ATProM represented at COMADEM 2018

8 Aug 2018 - 13:30

The 31st International Congress and Exhibition on Condition Monitoring and Diagnostic Engineering Management (COMADEM) was held this year for the first time in South Africa at Sun City in the North-West Province. The ATProM Research Unit at UCT was represented at this conference by one of their postgraduate EPPEI students who had the privilege of presenting their research on online condition monitoring of thermofluid processes to the global condition monitoring community.

The presented paper titled “Online monitoring of discrete legs of a convective heat exchanger in a coal fired power plant boiler”, authored by Gerto Prinsloo, Priyesh Gosai and Professor Pieter Rousseau, shows how boiler heat exchanger condition information can be extracted from process measurements of a 600 MW utility boiler. The approach applied in this paper combines the use of model-based and data driven methods, a research direction currently providing a promising opportunity for growth in the field of condition monitoring as noted by the renowned Konstantinos Gryllias from KU Leuven in the panel discussion held on the final day of the conference. This research also contributed an easily trainable data-driven method specifically developed for diagnosing thermofluid processes.

The conference was excellently hosted by the North-West University and provided an intimate setting for mingling with esteemed researchers. Presentations by academic and industry experts covered a wide variety of applications, from artisanal bakery equipment to ice-going research vessels, providing for interdisciplinary learning. Also included was an interactive thermography workshop presented by Professor Roderick Thomas from the Swansea University, which gave delegates hands on experience in the capabilities and limitations of thermal cameras. Amongst other treats, the conference even included a guided game drive for the delegates through the Pilanesberg National Park bordering the conference grounds.

This research is collaboratively enabled by Eskom’s EPPEI programme and UCT’s ATProM Research Unit and through it they are extending their condition monitoring research network to provide practical solutions to industrial reliability challenges. COMADEM 2019 will be held at the University of Huddersfield in the UK and prospective delegates are encouraged to persist.