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∗

Department of Control Engineering, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark, odgaard@control.aau.dk ∗∗ Elsam Engineering A/S, Kraftværksvej 53, DK-7000 Fredericia, Denmark, bama@elsam-eng.com

Abstract In order to achieve high performance and eﬃciency of coal-ﬁred power plants, it is highly important to control the coal ﬂow into the boiler in the power plant. This means suppression of disturbances and force the coal mill to deliver the required coal ﬂow, as well as monitor the coal mill in order to detect faults in the coal mill when they emerge. This paper deals with the second objective. Based on a simple dynamic model of the energy balance a residual is formed for the coal mill. An optimal unknown input observer is designed to estimate this residual. The estimated residual is following tested by measured data of a fault in a coal mill, it can hereby be concluded that this residual is very useful for detecting faults in the coal mill. Keywords: Fault Detection, Coal-ﬁred Power Plants, Optimal Unknown Input Observer

1. INTRODUCTION The performance of a coal-ﬁred power plant is highly dependent on the supplied coal ﬂow into the boiler. In order to achieve good performance of the power plant, this coal ﬂow should be known and controllable. In other words the performance requirements of the power plant can be transfered to the coal mill which delivers the pulverized coal to the burners inside the power plant boiler. One thing is to guarantee the required coal ﬂow, in terms of suppressing plant disturbances. It is, however, another thing to monitor the coal mill for detecting faults. In order to avoid additional failures and decreased performance in the power plant unit, it is important to detect any fault as soon as possible, and hopefully as the fault emerges. In most coal mills it is not possible to measure the pulverized coal ﬂow out of the mill. The coal ﬂow into the mill is only indirectly mea-

surable. Implying that the early fault detection based on detection of drops in the coal ﬂow of the coal mill, is not so simple as it seems. A critical example on a fault in the coal mill is caused by a blocking in the raw coal inlet pipe, a coal mill is illustrated in Fig. 1. This blocking of the raw coal inlet will with time result in a stopped coal ﬂow from the coal mill to the boiler, and since the actual coal ﬂow into the boiler cannot be measured, the fault in the coal mill cannot be directly detected. Dynamic modeling and nominal control of these coal mills have been the topic of numerous of publications. Some examples dealing with modeling of coal mills are (Rees and Fan 2003), (Zhang et al. 2002) and (Tigges et al. 1998). Controllers for the coal mill are designed in (Rees and Fan 2003) and (Hasselbacher et al. 1992). High order dynamic models and observer design for coal mills

This residual can be estimated by introducing a state representing the fault in the energy model. The coal mill is illustrated in principles in Fig. it might be useful to monitor an energy balance state space model of the coal mill. 2. it is as well interesting to investigate the sign of this energy balance.e. The coal is pulverized on the rotating grinding table by the rollers. since it can be used to separate the possible faults into two classes which help in the fault isolation. However. An illustration of the coal mill. Such an optimal unknown input observer is as consequence designed for estimating the residual/fault signal and the temperature. The temperature of coal dust ﬂow after the classiﬁer is a good indicator of the “health” of the coal mill. A threshold method is following applied to the residual with the purpose of detecting the fault in coal mill. the primary air ﬂow and temperature are. If this extra energy input could be estimated. A coal mill is a harsh environment in which it is diﬃcult to perform measurements. in order to evaporate the moisture in the coal. which has the energy ﬂows in and out of the coal mill as inputs.are the topics in (Fukayama et al. with the intension of detecting eventual faults in the coal mill. THE COAL MILL The work presented in this paper. This experiment shows the potential of the proposed residual estimated based on the energy balance model of the coal mill. A fault in the coal mill is in this setting an extra energy input to this model. the interest has not previously been addressed on the monitoring of the coal mills with the purpose of detecting any emerging faults. since a non-intendant change in the in and out ﬂows of the coal mill will result in a variation in the temperature. Pulverized coal Rotating Classifier 11 00 11 00 1 0 11 00 1 0 111 000 1 0 111 000 1 0 111 000 1 0 111 000 1 0 1 0 1 0 111 000 11 00 111 000 11 00 11 00 111 000 1 0 111 000 1 0 11 00 1 0 11 00 1 0 1 0 11 00 1 0 11 00 11 00 11 00 11 00 11 00 1 0 1 0 1 0 11 00 11 00 Roller 11 00 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 Grinding table Raw coal Inlet Roller Primary Air Figure 1. The ratio of these air ﬂows are used to control the temperature of the primary air ﬂow. However. The coal is fed to the coal mill through the central inlet pipe. Meaning that the fault can be seen by combining the temperature and the energy in the primary air. 2004). The temperature controller is often required to keep temperature constant at 100◦ C in order to evaporate the moisture content in the coal. The primary air is mixed by cold outside air and heated outside air. However. the actual coal ﬂows in and out of the coal mill are not measurable. the measured temperature cannot be used to detect faults directly. The pulverized coal is then blown up and the moisture content is evaporated by the hot primary air. since a control loop is formed to keep the measured temperature at 100◦ C. is based on a Babcock MPS 212 coal mill used at Elsam’s Nordjyllandsværktet Unit 3. as well as the temperature at the classiﬁer. This fault detection method is subsequently applied to data sampled during a fault in a coal mill. this means that all the variables are not measurable. However. The temperature of the primary air is used to control the temperature in the coal mill at the classiﬁer. Coal particles which in the pulverizing have been small enough will pass through the classiﬁer and out through the outlet pipes into the boiler. 2. 1. and the temperature as output. it would be a useful residual for monitoring the coal mill. E. This state is driven by an unknown input which is ﬁltered through the fault model. I. see (Chen and Patton 1999). which is heated . by the furnace. as well as rotational speed of the classiﬁer.1 Control and measurements References to coal ﬂow and primary air ﬂow are given by the general power plant controller. This described estimation problem can be solved by the use of an optimal unknown input observer. the method proposed in the paper is so generic that it can be applied to other types of coal mills.g.

and ﬁnally all the sensors. In this model the coal mill is seen as one body with the mass mm . However. are diﬀerent. An illustration of energy balance in the coal mill. it is assumed in this paper for simplifying the model. as illustrated in Fig. The model response is compared with measurements as well as the response of a linearized model in Fig. (1) where: Cm is the speciﬁc heat of the mill. This combined heat coeﬃcient does not deal with the fact that the speciﬁc heat of water and steam . and Lsteam is the latent heat. Qcoal is the energy in the coal ﬂow. etc.104 non−linear model measurements linear model 102 Qair Pmotor T mm Qcoal Qmoisture degrees C 100 98 Figure 2. the motor power is also neglected from this state space model since it is The heating and evaporation of the moisture in the coal is modeled by a combined heating coeﬃcient. mc (t) is the ˙ coal mass ﬂow. where T is the temperature in the mill. The dynamic non-linear model is subsequently given by ˙ mm Cm T (t) =mpa (t)Cair (TPA (t) − T (t)) ˙ + mc (t)Cc · (Ts − T (t)) ˙ + γ(t)mc (t)Cw · Ts ˙ − γ(t)mc (t)Hst · T (t) ˙ + Pmotor (t). All parameters in this model are found in data books except mm · Cm which is identiﬁed based on measurements of a step response on the coal mill. Qair is the energy in the primary air ﬂow . Cc is the speciﬁc heat of the coal. Hst . is following deﬁned as Hst = Cw + Lsteam /100. A more detailed model which takes diﬀerent coal ﬂows into account might result in better results with respect to even earlier detection of the faults. 3. It is also assumed that the input coal ﬂow is equal the output coal ﬂow. The energy balance is given by (1). Qcoal is the energy in the coal ﬂow.5 x 10 4 Figure 3. Pmotor denotes the power delivered by the grinding table. mpa (t) ˙ is the primary air mass ﬂow in and out of the mill. in which T is the temperature in the mill. Some examples on critical faults are: choking of the raw coal inlet.2 Faults A number of diﬀerent faults can occur in the coal mill. and Qmoisture is the energy in the coal moisture. this can lead to drop out of the entire power plant unit. 2. faults in primary air supply both the fan and the temperature controller.5 1 samples [n] 1. From this ﬁgure it can be seen that the responses of both models are quit similar to the large dynamical changes as the measurements show.5 2 2. All these are faults which it are urgent to detect. ˙ mm · Cm · T (t) = Qair (t) − Qcoal (t) − Qmoisture (t) + Pmotor (t). Hst parameter combining the latent heat of the steam and speciﬁc heat of the water. Pmotor denotes the power delivered by the roller motors. The non-linear model (2) is subsequently linearized and transformed into a state space representation. where Cw is the speciﬁc heat of the water. T (t) is the mill temperature at the classiﬁer. TPA (t) is the temperature of the inlet primary air. Cair is the speciﬁc heat of air. see (3). A dead band on one per cent is applied to these measurements meaning that the signals shall have changes of a given size before this change is sampled. 96 94 92 90 0 0. The latent energy of the evaporation dominates the energy required for a few degrees heating of the moisture. Qair is the energy in the primary air ﬂow. Ts is the surrounding temperature. and Qmoisture is the energy in the coal moisture. Cw is the speciﬁc heat of the moisture. The combined heat coeﬃcient. A plot of the non-linear and linear model response compared with measurements of a step response on the coal mill. however the model error due to heat of steam to a couple of degrees above 100◦ C is neglectable in this context. and if the fault leads to a decrease in the output coal ﬂow from the coal mill. 2. it is diﬃcult to validate the details in the response due to the way the signals are sampled. and Pmotor (t) is the power delivered by the mill motor. γ(t) is the ratio of moisture in the coal. The temperature is due to the control loop is kept at 100◦ C. ENERGY BALANCE MODEL OF THE COAL MILL A simple energy balance model of the coal mill is derived based on (Rees and Fan 2003). Even though this assumption is only entirely true for steady state. (2) 3.

Bd . Tm (t) is the measured temperature and (−mPA. Bq . The simplest representation is a ﬁrst order lowpass ﬁlter which is included in the model. Q(t) is the estimated residual (need energy ﬂow The basic idea in this observer is to eliminate the dependency of the unknown input from the estimation error by matrix transforms. It is in addition a possible measures of the moisture in the coal which is not valid during dynamic behavior of the coal mill. ¯ mPA (t) ˙ ˙ ¯(t) ¯ (t) T T ¯ ¯ ¯ m = Aq Q(t) + Bq TPA (t) Q(t) (8) ¯ mc (t) ˙ + Eq Qn (t) + q(t). Ed are the discritizied representations of Aq . disturbances and measurement noises. q(t) is the normal distributed process disturbances. mm · Cm (5) T Cair · (TPA. ◦o is the operation point of ◦. This results in the linear model given by (8-13). an estimate of this unknown signal can be used as a residual for detection faults in the coal mill. ˙ γ (t) ¯ ¯ ¯ Tm (t) = CT (t) + r(t).o · (Cw · Ts − Hst · To ) ˙ mm · Cm (6) C = I. 4. Cd . r(t) is the normal distributed measurement noises. The unbalance in the model can be represented by an additional fault input. (16) (17) an optimal unknown input observer of the following form can be derived z[n + 1] = Fn+1 z[n] + Tn+1 Bn u[n] + Kn+1 y[n]. i.e.o · Cair − mc. ¯ mPA (t) ˙ ¯ TPA (t) ˙ ¯ ¯ (3) T (t) = AT (t) + B · ¯ mc (t) + q(t). For discrete time systems with unknown inputs and disturbances which can be represented by x[n + 1] = An x[n] + Bn u[n] + En d[n] + q[n]. ¯ mPA [n] ˙ ¯ ¯ T [n] T [n ˙+ 1] ¯ + Bd TPA [n] m = Ad ¯ ¯ Q[n] Q[n + 1] (14) ¯ m [n] ˙ . c + Ed Qn [n] + q[n]. an optimal unknown input observer would be an obvious observer to use for estimating the residual.o · (Cc + γo · Hst )) ˙ ˙ A= . Eq = 1 (12) (13) where B1×(1···3) denotes the three ﬁrst elements of B. . y[n] = Cn x[n] + r[n]. and subsequently design a Kalman estimator for the transformed system. see (14-15).1 Optimal unknown input observer The optimal unknown input observer is described in (Chen and Patton 1999). Qn (t) is the generic unknown input which is low-pass ﬁltered in order to represent the residual. and hereby the residual. Tm (t) = Cq ¯ Q(t) (9) (7) to balance the model). 0 −p Bq = B1×(1···3) . The model represented by (8-13) is discritizied before an observer is designed to estimate the states in the model. ¯ T (t) ¯ + r(t). A positive side eﬀect of this. RESIDUAL GENERATION The energy balance given by (2) and in a linear state space version in (3-7) would in case of a fault deviate from the coal mill which indicates an unbalance in the model. Tm [n] = Cd ¯ Q[n] (15) where Ad . 1 . Cq . is that the estimator gain is recomputed at each sample meaning that the model can be changed such that the point of operations can be updated. The schemes for computing the matrices in the optimal unknown input observer can be seen in Appendix A. 4. and 1 A (10) Aq = p . which represents both the fault energy and coal moisture. By combining these two model inputs to one unknown input. ˆ x[n + 1] = z[n + 1] + Hn+1 y[n + 1]. ¯ T [n] ¯ + r[n].o ˙ mm · Cm B = C · (T − T ) + γ · (C · T − H · T ) s o o w s st o c mm · Cm mc. This model is a system with an unknown input.o − To ) mm · Cm Cair · mPA.much smaller than the other powers in the equation. Eq . (18) (19) where p is the pole of internal residual model. 0 (11) Cq = C 0 . (4) ¯ where a given signal ◦ is linearized by ◦ = ◦ − ◦o . It can be assumed that the moisture content is changing much slower than a fault can occur or emerge. However. in order to estimate the need energy/fault signal it is more convenient to represent it by an internal state in the model.

and ˆ compare the absolute value of Q[n] with a threshold β as in (20). in the way that the observer estimates the energy signal in the fault free situation well. A stopped coal ﬂow will result in a positive energy balance. The sample frequency in this experiment is 60s. A plot of the signal used in fault detecˆ tion method 1. The ﬁrst method is to use a simple threshold β. and it is hereby much more certain that a given detection is due to a fault in the coal mill and not a disturbance e.g. and that method 2 did detect the fault 1 sample later than the visual inspection. a detection based on method 2 is more certain to actually be a detection of a fault. for detecting faults in the mill.2 Detection rules In this section two methods for detecting the faults based on the residual are described. From this ﬁgure it can be seen that the observer estimates the fault signal due to the coal moisture content well. as well as the internal fault model parameter p are all found by trial and error. ˆ Q[n] 1 if > β.5 0 0 −5000 0 200 400 600 Samples [n] 800 1000 1200 −0. The monitoring problem can be viewed as a system with an The diﬀerences between these two methods are that the ﬁrst method reacts faster on a variation ˆ in Q[n]. i. Q[n]. at sample 1110. 5.e. fd [n] = mc [n] · Cc · (Ts − T [n]) ˙ 0 else were. The other suggested method is to normalize the residual by the energy ˆ ﬂow due to the coal ﬂow. with the constraint that false detection of faults are avoided. This means that the sign of the energy unbalance can be used for fault isolation if it is combined with additional information. 5. can for this given fault be seen in Fig. see (21). based on experimental data. Another method partly removes the inﬂuence by ˆ coal moisture from Q[n] by dividing it with the energy ﬂow contribution from the coal. The variance of the disturbance and measurement noises Q[n] and R[n].5 2 10000 energy 1.5 1100 1150 1200 1250 1300 Samples [n] 1350 1400 1450 Figure 4. CONCLUSION A simple energy balance model is formed of a coal mill with the purpose of monitoring the coal mill.3 Fault isolation Earlier in this paper it was mentioned that the sign of the energy balance can be used to separate the possible faults in two groups. In practice only data of one given fault type is available. 1116. For both methods the threshold β is found. This ˙ c ·(T normalization has the eﬀect that variations due to process variations is out compensated. 4. (21) Figure 5. A state is introduced representing the fault. EXPERIMENTS The introduced fault detection methods based on the estimated residual can detect a number of diﬀerent faults in the coal mill. 4. however. . see Fig. Comparison of the estimated energy due to the coal moisture and the static calculated of this energy. This means that a fault is deˆ tected based on this rule if Q[n] is larger than the threshold β. and it is hereby concluded that the observer and model is well tuned. ˆ 1 if Q[n] > β. in terms of variations in the coal ﬂow. 4. mc [n]·CQ[n]s −T [n]) .5 energy 5000 1 0. In the following fd [n] denotes a signal which is equal 1 in case of a fault and 0 elsewhere.20000 observed calculated 3 x 10 4 observed 15000 2. such that it gives a detection of the beginning of the fault as early as possible. ˆ The estimated residual Q[n]. from where it can be seen that method 1 detects the fault earlier than the visual inspection did. It is a fault where the coal inlet pipe has been stopped by the raw coal. and not due to a variation in the coal ﬂow or in the moisture content in the coal. 7. fd [n] = (20) 0 else were. By visual inspection of the data from the coal mill the beginning of this fault can be detected at sample 1115. 6. before the threshold is applied. The detection signals of both detection methods are illustrated in Fig.

Q. Zhou (2002). Set n = n + 1 and jump to step 2. 0 −1 −2 energy −3 −4 −5 −6 1100 1150 1200 1250 1300 Samples [n] 1350 1400 1450 Figure 6. W.1 observed REFERENCES Chen. (3) Compute −1 T T 1 . A plot of the signal in fault detection ˆ method 2. Matts and X. Coal mill modeling by machine learning based on onsite measurements. H0 = 0. T (5) (6) 7. Rees. An optimal unknown input observer is subsequently designed. for support to the research program CMBC (Center for Model Based Control). The computation of the matrices in the observer is also given in (Chen and Patton 1999) as: (1) Set initial values: P0 = P (0).4 0. + (2) Compute Hn+1 = En (Cn+1 En ) . IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion 17. Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills. An adaptive state esitmator for pulverizer control using moments of particle size distribution. Kluwer academic publishers. Fn+1 = An − Hn+1 Cn+1 An − K1 Cn . Hasselbacher. IEEE Transaction on Control System Technology 12. z0 = x0 − + C0 E0 (C0 E0 ) y0 . Flynn. Zhang. Oluwande. 77–88. Now compute z[n + 1] = Fn+1 z[n] + Tn+1 Bn u[n] + Kn+1 y[n] ˆ and x[n + 1] = z[n + 1] + Hn+1 y[n + 1]. unknown input and disturbances and measurement noises.. OPTIMAL UNKNOWN INPUT OBSERVER A necessary and suﬃcient condition for the existence of a solution to the given observer problem is in (Chen and Patton 1999) given as: An optimal unknown input observer solution exists if and only if: rank (Cn+1 En ) = rank (En ). Compute Pn+1 = Pn −K1 Cn Pn A1 n+1 n+1 and following ′ T +Tn+1 Qn TT + Pn+1 = A1 Pn+1 A1 n+1 n+1 n+1 T Hn+1 Rn+1 Hn+1 . ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors acknowledge the Danish Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation.. M. N.2 1100 1105 1110 1115 Samples [n] 1120 1125 1130 Appendix A. 797–811. G. Bischoﬀ and T. The proposed observer based method has showed to be a promising method for detecting faults in coal mills..Q. K. Kanemoto (2004). Reglerentwurf f¨r ein kohlenm¨hlenu u modell unter ber¨cksichtingung der veru faharenstechnischen randbedingungen. Y.. Hirasawa. ﬁrst ed. K1 n+1 = An+1 Pn Cn Cn Pn Cn + Rn (4) and Pn+1 = Pn − K1 Cn Pn A1 n+1 n+1 Compute Tn+1 = I − Hn+1 Cn+1 . K. Patton (1999). Lausterer (1992). 148–157.2 0 −0. Walzensch¨sselm¨hlen als kompou u nenten moderner feuerungstechnik. K. Ed. ﬁrst ed. Robust modelbased fault diagnosis for dynamic systems. Tigges. Wu. n+1 1 K2 n+1 = Fn+1 Hn .W. Jie and R. X. The method is following applied to a fault example where the coal inlet pipe is stopped by the coal. In: Thermal power plant simulation and control (D. ′ T . 549–555. D. ′ Figure 7. and F. Using the estimated residual results in a detection of fault 5 samples (5 minutes) earlier than a detection based on visual inspection. In addition a normalized residual is used for the detection as well. A plot of the fault detection based on the two proposed methods. R. This method. Automatisierungstechnik 40. however.D. J.).H. Fukayama.G. Y. grant no2002-603/4001-93. Shimohira and H. ˙ c ·(T Method 1 Method 2 1 0. VGB KraftwerksTechnik 78. Wang. Institution of Electrical Engineers.6 fd[n] 0. Fan (2003).8 0. Lang and G. (7) . results in detection of the beginning of the fault 1 samples (1 minute) later than the visual inspection did. and Kn+1 = Kn+1 + 2 Kn+1 . Thresholds are chosen such that they do not result in false detection and at the same time detect the fault as early as possible. Steinhage (1998). mc [n]·CQ[n]s −T [n]) .. J.

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