For chemical engineering dynamic systems, there is an increasing demand for better process performance, high product quality, absolute reliability & safety, maximum cost efficiency and less environmental impact. Improved individual process components and advanced automatic control techniques have brought significant benefits to the chemical industry. However, fault-free operation of processes cannot be guaranteed. Timely fault diagnosis and proper management can help to avoid or at least minimize the undesirable consequences. There are many techniques for fault diagnosis, and observer-based methods have been widely studied and have proved to be efficient for fault diagnosis. The basic idea of an observer-based approach is to generate a specific residual signal which carries the information of specific faults, as well as the information of process disturbances, model uncertainties, other faults and measurement noises. For fault diagnosis, the residual should be sensitive to faults and insensitive to other unknown inputs. With this feature, faults can be easily detected and may be isolated and identified. This thesis applied an observer-based fault diagnosis method to three exothermic CSTR case studies. In order to improve the operational safety of exothermic CSTRs with risks of runaway reactions and explosion, fault diagnostic observers are built for fault detection, isolation and identification. For this purpose, different types of most common faults have been studied in different reaction systems. For each fault, a specific observer and the corresponding residual is built, which works as an indicator of that fault and is robust to other unknown inputs. For designing linear observers, the original nonlinear system is linearized at steady state, and the observer is designed based on the linearized system. However, in the simulations, the observer is tested on the nonlinear system instead of the linearized system. In addition, an efficient & effective general MATLAB program has been developed for fault diagnosis observer design. Extensive simulation studies have been performed to test the fault diagnostic observer on exothermic CSTRs. The results show that the proposed fault diagnosis scheme can be directly implemented and it works well for diagnosing faults in exothermic chemical reactors.
- Kravaris, Costas Professor