Model-Based Estimation of the Flue Gas Mass Flow in Biomass Boilers

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Three estimators for the estimation of the flue gas mass flow in biomass boilers are presented and compared, namely a sliding-mode observer, a Kalman filter, and a so-called steady-state estimator. The flue gas mass flow is an important process variable in biomass boilers as it contains information about the supplied mass flows of air and decomposed fuel. It is also related to the generated heat flow. Furthermore, its knowledge may be exploited in model-based control strategies which allow one to keep pollutant emissions low, on the one hand, and to achieve high efficiency, on the other hand. However, due to fouling of the equipment over time, measurements and existing estimation methods are not suitable for long-term applications. The estimators proposed in this article are based on a dynamic model for gas tube heat exchangers. They are capable of handling the fouling of the heat exchanger and, additionally, they offer the possibility of monitoring the degree of fouling. By incorporating an additional differential pressure measurement and extending the aforementioned estimators, an improvement regarding the dynamic response and the estimation accuracy is achieved. The application of the estimators to real measurement data from both, a medium-scale and a small-scale biomass boiler, demonstrates their wide applicability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1609 - 1622
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


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