal on the grinding table following a demand change. The essence of the idea is to set up a linear dynamic model of the boiler turbine and mills such that the pf flow and other important states of the mill are observable from available measurements. is discussed. when integrated into the coordinated control of the overall plant.4. The mass/mass controller by contrast does not produce this extra coal. Here the airflow measurement A Pair changes instantaneously. reasons given by the industry for the low take-up rate of the system. All on-line experiments or simulation studies seem to show significant improvement in the mill control provided that good estimates of the pf flow can be determined. 1989) that. The results of Figure 3. 1986) most of which have not been satisfactory.3 the performance of the mass/mass controller and the Hardgrove controller.

Hardgrove...mass~mass..15 Simulation results for mill control following fuel change: solid line .=_ 1500 'r-. requiring skilful setting up and plant testing if robust estimates are to be available.6 e EL a 0.2 0 30 5 0 I / I 100 150 200 "~ o 25 20 7- . The whole process is non-trivial... Standard Kalman filter (KF) programs can then be run to determine the filter gains. dotted line ..8 e- '~ 0.. Properly set up..4 0.. however... 1000 ol) o o 500 0 I I I c 15 0 50 i 100 i 150 i 200 "~ 10 ~ 5 0 I I I d 0 50 100 150 200 Figure 3.. the KF filter feedback system produces a time leading fuel estimation signal that can provide significant .r~ b 15 10 5 0 5 100 150 200 "~ 2500 2000 ¢~ ~0 . L ~ E .Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills 85 0. Sample time = 20 s plant data with process and measurement noise parameters being particularly important.

I | l . Kalman filter estimators have been operating successfully in a number of power stations in the UK since the 1980s (Clarke et al.... .. where particular emphasis is placed on obtaining good low-order models..19a shows that the power output response of the Hardgrove controller is almost twice as fast.. To achieve this response. . .. . ~ ~ "[ controller [ "l . To get some idea of the performance of the pf estimated controller the system of Figure 3. The responses show some oscillation but this is not serious.. .. fast actuators are needed on the . Figure 3.. .. .. The figure indicates that the pf controller keeps much tighter control of the generated power output and this is very significant since the stability to such unknown disturbances is very important. Even better performance of the pf feedback is shown in Figure 3. ..~ "J Pressure measurements Kalman filter 14 .~ . ... Pressure measurement ~ ~ ~ ' ] PID pressure ] controller [ ~ u . 1987). (1989) and Fan (1994). [ " ] demand ' -- ' I ~ ~" Power output measurement PI power ~ controller Derived TV position reheater I ] dynamics ~ J o r '.17a and b the throttle valve pressure and generator output responses are faster using feedback of the estimated pf due to the observed faster change in pf flow (Figure 3. . . . 1994.. . costly. 1994)... i Steam/energy flow Figure 3.. . . The process is well described by Clarke et al. . . . .. Waddington and Maples...19 simulation results are shown of the mass/mass controller with estimated pf feedback compared with the system under Hardgrove control.17d).. ...17 show the performance of the mass/mass controller under feeder speed feedback and pf feedback for a step increase in power demand at 10 samples. .. . however. . . The results shown in Figure 3.. [ [ G . .86 Thermal power plant simulation and control Fuel estimation ] ^1 _x . .fuel control ~__ _ s!gna} .. .. . 1989.. . as well as the mill and its controllers... It should be noted that the simulation contains the boiler turbine systems and the pressure and power output controllers.. ..... Waddington. . . ..18 where a 20 per cent disturbance in the fuel input energy has occurred at 50 samples. From Figure 3. ... In Figure 3.16 Matlab/Simulink ® simulation of mill and power plant with mill control using estimated p f flow improvement.16 was simulated in Matlab/Simulink ® (Fan..

dotted line . such as the relationship between mill pressure and mass flow. Sample time = 1 s control feeder and precise knowledge is required about the mill. These relationships are usually difficult to obtain and must be determined regularly for each mill.> 10.5 I-10 a 5 100 150 200 460 440 o 420 4013 50 I I b 100 150 200 30 25 20 15 10 I I I 50 18 16 O 100 150 200 14 12 10 5o 100 ' 150 ' 200 Figure3.17 Plant control using feeder speed and estimated pf flow feedback: solid line .fuel estimation feedback.Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills 12 11"5 ! o i I i 87 11 . and even slight modelling errors dramatically affect performance. By contrast a properly tuned mass/mass controller .feeder speed feedback.

Sample time = 10 s . 11 . . ~ I I 50 100 150 200 250 300 Figure3.5 16 15. . 15 14. .88 Thermal power plant simulation and control 16 Z~ 15. . .5 II . .. . . . dotted line -feeder speed feedback.5 . . \ g 624 622 [ ) I I I 50 17. . .5 iI II i "~• ~.5 50 100 150 200 250 300 12 I I I I I 11.18 System response to fuel step disturbance: solid line -fuel estimation feedback. . I I I I 50 1O0 150 200 250 300 630 Z~ I I 628 626 ~9 J t . .5 i 1O0 150 200 250 300 I I I I I II rl q~ 0 "-T . . . .5 17 16.-& 10.

~.Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills 8O0 ~600 400 200 o 0 6O ea~ I I I I i i i i 89 1O0 200 300 400 500 ~. Sample time = 2 s ....... 5 ~ d ~ 0 I I I I 0 1O0 200 300 400 500 Figure 3...Kalman filter feedback.....19 Simulation results of system with Hardgrove and KF feedback: solid line .~ 40 o ~- 20 o 0 I I i i l O0 200 300 400 500 20 15 R 10 e~ 5 0 0 . t~ I 1O0 200 300 400 500 15 i i I 10 ---- ..Hardgrove feedback. dotted line ..

very robust. Most of the controllers are PI or PID controllers. ~ Kalman ~-Dynamic / non-linear/ . e. 1987). boiler or turbine following.20 ~ " Primaryair demand FIlialSpeal I Mill control with estimator dynamic compensation and limits with pf feedback performs acceptably well. so this must also be considered. compensatorl F-~ estlmat°r~ @Estimated ~ mill level ---o Dynamic . are also multivariable. which are part of a complex multivariable system that includes pressure control.20. The tuning of the mill control systems shown in Figures 3.11 and is essentially SISO control with ad hoc procedures used in the design.4 Advanced multivariable and predictive control The control described in section 3. The resulting control scheme decoupled the two major control loops and added dynamic LQ designed compensators. is easy to set up. and does not require high-performance actuators.compensator[ 1 J. o Feederspeed demand Primaryair demand Feederspeed demand Figure 3. 3. besides being highly non-linear.12 has been carried out using simulation. The control system developed in this section is outlined in Figure 3. In this section we examine the use of multivariable control using linear quadratic (LQ) and predictive control techniques. Hardgrove control is therefore not very often used in industry whilst mass/mass controllers with pf feedback are becoming more popular (Waddington and Maples. which includes a special instrument for measuring pf flow as against the use of a soft sensor here. The method has proved quite quick and satisfactory. Rees and Mee (1973) describe a very simple study of mill control using LQ techniques. Note also the inclusion of limits in the control valves/dampers that are a function of mill level.g. It is similar to the scheme of Maffezzoni (1986). electrical power and throttle valve control as well as local submill controllers.90 Thermalpower plant simulation and control Fueldemand stimatedpulverisedfuel ~ J . Major studies using LQ control were . then the subsystem loops and finally add in feedforward compensation. The controller settings also vary with the mode of control. The procedure used is to tune the inner loops first. plant knowledge and control experience. Mills.

1995.Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills 91 carried out in the UK in the 1980s resulting in a number of power stations adopting LQ methods on-line (Clarke et al.input~output results . 1995). The simulation assumes that mill wanning starts at t = 0 and at 20 minutes the feeder is started at its minimum speed. Cao and Rees. Figure 3. Palizban et al. and the controls and their rate of change are bounded. Waddington. The controller does not require excessive computing performance and is capable of being implemented on most modem DCSs. Waddington and Maples.. 1997).. 1989. 1997. At 30 mins mill loading commences at around 10 per cent rated flow per minute until the mill reaches its operating condition. Advanced techniques of mill control using fuzzy logic and neural network concepts have also been tried in simulation with promising results (Cai et al.p f f l o w 2-Mill dP 3-Hot airflow 4-Cold airflow 5 Feeder speed 6-pfflow set-point 7 Mill dP set-point Figure3. Robustness studies have shown that the controller is not sensitive to quite large modelling errors and will respond well provided that the linear model response is regularly updated and the general direction of the model response is correct. In more recent times there has been some attempt made to control mills using predictive control with quite interesting results (O' Kelly. In the start-up test shown. After 90 mins the results show the mill responding to fast ramp changes. 1987). In developing the responses it is assumed that the mill model used by the controller acceptable. 1994. Rees.2. Significant improvements in mill control were shown. In the simulation study described by O'Kelly the model used is similar to the model of section 3. Hard non-linearities are placed on both state and control variables with tests driving the plant over the whole non-linear operating region.21 show that the predictive controller has excellent setpoint tracking control even though the plant has strong interactions and non-linearity. the performance of the controls is superior to the current control.21 shows the response of the mill during start-up..21 Start-up of mill . 1997. The results of Figure 3. Mill dP pf flow (kPa) (kg/s) 15 1 Control flows (kg/s) 30 10 \6 20 10 0 0 50 100 Time in min 150 0 50 100 Time in min 150 l . A fairly simple receding horizon predictive controller forms the basis of the control and is implemented in Simulink on a 486 platform.

expert control and the like. by combining mill controllers with some type of knowledge-based system to take into account the critical events that have just been described.5 Intelligent control and operator advisory systems In the work that has been described so far. we try to show what could be done by listing some work from our own experience. A prototype ICOAS .5. automatic operation of the mill over a wider range. 3. although some expert systems have been used for power plant control (Majanne et al. The IOAS performs quick and early diagnostics of plant faults and possible causes and it also gives reasoning behind the alarms and recommended operator actions. Included with the ICOAS is an additional advanced graphical user interface (GUI). mill blockage and the like. however. coal grindability and calorific value changes. using either the process model or a Kalman filter. the effect of excessive moisture and other operational issues not included in the dynamic models. mainly simulation studies. It can be developed either as part of the existing DCS or as a stand-alone system. To the authors' knowledge. it has been shown that it is possible to develop non-linear dynamic models of a vertical spindle mill and to use these models to better understand the mill and design improved control systems. no such system exists for coal mills. optimal mill operation.. A 'history' feature allows this information to be stored for future use and operator training. are also subject to regular non-normal changes caused by such factors as roller wear. 1991). fewer mill runbacks. In this section. since it can be estimated that substantial savings can be made from such factors as fewer mill fires. and the hierarchical supervisory control (HSC). and these major events which are not modelled currently require experienced operator intervention or mill shut-down. This is especially true for normal operation of the mill where the model is a satisfactory global predictor of plant behaviour. to be overcome. An intelligent control and advisory system (ICOAS) adds considerable expertise to the existing control system. however. The HSC integrates the existing controls with plant operational knowledge and operation.1 Knowledge-based operator support system The ICOAS system just described can be extremely complex and there are many problems in modelling. The motivation for doing such work is quite strong. Mills. It can also supply limits to controlled process variables to ensure mill stability under all operating conditions. These estimates can then be used to improve the IOAS and to create useful indices for features such as mill wear. but carried out in collaboration with the local power industry. and rapid diagnoses of mill faults. Its two major features are the intelligent operator advisory system and its associated alarms (IOAS). which displays all the additional information developed above in a form compatible with existing plant graphics. moisture content. An important feature of ICOAS is its use as a 'soft sensor'. This can only be done. It might therefore be expected that any successful advanced mill control system would be able to handle all these conditions.92 Thermal power plant simulation and control 3.

The KBOSS rule base has been developed to recognise 15 faults or operational conditions covered by approximately 50 rules. ... (1993) and Parker (2003). . I Dataacqnisiti°n I I ~. . mill moisture) and supervisory control (auto mill load sharing). . ... . The system described .. . talking with plant experts. . . To extend the work to cover all major faults. . . . . ... .. . .. o w o 11 I [ Pre-data processing I [ Pre-dataprocessing ] Featureextraction I Fault detection [ E A S D E o i. . . ... The scope of KBOSS essentially covers the IOAS part of the ICOAS system. . worn mills).. The essential features of KBOSS are shown in Figure 3. as described by AI-Dabbagh et al. . . . . . The system known as KnowledgeBased Operator Support System (KBOSS) has been installed in stand-alone mode in a small Bailey Infi90 DCS (Fan and Rees. .. . . . Direct experience of faults has also been included. .. . @ [ [ No I p E R I I Dataprocess * ng Inferencemachine (B) I . ..Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills Control signals ~-] . Rule development has been achieved by surveying the operational literature. . . . i. ..22 Structureof KBOSS has been developed by the University of New South Wales in a collaborative project with the utility Pacific Power International (PPI). .. .. It has been tested... .. . for a limited number of plant faults.. .._--t___. . . ... . . . ! . including mill wear. turbine and mill simulation and also partially tested on a 500 MW power plant. mill choking and mill optimisation on a Matlab/Simulink ® boiler. Boiler/mill ~ .. . 1997). . . ... carrying out mill tests and reading training and maintenance literature. I Boiler/mil~ outp_ut_. i' NO Inferencemachine (C) I Controlroom screen . The rule sets have been developed to provide a range of examples or scenarios including plant faults (feeder blockage....[ Dynamicmill model ~--~ 1~[ Knowledgebase Inference machine (A) Yes T Fault detection ~' Data log ~.. . . . a more formal knowledge-base development process is needed. . . . . ... ... 93 _~_. 'I' Measurement [ ~. [ ] Data processing ~. . .22. .... Processhistory database Control room screen Control room screen & alarm . .. . Data log ~' i A o R S u p Process history database I .. operational problems (mill choking.. .. .. O T y S s I M E Figure 3... .. . ... . . . . .. . . .

For normal process behaviour the model matches the plant behaviour and no advice needs to be presented to the operator.1. high A P can be caused by other factors which do not require such action. Experiments show that there is a best depth for the most efficient coal grinding and that this depth can be related to mill power and the soft sensed mill . In Figure 3. The above system seems to work quite well in its limited task for both simulation and plant studies as the two examples in the next section indicate. Once this possibility has been recognised. However using KBOSS stops A P rising above 4. the high mill A P has been caused not by load. KBOSS uses a special adaptive control system that continuously computes local dynamic models. Snapshots of these models are then stored in the database as the reference models.22 has been developed using a reference model combined with a fuzzy logic/pure rule base inference mechanism. there is a considerable incentive to be sure that runback is absolutely necessary.23. These snapshots will only need to be changed when future plant behaviour indicates significant differences between the database reference model and the latest dynamic model.000-10.1. In section 3.1 Mill runback and KBOSS control The mill runback controller described in section 3. the operating condition can be alleviated without running the plant down.5 kPa).5 kPa is reached. A key feature of the KBOSS system is the existence of a good reference model. when there is a system mismatch.94 Thermal power plant simulation and control in Figure 3.5 kPa so that the mill can continue running.5. thus increasing search efficiency and reducing the computational burden. mill level and other soft sensed mill conditions. Whilst it is certainly the case that the mill should be shut down to minimum load if the high A P is due to mill overload. the knowledge base is searched and appropriate advice given to the operator for action.4 is essentially a switch which detects high mill load defined by a specified value of high mill A P (4. However. each time the worn mill rolls are replaced (approximately 6.3 it has been shown that this requires a large database and this entails extensive plant experimentation. 3. 3. Furthermore.4. together with a set of rules. The searching mechanism used in the knowledge base is multilayered with a branch tree structure. but by high moisture content in the raw coal and reduced mill grindability.000 hrs) a completely new model of the mill must be established.4.2 Optimal grinding control Mills consume large amounts of power so it makes sense to try to optimise the coal grinding process. Since shutting down to minimum load is an operational loss and under certain circumstances can result in mill instability.23 shows that when using the runback controller. A point of significant interest is that the adaptive model can be used very effectively by any advanced model-based controller such as those described in section 3. Figure 3. the plant is run back to base load when 4. To avoid this problem.5. This can be determined by KBOSS using not just a mill A P measurement but also mill power. This means that the complete knowledge base need not be searched for all situations.

. dotted line . . . . . . .. . 2 0 0 500 I I I I I 1O0 200 300 400 500 600 •400 300 200 . . .~ .23 Simulation results for mill controlled by expert system: line . . . . . lO0 0 I I I I I d 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 Figure3.. . . . Sample time = 10 s solid .runback. . .Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills 3O 25 i i i i 95 ~ 2o o "r" ~ 15 E 10 o 15 I I I I I 1O0 200 300 400 500 600 i p i _ _ i \ i --~ lO o 5 0 0 5 e~ I L I I I 100 200 300 400 500 600 i i i i i 4 3 r~ . .KBOSS. . .. . . .

dotted line .96 Thermal power plant simulation and control 500 ~'400 300 I i i i i 200 100 0 F I I I i I 0 3O 25 o 100 200 300 400 500 600 i i i i 20 b 0 o I I I I I 1O0 200 300 400 5 O0 600 20 15 ~: o 10 _ o C i I I i I lO0 i 200 i 300 i 400 i 500 i 600 Y I I I I I 100 200 300 400 500 600 Figure 3.KBOSS. Sample time = l O s .24 Simulation results f o r mill with optimised grinding solid line .mass~mass.

Beijing... M. contrary to conventional wisdom. MOORTHY. E. Note that in Figure 3. 3.Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills 97 level through a set of knowledge-based rules. Proceedings of the IFAC/CIGRE Symposium on ControlofPowerSystems and Power Plants. The latter support was made possible by Mr Don Parker of PPI whose knowledge and enthusiasm were a great help.6 Conclusions In this chapter we have looked at some problems associated with the control of vertical spindle coal mills. J. This information can also be used as part of an intelligent control system to improve operator performance and the analysis of mill alarms.. IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems. K. This can be done by estimating pf flow from the mill and by evaluating the internal mill recirculating loads. (6). China. pp. Proceedings of the Australian Universities Power Engineering Conference. The chapter shows that. Limited studies have however been carried out on a 500 MW plant in a collaborative project with PPI. The results of Figure 3. pp. It is now well recognised that all the various types of coal mills associated with power plant have difficult control problems and often restrict plant take-up of load or cause plant shut-down.: 'Fuzzy control of a ball mill for the pulverizing system of a thermal power plant'. 1473-1477 CAI. pp. 1983.: 'The development of an intelligent alarm processor .24d the mill control keeps A P just below its critical value. 1997. These studies also show promising results indicating that mill control is a fruitful area for research and development. S. CHEN..24 show that an expert system can hold the mill power in a tight optimum range (350-400 kW) as shown in Figure 3.: 'The experimental determination of coal mills'. and WANG. 361-367 BOLLINGER. The results given in the chapter are largely the outcome of simulation studies. alternative approach'.24a. 3. Dr Michael Cheng must also be thanked for his work on the simulation and site tests towards the end of the project. E.7 Acknowledgements The authors wish to acknowledge the support given to this project by the former Australian Electrical Research Board and by Pacific Power International.8 References AL-DABBAGH. Australia. 214-218 . The chapter develops a vertical spindle mill model to better understand mill control. H.. LI. D.. Wollongong. and SNOWDEN. R. Z. it is possible to develop fairly simple models of coal mills which can be used to obtain better performance. 1993. and ACHORN. P. 102.

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