Crosscutting Research Program

Sensors & Controls

Technologies improve efficiency, availability and reliability

sensors-image.pngSensors & Controls develops technologies to improve existing coal-fired power plants that enable higher efficiency, improve availability, increase reliability, lower electricity costs, increase ability to respond to load cycling, and reduce emissions.

Researchers develop a wide range of sensors and controls, including surface acoustic wave (SAW), fiber optic technology, electrochemical sensors, microsensors, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). These devices monitor power plant conditions, and provide real-time data on plant health and resiliency.

Novel sensors are capable of monitoring key parameters while operating in harsh environments with online analytical evaluation and measurement capabilities.

Sensors are vital in enhancing the efficiency of key plant components such as boilers, turbines, gasifiers, and flue gas. The data collected from the sensors is vital in enhancing plant reliability and improve efficiency of key plant components.

Controls development work centers around artificial and distributed intelligence for process control and decision making in networks. Improved process control allows for more efficient operation during transient conditions, providing for more stable operation, with tighter environmental control allowing fossil plants to cycle load more easily.

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