459275 Steam Methane Reforming Furnace Control: Design and Implementation on a CFD Model of an Industrial Furnace
From previous work, a CFD model of an industrial-scale reforming tube and a CFD model of a pilot-scale reformer have been successfully developed and validated with the available typical plant data and the publically available experimental data reported in literature  . Additionally, our previous work to design feedback control schemes for the industrial-scale reforming tube assumes that the outer reforming tube wall temperature can reach the optimized profile instantaneously and does not account for the dynamics of the temperature of the outer reforming tube wall. This work aims to develop a more realistic single industrial-scale reforming tube CFD model by accounting for the dynamics of the outer reforming tube wall temperature when it is controlled by the feedback control scheme. Specifically, the pilot-scale reformer CFD model is employed, and the furnace-side feed flow rates to the individual burners are subjected to three different step change inputs. The evolution of the outer reforming tube wall temperature is recorded as the pilot-scale reformer reaches the corresponding steady-state condition, and the dynamics of the outer reforming tube wall temperature are obtained and implemented into the industrial-scale reforming tube CFD model. Finally, classical (i.e., proportional control scheme and a proportional-integral control scheme) as well as optimization-based control schemes (i.e., model predictive control), for which the manipulated input and controlled output are chosen to be the outer reforming tube wall temperature and outlet area-weighted average hydrogen mole fraction, are used to form the closed-loop CFD simulation to track the desired set-point in the presence of process disturbances.
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