Modelling, simulation and robust control of a Benson boiler during hot startup.
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Large boilers have typically been designed for continuous operation from 60-100% load. With restructuring of electrical supply and in some cases because of local fuel supply constraints, some of these boilers are run for only two shifts per day and this entails warm start ups. A reasonable objective is to bring the plant online as quickly as possible within the equipments constraint and without risk of tripping major plant equipment such as feed pumps and circulation pumps. The project required the development of a model accurate enough to represent the boiler thermal dynamics. The thesis compares the simulated model results with the measured results from a Benson boiler from Majuba power station. The developed model is then used to investigate gain scheduled and robust control approaches to the design of the control system for collector vessel level and evaporator flow rate. Once the control problems are clearly understood, an investigation into fast start up is undertaken. The subject of the start up of Benson boilers has limited open literature. This is because flexibility in plant operation has only recently become an important issues with electricity utilities. The limited research in the field of robust control of start up of Benson boiler has made the extensive work done by both Eitelberg and Boje [2001,2002,2004] state of the art. Most of the research done in this thesis follows from the work done by Eitelberg and Boje.