Boiler-operations trainees at NIPSCO coal-fired power stations receive comprehensive training in boiler operation procedures and are given 2D, non-scaled representations of the plant’s steam, coal cycle, and limited key components. These 2D representations are limited therefore field observation is needed to complete the training. However, due to the extreme heat and toxic gases, the internals of the boiler unit is not accessible during its operation. A more efficient training process is desired to enable the trainees to have full access to the 3D boiler models as well as presentation of flow characteristics.
Figure 1. Isometric view of the boiler
The objective of this project is to develop a 3D Virtual Reality (VR) boiler model using CFD and VR visualization. Specifically, the goals are to create a turbulent reacting CFD model for #14 boiler at NIPSCO Schahfer Station, to integrate CFD flow data and VR visualization models to provide a 3D representation of the boiler unit, thus to provide a more efficient training media for boiler operation crew.
Figure 2. Flow and Flame Visualization of the Boiler
By integrating CFD simulation and VR visualization, a 3D Virtual Reality boiler unit had been developed to provide a comprehensive teaching tool for new operator training. This virtual model allows trainees to fly into the operating boiler to not only observe the detailed structural components but also flow characteristics such as temperature, velocity, pressure, etc.The interactive learning process provides a more effective and efficient way for new employee training at NIPSCO training center.
Figure 3. Virtual Power Plant Boiler Unit
Students: Xiaoxi Lou, Qiuhao Zhang