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Instrument and Control Systems

​​​​​​​​​Instrument and Control​ System​s

​​​​​Instrument and Control Systems laboratory​The Control Systems group is a multifaceted specialist group that conducts research and develops state-of-the-art control and sensor technology to improve the reliability, resilience and efficiency of power plant control systems. The current group efforts focus on the research and development of advanced instrumentation and controls (I&C) to support LWR life extension, and improve the safety, security and economics of the U.S. nuclear power industry. 

Special research and development areas include:

  • Wireless instruments for plant configuration management with emphasis on techniques of enabling the instrumentation of current non-instrumented plant equipment.

  • Power harvesting techniques for self-powered wireless instruments to complement the targeted application of wireless instruments.

  • I&C technologies associated with the development of automated work packages to increase the reliance of automated work packages on available plant data and automate time intensive tasks.

  • Prognostic and Diagnostic health monitoring of plant equipment using system signature minoring. Current efforts focus on the degradation of pipes and concrete in nuclear power plants.

  • Advanced wireless communication techniques to overcome the challenges (e.g. bandwidth and radio frequency interference) of introducing wireless communication into nuclear power plants.

  • Control and automation solutions for experimental setups to reduce manual human activities and improve the efficiency of experiments.

  • Prognostic techniques for online risk monitoring of risk significant plant components.

  • Discrepancy detection of plant process status through dedicated process fault monitoring systems.

Vivek Agarwal
Instrumentation and Controls

Controls diagram

This diagram illustrates the core of a wireless infrastructure architecture for implementing automated work packages. The architecture divides the communication into a wireless instruments layer and an operator tablets layer that are interconnected through a database server. A prototype was developed at INL to evaluate and demonstrate this architecture.

Diagram showing the graphical user interface of a flow loop 

This diagram shows the graphical user interface of a flow loop that was used as part of a plant configuration management effort. The flow loop was used to develop, evaluate, and demonstrate wireless instrumentation of three common types of manual valves that are used in nuclear power plants.  

Concrete Structure Health Monitoring Framework

Concrete Structure Health Monitoring Framework

Self Powered Wireless Sensor Node​ 

Self Powered Wireless Sensor Node: A schematic representation of a self-powered wireless sensor node for nuclear applications.

Fleet Wide Prognostics and Health Management Suite

Fleet Wide Prognostics and Health Management Suite (copyright) Electric Power Research Institute).

Panoramic spectrogram view of a surrogate TA signal

Panoramic spectrogram view of a surrogate TA signal produced by a five-vane pump, at 138.3 Hz, showing different ATR process states during the testing period from May 28 through July 26, 2015.

wires plugged into a Lab-Volt machine