Identifying symptoms of fault in District Heating Substations : An investigation in how a predictive heat load software can help with fault detection

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för tillämpad fysik och elektronik

Abstract: District heating delivers more than 70% of the energy used for heating and domestichot water in Swedish buildings. To stay competitive, district heating needs toreduce its losses and increase capabilities to utilise low grade heat. Finding faultysubstations is one way to allow reductions in supply temperatures in district heatingnetworks, which in turn can help reduce the losses. In this work three suggestedsymptoms of faults: abnormal quantization, drifting and anomalous values, are investigatedwith the help of hourly meter data of: heat load, volume flow, supplyand return temperatures from district heating substations. To identify abnormalquantization, a method is proposed based on Shannon’s entropy, where lower entropysuggests higher risk of abnormal quantization. The majority of the substationsidentified as having abnormal quantization with the proposed method has a meterresolution lower than the majority of the substations in the investigated districtheating network. This lower resolution is likely responsible for identifying thesesubstation, suggesting the method is limited by the meter resolution of the availabledata. To improve result from the method higher resolution and sampling frequencyis likely needed.For identifying drift and anomalous values two methods are proposed, one for eachsymptom. Both methods utilize a software for predicting hourly heat load, volumeflow, supply and return temperatures in individual district heating substations.The method suggested for identifying drift uses the mean value of each predictedand measured quantity during the investigated period. The mean of the prediction iscompared to the mean of the measured values and a large difference would suggestrisk of drift. However this method has not been evaluated due to difficulties infinding a suitable validation method.The proposed method for detecting anomalous values is based on finding anomalousresiduals when comparing the prediction from the prediction software to themeasured values. To find the anomalous residuals the method uses an anomalydetection algorithm called IsolationForest. The method produces rankable lists inwhich substations with risk of anomalies are ranked higher in the lists. Four differentlists where evaluated by an experts. For the two best preforming lists approximatelyhalf of the top 15 substations where classified to contain anomalies by the expertgroup. The proposed method for detecting anomalous values shows promising resultespecially considering how easily the method could be added to a district heatingnetwork. Future work will focus on reducing the number of false positives. Suggestionsfor lowering the false positive rate include, alternations or checks on theprediction models used.

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