A Framework for Model-Based Adaptive Training

Power Plant Model

The physical model for this domain is a basic power generating system comprising the following components: boiler, steam turbine, generator, condenser, feed pumps, pipework, heat source, buffer tank, feed and control valves and an electronic circuit board with control and trip logic (see Figure 4-2 Power Plant).

The feed pump forces water to the boiler via non-return and pressure control valves, where it is heated by an adjacent heat source (e.g., a nuclear reactor). Water pressure and temperature increase as water rises through the boiler until steam is created; this in turn passes through the flow control valve to drive the steam turbine.

The turbine turns the generator to produce the required load output. On passing through the turbine, water is condensed before returning to the feed pumps. A control valve automatically maintains the condenser level which may be made up from a buffer tank. Both pressure and steam temperature may be controlled by a plant operator indirectly via valve settings.

Electronic control and trip logic is included to help ensure the boiler plant remains within an acceptable operating envelope, and this provides the operator with feedback on plant performance, along with some measure of control.

Power Plant Model

Figure 4-2 Power Plant Model [MOBIT 1994, W5-W6]

The boiler plant model, while being physically ‘correct’, is simplistic comprising a few equations per component. For plant operator training the domain is sufficiently complex to create training scenarios using a simulator.

The simulator provides the trainee with the ability to select auto or manual control and raise or lower the valve demand set points which affect steam temperature, boiler pressure and condenser level. In addition, the trainee has the facility to stop and start the feed pumps, raise and lower load control, trip the unit and reset the unit trip.

As well as the alarm indicators, plant conditions may be monitored via the following parameters: steam pressure (bar), steam temperature (degree C). Load (MW), feed pressure (bar) and feed temperature (degree C). For training of fault scenarios there may be problems such as jammed valves, pump failure and a variety of electronic circuit board logic failures.

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