Digitalisation of Future Energy

OPtiC-NIRS – Online powerplant control using near-infrared Spectroscopy

The overall aim of the project is to evaluate the potential to use of NIR measurements as soft sensors for the online characterisation of biomass and waste material properties for diagnostics and optimal control of combined heat and power plants.

Project manager at MDU

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Description of the project

Specific objectives are to:

  1. Transfer existing laboratory NIR calibrations for biomass and waste material properties to a combined heat and power plant’s online biomass handling system.
  2. Use the soft sensor signals as input to powerplant control and evaluate the possibility for process control. Following questions should be answered:
  • What on-line accuracy can be achieved?
  • How does the optical sensor type and distance from the feedstock, as well as conveyor belt speed, influence the quality of the SPECTRA measurements and resulting determination of fuel heating value, moisture, components such as recycle wood and glass, different type of plastics and ash?
  1. Implement the system online along with other available sensors and dynamic models at the Mälarenergi and Eskilstuna Strängnäs Energi och Miljö powerplants. Use the integrated system for determining key parameters such as fuel feed volume and providing useful input for control to the line operators.
  2. Evaluate the benefits from the online implementations at the Mälarenergi and Eskilstuna Strängnäs Energi och Miljö powerplants. The evaluation of the implementation test results will be carried out together with the powerplant staff.