A simplified model based supercritical power plant controller

We present a simplified state-space model of a once-through supercritical boiler turbine power plant. This phenomenological model has been developed from a greatly simplified application of the first principles of physical laws. When we fit our model to a far more complex and physically accurate simulation model commissioned by EPRI for operator training, we find that the input-output responses are surprisingly close.

Encouraged by this initial success, we describe some initial steps toward a design method for supercritical boiler control suggested by the geometric structure arising from the simplified model. Preliminary simulation results suggest that this approach may offer a closed loop response considerably improved relative to that achieved by the linear controllers presently in place in typical industrial settings.