ARTICLE IN PRESS

Control Engineering Practice 16 (2008) 909–921 www.elsevier.com/locate/conengprac

Observer-based fault detection and moisture estimating in coal mills
Peter Fogh Odgaarda,Ã,1, Babak Matajib
b

KK-Electronic a/s, Jens Juhl Vej 40, DK-8260 Viby J, Denmark Dong Energy A/S, Kraftværksvej 53, DK-7000 Fredericia, Denmark Received 6 February 2006; accepted 23 October 2007 Available online 26 November 2007

a

Abstract In this paper an observer-based method for detecting faults and estimating moisture content in the coal in coal mills is presented. Handling of faults and operation under special conditions, such as high moisture content in the coal, are of growing importance due to the increasing requirements to the general performance of power plants. Detection of faults and moisture content estimation are consequently of high interest in the handling of the problems caused by faults and moisture content. The coal flow out of the mill is the obvious variable to monitor, when detecting non-intended drops in the coal flow out of the coal mill. However, this variable is not measurable. Another estimated variable is the moisture content, which is only ‘‘measurable’’ during steady-state operations of the coal mill. Instead, this paper suggests a method where these unknown variables are estimated based on a simple energy balance model of the coal mill. In the proposed scheme an optimal unknown input observer is designed based on the energy balance model. The designed observer is applied on two data sets covering variating moisture content as well as a data set including a fault in the coal mill. From these experiments it can be concluded that the moisture content is successfully estimated and that the fault is detected as soon as it emerges. r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Fault detection; Disturbance estimation; Optimal unknown input observers; Energy balance models; Power plants; Coal mills

1. Introduction In the recent years the requirements to the production at Danish power plants have been forced in the direction of a more dynamical production. Meaning that the load at the power plants is constantly varying and not set to fixed (steady state) production, which the plants originally were designed for. The required load of the plants varies due to a number of factors. One of these factors is the large relative power production from wind turbines in Denmark. The power delivered from wind turbines is almost noncontrollable, as the production is dependent on the wind i.e. the power plant production must compensate for the fluctuations in the wind power production. Another important factor is the trading of electrical power with Denmark’s neighboring countries, depending on prices in
ÃCorresponding author. Tel.: +45 21744963; fax: +45 97211431.

E-mail address: peodg@kk-electronic.com (P.F. Odgaard). The author was at Department of Electronic Systems, Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7C, DK-9220 Aalborg East, Denmark, during the research for this paper.
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the various countries, electrical power is either imported or exported. The last reason for the varying production is the demand of electrical power from the consumers, which varies during the day and throughout the year. A consequence of these increased requirements to the power plants regarding dynamical production, is a growing focus on the dynamic performance of the plants. In order to increase the performance of the power plants, it is clearly very important to control the fuel fed to the furnace in the plant. The difficulty of this control task is highly depended on the fuel used. Coal is a relatively problematic fuel, as it is pulverized in a coal mill before it is blown into the furnace. It is difficult to control the coal flow into the furnace mainly due to the fact that the coal flow into the coal mill and the coal flow from the coal mill into the furnace are not measured, the flow into the mill is given as a requested coal flow. In addition to this problem coal mills are relatively complicated dynamic systems. As a consequence of these problems with controlling coal mills, modeling and control of coal mills have been the main focus in many research activities. Some examples of

0967-0661/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.conengprac.2007.10.008

an example of this approach is the publication (Odgaard & Mataji. observer based. and Pingyang (1998) introduces a fuzzy PID controller. the temperature increases as the coal flow into the mill has stopped. It should also be noted that due to the dynamical production at the plant the detection schemes are required to take plant dynamics into account. Hirasawa. A nondetected fault in a coal mill results in problems controlling the coal flow to the furnace. under unfortunately operating Requested coal mass flow [kg/s] 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 16 17 18 conditions. However. However. Plot of coal flow demand and classifier temperature during a blocked coal inlet pipe. expert systems. a number of different approaches can be followed. it can result in too much coal to the furnace resulting in an overheating of the furnace and thereby the plant. when the fault occurs. 1. . and Peng (2004). In Fig. if possible. The occurrence of this fault is illustrated by data obtained from the coal mill. 1 the coal flow demand as well as the classifier temperature are plotted. En example on this interest can be seen in Li. static detection methods are not suitable. i. some examples are: An advanced PID-controller is designed in Rees and Fan (2003) designs and compares different advanced controller strategies.e. When the fault occurs. a different thing to handle faults and malfunctions in the coal mill in an effective way. One thing is to guarantee good performance of the coal mill operating under normal and fault free conditions. 1997) in which an expert system is designed to supervise the coal mill in order to detect faults and other malfunctions. Different controller types have been applied in the coal mill. Thompson. The growing requirements to the general performance of the plants imply a strict requirement to prevent unnecessary close downs of the power plants. one example in this condition is the publication (Fan & Rees. Some examples are: Parity relations. O’Kelly. Shimohira. To detect faults in a system such as the coal mill. meaning that fault and malfunction detections and accommodation schemes are of interest. 2005b). however. Examples dealing with modeling of coal mills are: Rees and Fan (2003) and Zhang et al. It is important that these faults are detected in time.F. in a way that prevents unnecessary stops of the power plant. It is. which deals with detection of a fault in terms of a blocked coal inlet pipe. thus faults and malfunctions of the coal mill can be distinguished from normal operations. and Swirski (2003) and Palizban. and Rees (1995) have designed model predictive controllers for the coal mill. see Chen and Patton (1999) and Gertler (1998). Odgaard.e. High order dynamic models and observer design for coal mills are the topics in Fukayama. B. Jun. The interest has been poor in regard to monitoring of the coal mills with the purpose of detecting any eventual faults or malfunctions as they emerge.ARTICLE IN PRESS 910 P. (2002). Another approach to take is an observer-based scheme for detecting faults in the coal mill. so that the operator can prevent the plant stop. Jankowski. and Kanemoto (2004). 19 20 Time [hours] 21 22 23 Classifier temperature [°C] 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 16 17 18 19 20 Time [hours] 21 22 23 Fig. i. After a certain period of time a problem in the plant is detected and the plant has been closed down in order to locate and accommodate the cause of the problem. Mataji / Control Engineering Practice 16 (2008) 909–921 publications in the field are as follows. Dezheng. The problem with such an expert system is that data and/or knowledge of the entire normal operational set is needed to define the normal operations. this information can be difficult to obtain in practice. Domanski.

Data from a relevant case can be seen in Fig. Plot of coal flow demand and classifier temperature during a combination of high moisture content and high load changes. if an extensive load change is required with a relatively high load and moisture content. This means in that the coal will be accumulated inside the mill until it is dried sufficiently. However.ARTICLE IN PRESS P. that it can be applied to other types of coal mills. it is not possible to deliver sufficient energy through the primary air. for the coal to be dried adequately. 2007). since it is an essential variable of the coal mill. it is dried and lifted up to the furnace by the primary air flow. but these cannot be provided in real time. Measurements can be performed using laboratory test. This is done by assuming a frequency domain separation of faults and changes in the moisture content. The outline of this paper is as follows.2. and moisture estimation scheme in Section 4. In Odgaard and Mataji (2005a) an optimal unknown input observer is designed to estimate the moisture content of the coal fed into the coal mill.F. The temperature drop to below 100  C is a consequence of an accumulation of coal in the mill. In Section 5 the designed scheme is applied to data containing faults and changing moisture content. This will lead to a drop in the power production and the power plant master controller will consequently increase the coal flow set point. and consequently less coal flow to the furnace. where the coal flow demand as well as the temperature in the mill (measured at the classifiers) are illustrated.4. (Odgaard. It is important to know the moisture content. 2. The optimal unknown input observer is subsequently introduced in Section 4.2. The coal mill The work presented in this paper. In this paper a scheme based on the optimal unknown input observer is designed for detecting faults in the coal mill (exemplified with a blocked coal inlet pipe as well as estimating the moisture content of the coal simultaneously). In Section 6 the overall conclusion is given. this leads to the energy balance model of the coal mill. 2. see Sections 3–3. which eventually will result in an even larger problem. 2. The coal mill is introduced in Section 2. the fault detection scheme in Section 4. The coal is fed to the coal mill through . 3. the method proposed in the paper is so generic. as it influences the maximal possible load and load gradient of the coal mill. High moisture content in the coal will lead an accumulation of coal in the mill. if the moisture content can be estimated beforehand. Stoustrup. Information of the coal moisture content can be valuable for the plant operator.3. is based on a Babcock MPS 212 coal mill used at Elsam’s Nordjyllandsværktet Unit 3 (rated capacity 411 MW). an estimate provided using existing sensor signals are cheaper than additional measurement equipment to measure the moisture content. the scheme’s usability in a fault isolation scheme in Section 4. However. Another interesting parameter to monitor in the coal mill is the coal moisture content. B. this separation can be validated by experiments. & Mataji. and last but not the least. Odgaard. Mataji / Control Engineering Practice 16 (2008) 909–921 911 Requested coal mass flow [kg/s] 12 10 8 6 4 0 5 10 Time [hours] 15 20 25 Classifier temperature [°C] 102 100 98 96 94 92 90 0 5 10 Time [hours] 15 20 25 Fig. this can be used to limit the maximal load gradient depending on the moisture content.1. The coal mill is illustrated in principles in Fig. followed by the observer design in Section 4. However. also introducing models of the faults and the moisture content. In detail this means that after the coal is pulverized in the mill.

3. might produce better results with respect to even earlier detection of the faults. Qcoal ðtÞ is the energy flow in the coal flow. It is very important that these faults are detected as early as possible. which leads to a low pass filtering effect of the coal moisture content resulting in the slowly variating effect. 3. Even though the coal moisture content is highly depending on the coal batch as well as. the coal moisture content is of high importance. Mataji / Control Engineering Practice 16 (2008) 909–921 Pulverized coal Rotating Classifier Raw coal Inlet temperature at the classifier. However. Roll er Roll er Grinding table Primary Air Fig. Qcoal ðtÞ is the energy flow in the coal flow. etc. Qair ðtÞ is the energy flow in the primary air flow. Odgaard. the actual coal flow in and out of the coal mill is not measurable. B. An illustration of the coal mill. Control and measurements References to the coal flow and primary air flow are given by the master controller. The pulverized coal is subsequently blown up and the hot primary air evaporates the moisture content. in which TðtÞ is the temperature in the mill measured at the classifier. and Qm ðtÞ is the energy flow in the coal moisture. where mm is the mass of the coal mill. trips the plant. the central inlet pipe. this assumption has been made in this paper in order to simplify the model. as illustrated in Fig. high moisture content. and Qm ðtÞ is the energy flow in the coal moisture. which means that not all the variables are measurable e. The objective of the master controller is to follow the required power production by adjusting the coal flow and primary air flow among over variables.g. As described in the Introduction.ARTICLE IN PRESS 912 P. faults in the primary air supply both the fan and the temperature controller. Coal particles that during the pulverizing process have been ground fine and sufficiently dried will pass through the classifier and out through the outlet pipes into the furnace. Pmotor ðtÞ denotes the power delivered by the grinding table. 4. The ratio of these air flows is used to control the temperature and the flow of the primary air. the primary air flow and temperature are measurable. A more detailed model. Larger and heavier particles fall back on the grinding table and will pass the rollers once more. Faults and problems A number of different faults can occur in the coal mill. but variates from the flow demand during faults. the scheme either notifies the operator via alarms or in some rare cases. 2. Even though this assumption is only entirely true for steady state operations. if the maximal possible mill load is to be computed in terms of the coal flow demand. TðtÞ is the temperature in the mill measured at the classifier.F. A coal mill is a harsh environment to perform measurements in. In this model the coal mill is seen as one body with the mass mm . The primary air is a mixture of cold air and air heated by the preheater. before it is fed to the coal mills. it is also influenced by the fact that the coal is stored in a silo. The coal flow in and out of the mill is assumed to be represented well by the flow demand under normal operational conditions of the mill.2. and finally failures in the sensors.1. Qair ðtÞ is the energy flow in the primary air flow. It is also assumed that the input and output coal flows are equal. precipitation during the outside storage at the plant. The temperature controller is required to keep the temperature at 100  C in the mill in order to ensure that the moisture in the coal evaporates. Model of the energy balance in a coal mill A simple energy balance model of the coal mill is based on Rees and Fan (2003). etc. The moisture content of the coal fed into the mill variates slowly with high time constants. 2. 4. The temperatures of the primary air and pulverized coal flow are used to control the temperature in the coal mill at the classifier. as well as the Fig. and if the fault leads to a decrease in the output coal flow from the coal mill. An illustration of energy balance in the coal mill. The power plant is monitored by a simple supervisory control scheme with the purpose of identifying eventually faults by monitoring certain measurements. If these measurements get out of the allowed range. to a small degree. this can result in a trip of the entire power plant unit. which takes different coal flows into account. Hereafter the coal is pulverized on the rotating grinding table by the rollers. Some examples of critical faults are: blocking of the raw coal inlet pipe. . Pmotor ðtÞ denotes the power delivered by the roller motors.

C c is the specific heat of the coal. where C w is the specific heat of the water. rðtÞ is the normal distributed measurement noises. The combined heat coefficient. mpa ðtÞ is the primary air mass flow in and out of the mill. Mataji / Control Engineering Practice 16 (2008) 909–921 913 The energy balance is given by _ mm Á C m Á TðtÞ ¼ Qair ðtÞ À Qcoal ðtÞ À Qm ðtÞ þ Pmotor ðtÞ. T m ðtÞ is the measured classifier temperature representing the mill temperature and   _ _ ðÀmPA. TðtÞ is the mill _ temperature measured at the classifier. T PA ðtÞ is the temperature of the inlet primary air.o Á ðC w Á T s À H st Á T o Þ mm Á C m 2 C ¼ I. C w is the specific heat of the moisture.o À T o Þ 7 6 mm Á C m 7 6 7 6 _ C air Á mPA. see Fig. A plot of the non-linear and linear model response compared with measurements of a step response on the coal mill. H st . 5. 5. and Pmotor ðtÞ is the power delivered by the mill motor. Odgaard.F. gðtÞ is the ratio of moisture in the coal. mm Á C m (5) Fig.o Á C air À mc.ARTICLE IN PRESS P. B. as it is much smaller than the other powers in the equation. see (3). (4) where a given signal  is linearized by  ¼  À o . the temperature model output is a couple of degrees above 100  C which is clearly negligible in this context. The non-linear model (2) is subsequently linearized and transformed into a state space representation. _ mc ðtÞ is the coal mass flow. s o w s st o 7 6 c o 7 6 7 6 mm Á C m 7 6 5 4 _ mc. qðtÞ is the normal distributed process disturbances. It is the objective of the primary air temperature controller to keep the classifier temperature at 100  C. ð2Þ where C m is the specific heat of the mill. 6 7 ¯ ¯ TðtÞ 6 mc ðtÞ 7 _ 4 ¯ 5 gðtÞ ¯ 2 3 3T C air Á ðT PA. 12 11 Requested coal mass flow [kg/s] 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 0 1 2 3 4 5 Time [hours] 6 7 8 9 Fig. is defined as H st ¼ C w þ Lsteam =100. 104 102 non-linear model measurements linear model (3) Classifier temperature [°C] 100 98 96 94 92 90 0 1 2 3 4 5 Time [hours] 6 7 8 9 ¯ ¯ T m ðtÞ ¼ CTðtÞ þ rðtÞ. and thereby the temperature of the coal entering the mill. 6.o 7 6 7 6 mm Á C m 7 6 B ¼ 6 C Á ðT À T Þ þ g Á ðC Á T À H Á T Þ 7 . C air is the specific heat of air. The model responses are compared with measurements in Fig. The dynamic non-linear model is subsequently given by _ _ mm C m TðtÞ ¼ mpa ðtÞC air ðT PA ðtÞ À TðtÞÞ _ _ þ mc ðtÞC c Á ðT s À TðtÞÞ þ gðtÞmc ðtÞC w Á T s _ À gðtÞmc ðtÞH st Á TðtÞ þ Pmotor ðtÞ. The motor power is also removed from this state space model. and Lsteam is the latent heat. (1) The heating and evaporation of the moisture in the coal are modeled by a combined heating coefficient. However. A plot of the coal flow demand during the step like load change. (6) (7) All parameters in the non-linear and the linear models are found in data sheets except mm Á C m which is identified on the basis of measurements of a step response of the coal flow demand of the coal mill. This combined heat coefficient does also deal with the fact that the specific heat of water and steam is different. o is the ¯ operation point of . 6. The latent energy of the evaporation dominates the energy required for the heating of the moisture. . T s is the outside temperature.o Á ðC c þ go Á H st ÞÞ A¼ . ¯ _ mPA ðtÞ 6¯ 7 _ ¼ ATðtÞ þ B Á 6 T PA ðtÞ 7 þ qðtÞ. H st is the parameter combining the latent heat of the steam and specific heat of the water.

but it can be used to obtain the steady state moisture content. _ xm ðtÞ ¼ Am Á xm ðtÞ þ Bm Á um ðtÞ þ Em Qun ðtÞ þ qðtÞ. It is estimated by a static estimate. A dead band of some percentage of the measurement range is applied to these measurements meaning that the signals must have changes of a given size before the signal value is sampled. This is illustrated in Fig.o 6 0 Bm ¼ 6 mm Á C m 6 6 4 C c Á ðT s À T o Þ þ go Á ðC w Á T s À H st Á T o Þ 0 mm Á C m 2 3T 07 7 7 07 . by two additional states. no dead bands will be present on the measurements. if the scheme is applied on-line to the coal mill. However. 7.2. In order to simplify the model. . as the moisture content changes slowly. s þ pf un (9) where zf is the zero of the fault model and pf is the pole of the fault model. Since faults and moisture content changes can be separated in frequencies. In order to make separations in the frequency domain. can also be viewed as an unknown input. meaning that this input is really unknown. it is difficult to validate the response details due to the way the signals are sampled. 3. 4 5 4¯ 5 ¯ ¯ _ Qfault ðtÞ mc ðtÞ " # ¯ T m ðtÞ ym ðtÞ ¼ . or can be viewed as a noisy measurement. Odgaard. (10) (11) where qðtÞ is the independent normal distributed process disturbances with zero mean and covariance matrix Q. the moisture content is not measurable. Since an uncertain static estimate of the moisture content is available. which is only valid during static operation of the mill. um ðtÞ ¼ 6 T PA ðtÞ 7. Qfault ðtÞ and Qm ðtÞ can be seen as filtered versions of Qun ðtÞ. it can be seen that the responses from both models are quite similar to the large dynamical changes as the measurements show. (2). Qfault ðtÞ denotes the energy flow to the possible faults.o Á ðC c þ go Á H st ÞÞ 6 mm Á C m 6 Am ¼ 6 0 4 0 2 1 Àpm 0 3 z f À pf 7 7 0 7. Faults causing imbalances in the energy balance model.F. Mataji / Control Engineering Practice 16 (2008) 909–921 From this figure.o À T o Þ 0 6 mm Á C m 6 6 _ C air Á mPA. 3. rðtÞ is the normal distributed measurement noises with zero mean and covariance matrix R. B. Fault and moisture model _ The model given in (2) has uncertain inputs. A low pass filter can represent the moisture and a high pass filter can represent the faults. pm is the pole of the moisture model. The fault model is given by Qfault ðsÞ ¼ s þ zf Q ðsÞ. ð12Þ gm ðtÞ ¯ _ _ ðÀmPA. 7 7 7 5 0 (14) Frequency Fig. In addition an unknown input signal is introduced in the model. can under normal fault free conditions be assumed to be flow demand. but on the other hand the faults in the mill occur faster and are consequently located in higher frequencies. mc ðtÞ and gðtÞ. These models are subsequently combined with the small signal model of the coal mill given in (3)–(7). it is included for improving the estimate of steady state value of the moisture content. and 2¯ 3 2 ¯ 3 TðtÞ _ mPA ðtÞ 6 7 6 7 ¯ xm ðtÞ ¼ 6 gmois ðtÞ 7. Qm ðtÞ is scaled to get the moisture content. Combined model The moisture content as well as the fault energy flow are introduced in the linear small signal model (3)–(7). This means that if the unknown input is denoted.o Á C air À mc. gðsÞ ¼ kmois Á Qm ðsÞ ¼ kmois pm Q ðsÞ. gðtÞ. These could be described as two energy flows. On the other hand. and introduces some robustness towards model uncertainties. The dead band is applied to the data for limited the data storage demands. 5 Àpf Moisture content Amplitude Faults (13) C air Á ðT PA. ym ðtÞ ¼ Cm Á xm ðtÞ þ rðtÞ. The question is how to deal with these. An illustration of the separation of moisture and faults in the frequency domain. _ mc ðtÞ.ARTICLE IN PRESS 914 P. 7. The coal flow. However. a low and high pass filter could in principle be used to estimate the moisture content and the fault residual. first order models are subsequently used.1. these poles and the zero are related as: pm 5zf 5pf . The advantage using the proposed observer is that it takes all the inputs into account. and Qm ðtÞ denotes the energy flow relating to the moisture content of the coal. Qun ðtÞ. These two signals are separated in frequencies. s þ pm un (8) where kmois is the moisture gain.

and the first measurement is much more reliable than the second. 6 7 Em ¼ 4 kmois 5. Regarding the process disturbances. z½n þ 1Š ¼ Fnþ1 z½nŠ þ Tnþ1 Bn um ½nŠ þ Knþ1 ym ½nŠ. One solution could be to increase the order of the filter modeling the fault.1. Em Þ. Bm . However. (24) Q¼4 0 0 0 1 1 R¼ 0   0 . in this case the objective is to estimate the unknown inputs. Given discrete time systems with unknown inputs and disturbances as represented by xm ½n þ 1Š ¼ An xm ½nŠ þ Bn um ½nŠ þ En d½nŠ þ q½nŠ. zf ¼ 1  10À4 . Cd . The variance matrices are subsequently found empirical the knowledge of the variance matrices are taken into account. (20) (21) 4.2.F. It is normally used to estimate states in systems with unknown inputs and disturbances and measurement noises. However. Ed Þ are the discretized representations of ðAm . First of all assume that the moisture model does not support the faults. meaning that the model can be changed so that the linear model matrices can be updated corresponding to current state values. so that it has lower gain at the low frequencies. The parameters are found to be 2 3 55:8 0 0 6 7 1 0 5. xm ½n þ 1Š ¼ Ad Á xm ½nŠ þ Bd Á um ½nŠ þ Ed Qun ½nŠ þ r½nŠ. when regarding the measurement noises. 4. if the two variance matrices q½nŠ and r½nŠ are known. ^ x½n þ 1Š ¼ z½n þ 1Š þ Hnþ1 ym ½n þ 1Š. Fault detection Experiments have shown that the filter describing the faults does not separate faults enough from the moisture content. it is also known that temperature measurement is relatively reliable. and is defined as in (26). while these are occurring consequently it is simple to remove the moisture dependency of the fault residual by subtracting the moisture energy flow from the fault residual. ym ½nŠ ¼ Cn xm ½nŠ þ r½nŠ. Still some elements are known concerning these disturbances and measurement noises.ARTICLE IN PRESS P. Bd .o Á ðC water Á T s À H water Á T o ÞÞ Á pm . see (18)–(19). Subsequently these two parameters are adjusted until the expected responses are seen from the observer applied to the data shown in Section 5. such that the moisture content estimate do not respond on load changes or faults. 4. However. B. the temperature is more influenced by process disturbances than the moisture content and fault energy flow. Qfault ½nŠ ¼ Qfault ½nŠ À kmois (26) an optimal unknown input observer of the following form can be derived. (18) (19) where ðAd . and so that the fault residual do not depend on the moisture content. Odgaard. A Kalman estimator is subsequently designed for the transformed system. ym ½nŠ ¼ Cd Á xm ½nŠ þ r½nŠ. as the two other states the unknown inputs. g½nŠ ^ . On the other hand. Mataji / Control Engineering Practice 16 (2008) 909–921 915 2 1 3 (15)  . Qfault ½nŠ. These parameters are found so that the two corresponding filters separates the energy flows according to moisture content and faults. disturbances and measurement noises. mm Á C m (17) The three remaining parameters have been found empirically to: pf ¼ 1:5  10À3 . meaning that the model has been modified to include the states of the unknown inputs as seen below. meaning that kmois ¼ _ ðmc. 6:9  103 (25) The moisture gain can be computed as a factor relating the moisture content to the energy flow due to the moisture. pfault  Cm ¼ 1 0 0 0 1 0 (16) positive side effect of this is that the estimator gain is recomputed at each sample. This model is a system with an unknown input. experiments have given a much simpler solution. as these two are unknown inputs. (only its DCcomponent is reliable) meaning that this measurement contains a measurement noise with a large variance. Observer design The design of the observer is given directly by Appendix A. Optimal unknown input observer The optimal unknown input observer is described in Chen and Patton (1999). A . but can be used to tune the observer to give the ‘‘right’’ estimates. which indicate that an optimal unknown input observer would be an obvious observer to use for estimating the residual. (22) (23) The basic idea behind this observer is to eliminate the dependency of the unknown input from the estimation error by matrix transformations. Cm . Only the first state is subject to disturbances. while the static moisture estimate can be viewed as a highly non-reliable measurement. The schemes for computing the matrices in the optimal unknown input observer can be seen in Appendix A. The model represented by (10)–(16) is discretized before an observer is designed to estimate the states in the model. pm ¼ 5:4  10À8 . including the fault residual and moisture content. The ^ new clean residual is denoted. these two variance matrices are unknown.

10 shows the normalized residual computed using (28). meaning that the dynamics of the system are excited by this change in the coal flow demand. In practice both methods seem equally effective. Data set B In the next data set. The static estimate of the moisture content respond to the load change demands by some large decreasing peaks. Fault isolation The sign of the energy balance can be used to separate the possible faults in combination with e. since the signal values are still much smaller than those achieved during the fault in the mill. From this figure. . Resulting in a stop in the coal flow into the coal mill.g. All data is obtained from the measurement database on the power plant. it can be seen that all dynamical estimated moisture content do not react on the load changes. and not due to a variation in the coal flow. before the threshold is applied. The figure compares the observer estimate with the static moisture The second method partly removes the influence by the ^ coal moisture content from Qfault ½nŠ by dividing it by the energy flow contribution from the coal. A negative energy imbalance means that more energy is needed to heat the coal than is being delivered by the primary air flow. Experiments and results The designed estimator is subsequently applied on three different sets of data. as seen in Section 5. 2. This point has not been changed during this experiment. A positive imbalance on the other hand is due to more energy is being delivered by the primary air flow than is required to heat up the delivered coal flow. has however. been validated by comparing the static estimated values with lab analyzed samples of coal taken at the conveyor belt before the entrance to the coal mill. 8 > < 1 ^ Qfault ½nŠ  106 4b. The estimated moisture content will. In addition to these variations in the moisture content a step up and down in the required coal flow of the coal mill are present.ARTICLE IN PRESS 916 P. sampled at the coal mill described in Section 3. the moisture content increases in the beginning and decreases eventually. ( fd ¼ 1 0 ^ if Qfault ½nŠ4b. and compare the absolute value of ^ Qfault ½nŠ with a threshold b as in (27). 4. these samples were taken for different kinds of coal as well at different plant loads. meaning that no additional computation is needed in order to get this estimate. 5. Moisture estimation The moisture content is estimated directly by the optimal unknown input observer.3. All data are sampled with a sample time of 60 s. a detection based on (28) is more certain to actually detect a fault. Subsequently two methods for detecting the faults based on the residual are described. Fig. 11. which do not correspond to the real moisture content. Again this situation can be caused by the coal flow or the primary air flow. B.2. This means that a ^ fault is detected based on this rule if kQfault ½nŠk is larger than the threshold b. as the largest signal components are achieved when the operation conditions are farthest away from the operating point of the linear model. The first method is to use a simple threshold b.4. From these it can be seen that both signals variate following the moisture content. 4. such that it gives a detection of the beginning of the fault as early as possible.1. Mataji / Control Engineering Practice 16 (2008) 909–921 This transformation almost entirely clears the moisture dependency from the fault residuals. the moisture content is slowly increasing. two data sets with varying moisture contents but no faults (subsequently denoted data set A and data set B) and in the last data set: the coal inlet pipe to the coal mill is blocked by the raw coal (a fault). This means that the designed optimal unknown input observer estimates the moisture content quite successfully. 8 the estimated moisture content is compared with the static estimate of the moisture content. as it appears from Fig. logical schemes. In Fig. with the constraint that false detection of faults are avoided. this is due to model uncertainties. Data set A In the first data set. The static estimate.2. however. while it follows the static moisture content estimate outside the load changes. elsewhere: (27) 5. 9 shows the non-normalized residual computed using (26) and (27) and Fig. see (28). _ mc ½nŠ Á C c Á ðT s À T½nŠÞ elsewhere: if fd ¼ > :0 (28) In theory the differences between these two methods are ^ that the first method reacts faster on a variation in Qfault ½nŠ. see Fig. This can either be caused by too much coal or too low primary air flow or primary air temperature. this residual is multiplied with a factor 1  106 in order to keep the value in a normal range.F. Odgaard. (where these can be considered reliable). In the following f d ½nŠ denotes a signal which is equal 1 in case of a fault and 0 elsewhere. A threshold can be set much higher than these variations. especially those originating from linearization of the model. The next step is to test how much these changes in moisture content influences the fault energy flow/fault residual. data set B. this data set is denoted data set C. For both methods the threshold b are found. However. also describe any faults with low frequency response. 5. which can be seen from the experiments work in Section 5.

the observer estimate should be close to the static estimate.3. which can be seen from Fig. x 10−3 6 8 6 Residual – energy [J/s] 4 2 0 −2 −4 −6 0 5 10 15 Time [hours] 20 25 x 10−3 4 Residual – energy [J/s] 2 0 −2 −4 −6 0 5 10 15 Time [hours] 20 25 Fig.F. 12 shows the non-normalized residual and Fig. 13 shows the normalized residual. Illustration of the moisture content estimate compared with the static estimate. Mataji / Control Engineering Practice 16 (2008) 909–921 917 16 Observed Coal moisture [%] 15 14 13 12 0 5 10 Samples [n] 15 20 Static Estimated Coal moisture [%] 16 15 14 13 12 0 5 10 Time [hours] 15 20 25 Fig. The non-normalized residual computed for data set A. especially those originating from linearization of the model. 14. 8. 11. as the signal values are still much smaller than the values achieved during the fault in the mill. From these figures it is evident that both signals vary considerably due to model uncertainties. content estimate. Data set C The last data set contains a decreasing moisture content.58 h. and since this data set does not contain any changes in the coal flow demand.e. for data set A. I. The moisture content estimated by the observer is compared with the static estimate in Fig. B.ARTICLE IN PRESS P. The normalized residual computed for data set A. 5. The operational point has not been changed during this experiment. Fig. Odgaard. from which it can be seen that the observer estimated moisture content follows the static . Fig. in this example the operating point is chosen at the end value of variables. the static estimate can be considered relatively reliable. 10. and a fault starting approximately at 18. 9.

5 −8 x 10−3 −4 −5 Residual – energy [J/s] −6 −7 −8 −9 −10 x 10−3 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 Time [hours] 14 16 18 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 Time [hours] 14 16 18 Fig.F. Fig. B.5 −6 −6. this figure shows that a fault results in an evident increase in the value of the residual to levels much higher than those obtained from fault free data with changing moisture content.58 h in this specific case.ARTICLE IN PRESS 918 P. where the static estimate responds to the fault and even goes into negative values. this figure shows that the fault results in a clear increase in the value of the residual to levels much higher than those obtained from fault free data with changing moisture . 16 a zoom view of the fault in Fig. In Fig. estimated moisture content. Odgaard. a visual inspection of the measurements turned up with the same conclusion.5 −7 −7. The non-normalized residual computed for data set B.5 −4 Residual – energy [J/s] −4. 13. On the other hand is the dynamic estimate not influenced by the presence of the fault. Using this specific threshold will result in detection of the fault at time 18. Mataji / Control Engineering Practice 16 (2008) 909–921 17 Observed Coal moisture [%] 16 15 14 13 12 0 2 4 6 8 10 Time [hours] 12 14 16 17 Static Estimated Coal moisture [%] 16 15 14 13 12 0 2 4 6 8 10 Time [hours] 12 14 16 18 Fig. −3. 15. 12. except during the fault. The normalized residual can be seen in Fig. a threshold can be set to 0. Having the residual values of fault free data in mind. The non-normalized residual can be seen in Fig.04. Illustration of the moisture content estimate compared with the static estimate. The normalized residual computed for data set B. 11. 15 is shown. for data set B. meaning it should be possible to separate moisture content variations from faults. 17.5 −5 −5.

02 18. Illustration of the moisture content estimate compared with the static estimate.25 0. Using this specific threshold will result in a detection of the fault at time 18.1 0.15 0. Summary of experiments These experiments show that the moisture content in the coal is estimated correctly both for moisture content variations as well as occurring faults.04 0. 15. all showing the same results of the estimator estimating the moisture content well.58 for the nonnormalized and 18. 14.05 0.4 0. Having the residual values of fault free data in mind.35 18.5 16 0 5 10 Time [hours] 20 Static Estimated Coal moisture [%] 15 10 5 0 0 5 10 Time [hours] 15 20 25 15 20 25 919 Fig.6 18.11 0. Fig. 16.5 18 17. for data set C. 5.35 Residual – energy [J/s] 0. B. A zoom on the fault in the non-normalized residual computed for data set C.75 18.09 0. in theory the normalized residual would be less sensitive to other system inputs and .5 17 16. meaning that the fault residual is usable for fault detection.6 h in this specific case. Odgaard.08 0. 17 is shown. This is as well supported by approximately 10 other experiments with different coals.4. a threshold can be set to 0.3 0.06 0.55 18.07 0. the fault (blocked coal inlet pipe) can be detected at time 18.65 18.8 Time [hours] Residual Threshold Fig.5 18. 0. It should also be noted that the static estimate responds to the fault. In this test example the two defection schemes have shown very similar performances. 18 a zoom view of the fault in Fig.2 0. Mataji / Control Engineering Practice 16 (2008) 909–921 19.45 18.04.1 0.F.ARTICLE IN PRESS P. Based on the estimated fault residuals.03 0.6 h for the normalized scheme. However.3 18.05 0 −0.05 0 5 10 15 Time [hours] 20 25 Residual – energy [J/s] 0.7 18. at which time sample the fault can be determined to start. The non-normalized residual computed for data set C.4 18. content. In Fig. which is identical to the case with visual inspection and the non-normalized residual detection.5 19 Observed Coal moisture [%] 18.

meaning less false detections.02 18. (3) Compute K1 ¼ A1 Pn CT ðCn Pn CT þRn ÞÀ1 .04 0. DC. (1999). A zoom view of the fault in the normalized residual computed for data set C. H. Fan. (1998). J. Jankowski. L. nþ1 (7) Set n ¼ n þ 1 and jump to step 2. K2 ¼ Fnþ1 Hn . & Rees. The computation of the matrices in the observer is also given in Chen and Patton (1999) as (1) Set initial values: P0 ¼ Pð0Þ. Y. Mataji / Control Engineering Practice 16 (2008) 909–921 60 50 Residual – energy [J/s] 40 30 20 10 0 −10 0 5 10 15 Time [hours] 20 25 suggested. R. K. 2002-603/4001-93. Moreover. The existing control system provides a static estimate of the coal moisture content. New York: Marcel Dekker. C. 5. 18. K. (2) Compute Hnþ1 ¼ En ðCnþ1 E n Þþ . Fnþ1 ¼ An À Hnþ1 Cnþ1 An À K1 Cn . disturbances. Fukayama. either. Grant no.7 18. and the coal moisture content is not measurable. 17. z0 ¼ x0 À C0 E0 ðC0 E0 Þþ y0 . USA. nþ1 (5) Now compute z½n þ 1Š ¼ Fnþ1 z½nŠ þ Tnþ1 Bn u½nŠ þ ^ Knþ1 y½nŠ and x½n þ 1Š ¼ z½n þ 1Š þ Hnþ1 y½n þ 1Š. nþ1 nþ1 (4) Compute T nþ1 ¼ I À Hnþ1 Cnþ1 . H0 ¼ 0.. W. Domanski. J. Shimohira. An adaptive state estimator for pulverizer control using moments of particle size distribution.55 18. IEEE Transactions on Control System Technology. B. (2003). & Kanemoto.. Fig. Control Engineering Practice.65 18..F. The normalized residual computed for data set C. including an optimal unknown input observer. The obvious variable to monitor in order to detect problems in the coal mill is the coal flow in and out of the mill. these coal flows are not measurable. (6) Compute P0nþ1 ¼ Pn À K1 Cn Pn ðA1 ÞT . Acknowledgments The authors acknowledge the Danish Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation. Q.3 18. Fault detection and diagnosis in engineering system. Optimization of a coal mill control.. R. W. and follownþ1 nþ1 ing Pnþ1 ¼ A1 P0nþ1 ðA1 ÞT þ Tnþ1 Qn TT þ Hnþ1 nþ1 nþ1 nþ1 Rnþ1 HT .4 18.12 0..8 Time [hours] Fig. Jun.5 18. 797–811.). two different fault residuals and detection schemes are Residual – energy [J/s] References Chen.. & Swirski. Instead this paper suggests a method where these unknowns are estimated based on simple energy balance model of the coal mill. Odgaard. N. Appendix A. (1997). In Proceedings.6 18. POWERCON .16 Residual Threshold 0.1 0. & Pingyang. Dezheng..45 18. & Patton.75 18. J..35 18. (2004). Inc. From these experiments it can be concluded that the moisture content is successfully estimated. and Knþ1 ¼ K1 þ nþ1 nþ1 nþ1 K2 .. for support to the research program CMBC (Center for Model Based Control). Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Thermal power plant as contributed by coal mill control. 0. In 2003 ASME international mechanical engineering congress (pp 223–243). Washington. 101–109.ARTICLE IN PRESS 920 P. (1998).14 0. Hirasawa. 6. Robust model-based fault diagnosis for dynamic systems (1st ed. J. The designed observer is applied on three data sets covering variating moisture content as well as faults in the coal mill. 12. However. P. but it can react slower on the fault. and P0nþ1 ¼ nþ1 n n nþ1 Pn À K1 Cn Pn ðA1 ÞT . Gertler. D.08 0. and that the fault is detected in the sample. K.06 0. An intelligent expert system KBOSS for power plant coal mill supervision and control. Conclusion In this paper an observer based method for detection of faults and estimating the moisture content of coal in a coal mill is presented. 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: rankðCnþ1 En Þ ¼ rankðEn Þ. as soon as the fault emerges. G.

In A Proceedings volume from the IFAC symposium 2003 control of power plants and power systems (SIPOWER’95) (pp. & Mataji. (2002). A. Institution of Electrical Engineers. N. Preventing performance drops of coal mills due to high moisture content. Zhang. Flynn (Ed. In Proceedings of the IFAC symposium on control of power plants and power systems 2006. W. (1995). O’Kelly. Kananaskis.. Canada. J. pp. B. K. P. 549–555. Modelling and prediction of NOx emission in a coal-fired power generation plant. . Odgaard. P. Mexico.). Palizban. 1203–1207).... H.. 1998 international conference on power system technology (Vol.. N. (2003). Cancun. B. & Fan.. F. (2004).. Matts. D. 17. Modelling and control of pulverised fuel coal mills. Mataji / Control Engineering Practice 16 (2008) 909–921 ’98. 2. G.F. 12. S. G.). Q. Li. (2007). Kananaskis. H. Control Engineering Practice. F. & Mataji. Greece. F.. Coal mill modeling by machine learning based on onsite measurements... 921 In Proceedings of the European control conference 2007. Rees. Thermal power plant simulation and control (1st ed. Wu. In D. A. X. Practical optimal predictive control of power plant coal mills. Odgaard.ARTICLE IN PRESS P. Q.. B. X. (2005a). Estimation of moisture content in coal in coal mills. Odgaard. J. & Mataji. & Zhou. (2005b). In Proceedings of the IFAC symposium on control of power plants and power systems 2006. Bejing. & Peng. Stoustrup. B. IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion. Wang. China. Odgaard. Oluwande. P. F. Y. J. 707–723. 269–274). P. Kos. Fault detection in coal mills used in power plants. Canada.. Thompson. & Rees.. W.