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Process management using component thermal-hydraulic function classes

United States Patent

July 27, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Argonne National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Development and Commercialization Website
A process management expert system where following malfunctioning of a component, such as a pump, for determining system realignment procedures such as for by-passing the malfunctioning component with on-line speeds to maintain operation of the process at full or partial capacity or to provide safe shut down of the system while isolating the malfunctioning component. The expert system uses thermal-hydraulic function classes at the component level for analyzing unanticipated as well as anticipated component malfunctions to provide recommended sequences of operator actions. Each component is classified according to its thermal-hydraulic function, and the generic and component-specific characteristics for that function. Using the diagnosis of the malfunctioning component and its thermal hydraulic class, the expert system analysis is carried out using generic thermal-hydraulic first principles. One aspect of the invention employs a qualitative physics-based forward search directed primarily downstream from the malfunctioning component in combination with a subsequent backward search directed primarily upstream from the serviced component. Generic classes of components are defined in the knowledge base according to the three thermal-hydraulic functions of mass, momentum and energy transfer and are used to determine possible realignment of component configurations in response to thermal-hydraulic function imbalance caused by the malfunctioning component. Each realignment to a new configuration produces the accompanying sequence of recommended operator actions. All possible new configurations are examined and a prioritized list of acceptable solutions is produced.
Morman; James A. (Woodridge, IL), Wei; Thomas Y. C. (Downers Grove, IL), Reifman; Jaques (Western Springs, IL)
The United States of America as represented by the United States (Washington, DC)
08/ 989,360
December 12, 1997
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the U.S. Department of Energy and The University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory.