Machine learning model for event-based prognostics in gas circulator condition monitoring

Costello, Jason J. A. and West, Graeme M. and McArthur, Stephen D. J. (2017) Machine learning model for event-based prognostics in gas circulator condition monitoring. IEEE Transactions on Reliability, 66 (4). pp. 1048-1057. ISSN 0018-9529

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    Abstract

    Gas circulator (GC) units are an important rotating asset used in the Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) design, facilitating the flow of CO2 gas through the reactor core. The ongoing maintenance and examination of these machines is important for operators in order to maintain safe and economic generation. GCs experience a dynamic duty cycle with periods of non-steady state behavior at regular refuelling intervals, posing a unique analysis problem for reliability engineers. In line with the increased data volumes and sophistication of available the technologies, the investigation of predictive and prognostic measurements has become a central interest in rotating asset condition monitoring. However, many of the state-of-the-art approaches finding success deal with the extrapolation of stationary time series feeds, with little to no consideration of more-complex but expected events in the data. In this paper we demonstrate a novel modelling approach for examining refuelling behaviors in GCs, with a focus on estimating their health state from vibration data. A machine learning model was constructed using the operational history of a unit experiencing an eventual inspection-based failure. This new approach to examining GC condition is shown to correspond well with explicit remaining useful life (RUL) measurements of the case study, improving on the existing rudimentary extrapolation methods often employed in rotating machinery health monitoring.