Crosscutting Research Program

Sensors & Controls Research Area

Provide the basis for plant optimization and digitization strategies

Sensors & Controls are essential technologies that monitor and enhance the various plant components leading to improved infrastructure and reduce operations and maintenance costs. Sensors can be placed across the plant and can measure the different characteristics such as temperature, pressure, fluid composition, and the state of materials to inform operators of plant health.

high-temp-sapphire-pressure-sensors.png High Temperature Sapphire Pressure Sensors for harsh environments using a single send/receiver fiber and sapphire/silica fiber connection.

R&D Demonstrating Power Plant Improvements

Advanced Sensors   Distributed Intelligent Controls
Creates novel sensor concepts that can be embedded into sever plant components using advanced manufacturing techniques. Designs and produces cost-effective prototype technologies that can be rapidly reproduced for wide distribution. Sensors provide the ability to monitor plant components and transmit data to a distributed network that aims to increase plant efficiency and reliability.
  Distributed control networks process sensor data to permit decision-making. Develops systems with fast dynamics for nonsteady-state and incorporates controls that are capable of handling systems that are inherently non-linear using real-time data. Distributed control networks allowed for increased control of the power plant and is more robust than linear model predictive control algorithms.
Additive Topology Optimized Manufacturing with embedded Sensing (ATOMeS) seamlessly integrates wireless sensors into components using additive manufacturing
electrochemical-sensors-1.png   controls-image-1.png  

The program explores the use of advanced manufacturing technologies to provide low-cost, replicable, robust sensors, while also ensuring that data gathered from the sensors is processed securely and used for future research.

Sensors & Controls Technologies at the Plant

Sensors & controls can be placed throughout the plant to monitor processes and improve plant reliability and efficiency. Example of existing challenges can be seen below.

Cross-section of John W. Turk Jr. USC Plant. Courtesy of Babcock & Wilcox. All rights reserved.

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