UI Steam Plant Combustion Input Measurement Systems

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The System of The Boiler
Team Name Rolling Timber
Clients Scott Smith
Instructor Dr. Daniel Cordon
Consultant Dr. Alex, Dr. Scott, Dr. Daniel
Group Numbers Stafford Morse, Paden Putnam, Ancheng Hou, Wang Xu
Duration Fall 2017 - Spring 2018



UI Steam Plant Combustion Input Measurement Systems The goal of project is to measure the data of the wood fired boiler in college. Such the mass flow of the wood chips, the moisture of the wood chips and the air flow into or out of the boiler. One of the most important part of the project is creating a sensor to measure the mass flow of wood chips.


Problem Definition[edit]

Background[edit]

The wood fired boiler at university of Idaho is driven by the wood fuel and air. The goal of project is to measure the data of the wood fired boiler in college. Such the mass flow of the wood chips, the moisture of the wood chips and the air flow into or out of the boiler. One of the most important part of the project is creating a sensor to measure the mass flow of wood chips.


Project Goals[edit]

1. UI steam plant currently uses “microwave method”

2. Want to be able to measure:

  • Mass flow rate of wood chips
  • Moisture content of wood chips
  • Mass flow rate of air

3. End goal is to have automated boiler control

  • Optimal combustion efficiency
  • That is outside the scope of this project


Project Learning[edit]

1. We are going to learn more about how to use LabVIEW.

  • Basic operating
  • Connecting to a DAQ, and then measure the DAQ.

2. We have already done a lot of researches.

  • Air Mass Flow
  • Stack Humidity
  • Woodchip mass flow
  • Woodchip moisture content


Specifications[edit]

1. Woodchip Mass Flow into throat

  • Target Accuracy of 3% or better
  • Range of 2.3 - 7 green tons/hour
  • Survivable in occasional bin fires

2. Woodchip Moisture Content

  • Target Accuracy of 3% or better
  • Range of 3 - 60% - may change depending on mixing
  • Survivable in occasional bin fires

3. Mass air flow into boiler

  • Underfire and Overfire air
  • Target Accuracy of 3% or better
  • Measured in single duct before diverging
  • Retains accuracy in dusty environment


Project Planning[edit]

Meeting Time[edit]

1. Team meeting at each Tuesday 3:30 pm

2. Meeting with consultant and Client at each Thursday 3:30pm


Gantt Chart[edit]

Planning.jpg


Design[edit]

Previously Researched Options[edit]

  • Off-the-shelf bulk mass flowmeters provide required accuracy
  • Expensive and requires major structural modifications to route chips
  • Bin weighing requires less work, but does not deliver required accuracy


Woodchip Mass Flow[edit]

Throat dimensions[edit]

This is a general draft of the Throat dimensions. In this picture, you can see the model of one part of our boiler. You can see the length at the same time. The woodchips will fall from above the box. Then the woodchips will be smashed more smaller by the machine under the box.

Throat dimensions


The model of the mass flow sensor[edit]

This is the model we design for our mass flow sensor. We will use this equipment to measure the data of our woodchips mass flow. In order to measure the mass flow of the woodchips, we need to connect the sensor to our DAQ, so we can get the data in the LabVIEW. Then, when the woodchips fall from above and touch the contact surface, the angle in our mass flow sensor will change. At the same time, the data in our LabVIEW will change. We can get the measurement of current from the sensor. After all, we will calculate the mass flow of woodchips.

The model of the mass flow sensor


Amplifier[edit]

In order to make our data more accurate, we need an amplifier to adjust our voltage. Here is the circuit and the simplified circuit.

circuit
simplified circuit


LabVIEW[edit]

Tools: LabVIEW Software, NI USB-6008 DAQ

DAQ Assistant in LabVIEW[edit]

In our project,we need to use LabVIEW to simulate the system of our sensors, and get the measurement from the LabVIEW. In the LabVIEW, we use DAQ Assistant to set up a 4mA-20mA input current signal.

LabVIEW1


Simulation of our system[edit]

In this step, I will show you the simulate system of our system. From this picture, you can find out how does our system work.

LabVIEW2


Wave Chart of our measurement[edit]

After we set up the input current signal by using the DAQ Assistant, we add a Wave Chart in the LabVIEW, so we can see how does our measurements change. We can see the current changes with time.

LabVIEW3


Signal Conversion[edit]

Use the chip to convert the 0-5 V voltage signal to the 4-20mA current signal

Signal Conversion
Signal Conversion 1


LCD Display[edit]

Ideas for self-contained 4-20 mA calibrated display

LCD Display


Wood Chip Moisture Content Measurement[edit]

WCMT (Wood Chip Moisture Transmitter)

WCMT Placement


WCMT1.jpg


WCMT Mounting


WCMT3.jpg
WCMT4.jpg

Estimated Costs:

  • Aluminum: ~$30
  • Steel: ~$225



Testing result[edit]

After we connect each part of our project together, we can read the data from the DAQ. We can get a graph changes with the changing of mass flow. Here is the picture.

LabVIEW Result 1


LabVIEW Result 2


LabVIEW Result 3


Team Number[edit]

RT Team Member.JPEG


Picture Info Bio
Stafford Morse.jpg Stafford Morse:
  • major: Mechanical Engineering
  • email: mors7316@vandals.uidaho.edu
I am from the Snoqualmie Valley near Duvall, WA, and this is my fourth year in the Mechanical Engineering program at the University of Idaho. My primary roles in our project are overall project planning and design/implementation of a woodchip mass flow measurement system for the boiler. I have learned a tremendous amount so far and had a great time working with everybody on the team!
Paden Putnam.jpg Paden Putnam:
  • major: Mechanical Engineering
  • email: putn9230@vandals.uidaho.edu
I am from Richland, WA, and this is my fourth year in mechanical engineering at the University of Idaho. Within this project I am focusing on the design and implementation of the moisture content sensor for the wood chips flowing into the boiler. I am currently in contact with a company in Austria through a guy in New York, so that has been cool and interesting.
Ancheng Hou.jpg Ancheng Hou:
  • major: Electrical Engineering
  • email: hou2581@vandals.uidaho.edu
I am a senior student in electrical engineering major, and I come from China. This is my first year in University Of Idaho. My research direction is circuit design, and also power system. Now, I am bending myself to use the Labview to support our group’s research. Hope all of us can have a good time during the project. And I really like doing some research after class. I will try my best to do all the job.
Wang XU.jpg Wang Xu:
  • major: Electrical Engineering
  • email: xu5425@vandals.uidaho.edu
Hello everyone! My name is Wang Xu, I'm a senior student of University of Idaho. My hometown is SuChow in China. I'm working on the LabVIEW with Ancheng now. With the time going on, I Believe that I will do more research about Electrical Engineering. I also have a little bit experience about the circuit design. In our team, I'm working on the wikipage and tha portfolio. I believe that will try my best to finish my job!

References and Team Documents[edit]