skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Digital Actuator Technology

Abstract

There are significant developments underway in new types of actuators for power plant active components. Many of these make use of digital technology to provide a wide array of benefits in performance of the actuators and in reduced burden to maintain them. These new product offerings have gained considerable acceptance in use in process plants. In addition, they have been used in conventional power generation very successfully. This technology has been proven to deliver the benefits promised and substantiate the claims of improved performance. The nuclear industry has been reluctant to incorporate digital actuator technology into nuclear plant designs due to concerns due to a number of concerns. These could be summarized as cost, regulatory uncertainty, and a certain comfort factor with legacy analog technology. The replacement opportunity for these types of components represents a decision point for whether to invest in more modern technology that would provide superior operational and maintenance benefits. Yet, the application of digital technology has been problematic for the nuclear industry, due to qualification and regulatory issues. With some notable exceptions, the result has been a continuing reluctance to undertake the risks and uncertainties of implementing digital actuator technology when replacement opportunities present themselves. Rather,more » utilities would typically prefer to accept the performance limitations of the legacy analog actuator technologies to avoid impacts to project costs and schedules. The purpose of this report is to demonstrate that the benefits of digital actuator technology can be significant in terms of plant performance and that it is worthwhile to address the barriers currently holding back the widespread development and use of this technology. It addresses two important objectives in pursuit of the beneficial use of digital actuator technology for nuclear power plants: 1. To demonstrate the benefits of digital actuator technology over legacy analog sensor technology in both quantitative and qualitative ways. 2. To recognize and address the added difficulty of digital technology qualification, especially in regard to software common cause failure (SCCF), that is introduced by the use of digital actuator technology.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - NE
OSTI Identifier:
1166051
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-14-33132
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; Actuator; Digital Technology; Software Common Cause Failure

Citation Formats

Ken Thomas, Ted Quinn, Jerry Mauck, and Richard Bockhorst. Digital Actuator Technology. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.2172/1166051.
Ken Thomas, Ted Quinn, Jerry Mauck, & Richard Bockhorst. Digital Actuator Technology. United States. doi:10.2172/1166051.
Ken Thomas, Ted Quinn, Jerry Mauck, and Richard Bockhorst. Mon . "Digital Actuator Technology". United States. doi:10.2172/1166051. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1166051.
@article{osti_1166051,
title = {Digital Actuator Technology},
author = {Ken Thomas and Ted Quinn and Jerry Mauck and Richard Bockhorst},
abstractNote = {There are significant developments underway in new types of actuators for power plant active components. Many of these make use of digital technology to provide a wide array of benefits in performance of the actuators and in reduced burden to maintain them. These new product offerings have gained considerable acceptance in use in process plants. In addition, they have been used in conventional power generation very successfully. This technology has been proven to deliver the benefits promised and substantiate the claims of improved performance. The nuclear industry has been reluctant to incorporate digital actuator technology into nuclear plant designs due to concerns due to a number of concerns. These could be summarized as cost, regulatory uncertainty, and a certain comfort factor with legacy analog technology. The replacement opportunity for these types of components represents a decision point for whether to invest in more modern technology that would provide superior operational and maintenance benefits. Yet, the application of digital technology has been problematic for the nuclear industry, due to qualification and regulatory issues. With some notable exceptions, the result has been a continuing reluctance to undertake the risks and uncertainties of implementing digital actuator technology when replacement opportunities present themselves. Rather, utilities would typically prefer to accept the performance limitations of the legacy analog actuator technologies to avoid impacts to project costs and schedules. The purpose of this report is to demonstrate that the benefits of digital actuator technology can be significant in terms of plant performance and that it is worthwhile to address the barriers currently holding back the widespread development and use of this technology. It addresses two important objectives in pursuit of the beneficial use of digital actuator technology for nuclear power plants: 1. To demonstrate the benefits of digital actuator technology over legacy analog sensor technology in both quantitative and qualitative ways. 2. To recognize and address the added difficulty of digital technology qualification, especially in regard to software common cause failure (SCCF), that is introduced by the use of digital actuator technology.},
doi = {10.2172/1166051},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Mon Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • This work demonstrated and further developed Vaporizing Foil Actuator Welding (VFAW) as a viable technique for dissimilar-metal joining for automotive lightweighting applications. VFAW is a novel impact welding technology, which uses the pressure developed from electrically-assisted rapid vaporization of a thin aluminum foil (the consumable) to launch and ultimately collide two of more pieces of metal to create a solid-state bond between them. 18 dissimilar combinations of automotive alloys from the steel, aluminum and magnesium alloy classes were screened for weldability and characterized by metallography of weld cross sections, corrosion testing, and mechanical testing. Most combinations, especially a good numbermore » of Al/Fe pairs, were welded successfully. VFAW was even able to weld combinations of very high strength materials such as 5000 and 6000 series aluminum alloys to boron and dual phase steels, which is difficult to impossible by other joining techniques such as resistance spot welding, friction stir welding, or riveting. When mechanically tested, the samples routinely failed in a base metal rather than along the weld interface, showing that the weld was stronger than either of the base metals. As for corrosion performance, a polymer-based protective coating was used to successfully combat galvanic corrosion of 5 Al/Fe pairs through a month-long exposure to warm salt fog. In addition to the technical capabilities, VFAW also consumes little energy compared to conventional welding techniques and requires relatively light, flexible tooling. Given the technical and economic advantages, VFAW can be a very competitive joining technology for automotive lightweighting. The success of this project and related activities has resulted in substantial interest not only within the research community but also various levels of automotive supply chain, which are collaborating to bring this technology to commercial use.« less
  • This report presents detailed guidance for the maintenance and testing of modern digital systems. The guidance provides practical means for plants to take advantage of the increased diagnostic and self-test capabilities of these systems. It helps plants avoid mistakes in design and installation that could lead to increased maintenance burden and decreased system reliability and availability.
  • A survey was conducted of the state of the art of automatic vehicle monitoring (AVM) systems and their use in public transit, taxi, and police operations. The systems identified are applicable to improving operational efficiency and quality of service. The various system elements related to AVM systems were reviewed. Those elements included vehicle location, vehicle identification, vehicle monitoring, computer scheduling, computer dispatch, silent alarms, security alarms, mechanical alarms, on-board readout, real-time display, passenger counting, management reporting, and digital data hardware.