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In this area of research, only limited literatures are reported. A

flame monitoring system was attempted but with a very simple image
processing technique to monitor the CO emissions along with combustion
quality index in the power plant at South Korea. Hence the research in this
area finds a lot of scope which will enable the researchers to develop an
indigenous technique for flame monitoring system.
The real time combustion diagnosis system and combustion state
control system for burner is discussed by Kim et al (2002). The evaluation of
burner status is very important because the combustion process in turn affects
the environment. The pollution of the environment can be minimised if the
thermal efficiency is higher and the content of oxygen in the exhaust gas is
less. The emissions of NOx and CO should be within limits to reduce the
environmental problem. The colour of the flame is used for judging the
combustion status. Algorithms like linear regression, linear multi-nominal
expression and constructed inference algorithms were used to find the amount
of NOx and CO emissions. The features extracted from the flame were useful
in identifying the combustion status. The results in this paper explain the
possibility for deriving the properties which has more accurate relationship
with the concentration of NOx and CO.
The unburnt carbon using flame image diagnosis was identified by
Shimoda et al (1990). This method is for predicting the unburnt carbon in a


coal-fired utility boiler using an image processing technique. An image

processing unit and a furnace model unit was used for flame image diagnosis.
The temperature distribution of combustion flames can be obtained through
the former unit. The latter calculates the dynamics of the carbon reduction
from the burner stages to the furnace outlet using coal feed rate, air flow rate,
and the chemical and ash content of the coal. An experimental study in the
Sendai Power Station of Tohoku Electric Company Inc. shows that the
prediction error of the unburnt carbon can be reduced to 10%. The results
show that the unburnt carbon prediction algorithm could be widely used for
evaluation, optimization and diagnosis of combustion systems for various
boiler and coal types.
An optical system for monitoring the furnace flame status in the
power plant boilers to determine the combustion quality was proposed by
Broadbent et al (2000). The coal (fuel) is fed to the hearth of the furnace and
excess addition of the combustible materials may lead to explosion of the
boiler. Automatic optical flame monitoring devices have been around in usage
for many decades. The most common method uses a photoelectric device that
switches when the light intensity emitted by the flame passes a preset level
and indicates the presence of the flame. A loop powered flame flicker sensor
that internally produces a proportional 4 to 20mA output indicates the flame
quality under test. This will remove the need for a separate controller. The
other developments include sensors that not only indicate flame quality but
also identify the type and quality of fuel used for firing purpose.
This paper proposes Cellular Neural Networks (CNNs) for
identifying the combustion quality in an incinerator by monitoring the flame
images as proposed by Bertucco et al (2006). This approach is based on
cellular neural networks (CNNs) for analysis of the flame images in real time
monitoring of combustion process in a waste incinerator. The use of CNNs


analysis is dictated by the sampling rate of the images, which was necessary
due to the fast dynamics of the process under study. The dynamical behaviour
of the descriptors of the images processed by the CNNs was also studied and
the results of this analysis are also presented
The flame image processing and analysis system has been
developed by Woon Bo Baek et al (2001) for optimal coal firing of the
thermal power plant, especially for low NOx emissions and safe operation. In
this paper, an attempt has been made to gain a relationship between the burner
flame image, emissions of NOx and unburnt carbon in a furnace by utilizing
the flame image processing methods, through which the proposed system
quantitatively determines the conditions of combustion on the individual
burners. The effectiveness of the system was observed by evaluating the
combustion conditions monitoring and burner maintenance with a pilot
The thermal characteristics of propane air diffusion flames using
high temperature combustion air are presented in this work by Ashwani Gupta
et al (2000). Global flame characteristics are presented using several different
gaseous fuels. A specially designed regenerative combustion test furnace
facility, built by Nippon Furnace Kogyo, Japan, has been used to preheat the
combustion air to elevated temperatures. Stable flames were obtained at
remarkably low equivalence ratios, which would not be possible with normal
temperature air. The global flame features showed flame color to change from
yellow to blue, bluish-green and green over the range of conditions examined
using propane as the fuel. In some cases hybrid color flame was also
observed. Under certain conditions flameless or colourless oxidation of the
fuel has also been observed for some fuels. Some fuels provide purple colour
flame under similar operational conditions. Information on the flame spectral
emission characteristics, spatial distribution of OH, CH and C2 species and


emission of pollutants has been obtained. Low levels of NO x along with

negligible amounts of CO and HC were obtained with high temperature
combustion air. Experimental results have been complemented with
numerical simulations. The thermal and chemical behaviour of high
temperature combustion flames depends on the fuel property, preheat
temperature and oxygen. The challenges and opportunities with high
temperature-air combustion technology are also described.
A dual silicon carbide photodiode chip was developed by Dale
Brown et al (2008) to determine the temperature of a natural gas combustion
flame. The concept discussed here uses the change in shape of the (260-350
nm) OH band with temperature. One half of the chip was covered with a longpass multiple layer dielectric filter with a short wavelength of about 315 nm.
After amplification, the two signals produced by the filtered and unfiltered
portions of the chip are divided to produce a ratio, which is very sensitive to
the changes in the flame temperature. Sensitivity is about 0.35% per 20F
change in flame temperature for temperatures between 2700 and 3000F. The
temperature measured is the specific average temperature encompassed by the
field of view of the sensor assembly.
The objective is to develop advance sensors to reduce the NO, CO
and CO2 emissions thereby improving the combustion efficiency. In this
method proposed by Ronald Hanson et al (2004), a tuneable near infrared
diode lasers and absorption spectroscopy are used. Control strategies for
active combustion involves robust, rapid response gas temperature sensor,
fiber coupled sensor for gas temperature, O2, CO and novel technique for
detection of unburned hydrocarbons. These sensors thus offer a great promise
for monitoring and control of combustion and energy and energy conversion
technologies of the future.


Zadiraka et al (1996) proposed a method to control the emissions of

SOx and NOx content in the flue gases. If coal was to be used as the fuel, the
new power plants need to be very clean, with higher efficiency and
economical. Sensors and control techniques are being developed to permit the
accurate measurement and control of the individual burner air and fuel flows
as they are introduced to the time-temperature-turbulence combustion process
in the furnace.
Flame Doctor, a burner flame monitoring system was developed by
Timothy et al (2004) to reduce NOx emissions and to improve the overall
performance. The signals from an optical flame scanner diagnose the
operation of the burners. Continuous monitoring by flame doctor makes it
possible to analyze the flame colour thereby optimizing the overall
performance of the furnace load changes, fuel quality variations, and
equipment modifications. This article describes the status of an ongoing EPRI
Beta Test Program and the results from combustion tuning service work
which offers specific challenges encountered during Flame Doctor Installation
and start up. Demonstrated performance improvements include reductions of
20% in NOx, 70% in CO, and 70% in LOI. These improvements are
sustainable and translate directly into significant cost savings in the
expenditure of the power plants.
Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) boilers are widely used for multi
fuel combustion of waste and biofuels. When several non homogeneous fuels,
having varying heat values, are burned simultaneously, the boiler control
system can be affected by various control challenges, especially since it is not
feasible to reliably measure the energy content of the multi fuel flow. In order
to fulfil the energy production needs and maintain the ability to burn low
grade fuels, co-firing with high heat value fuels such as gas, oil or coal is
needed. Fuzzy Logic Control (FLC) has been successfully used for solving


control challenges by Timo Hyppanen et al (2000), where the operators

process expertise can be transformed into automation. Real life control
objects are often nonlinear because the dynamics change with the operating
point, or there might be other essential nonlinearities in the combustion
In the work proposed by Hyeon Bae et al (2004), the image
processing method for fire detection as well as neural network modelling was
done. Several types of detector, such as ultraviolet, infrared, visible light,
differential pressure, flame rod, and others, are employed to detect fire flame
in power generation plants. However, these flame detectors have some
performance problems. This article describes the image processing method of
fire detection as well as neural network modeling. Nowadays, the image
processing technique is broadly applied in industrial fields. The neural
network model has strong adaptability and learning capability, and is suitable
for pattern classification. The Ulsan Steam Power Generation Plant in Korea
was employed as the test field. If this technique can be implemented, boilers
will be able to operate more economically and effectively.
The primary challenge in the area of process control is
optimisation. An intelligent technique with pattern recognition was proposed
by Chemmannoor et al (2005) for optimizing the combustion process. In May
2005, Powitec Intelligent Technologies, a German Company installed and
commissioned such an Intelligent Process Control & Optimization System at
the Seocheon Power Plant located in South Korea for 6 weeks. Model
predictive control in combination with segmentation technique offers targeted
optimization potentials with extremely short Region of Interest (ROIs). In
Seocheon, the target to reduce UBC was achieved within a very short span,
while in the German the system has reduced furnace end temperature and
reduced slagging and fouling.


The design, implementation, and evaluation of a 3 D imaging

system for the reconstruction of the luminosity distribution of a combustion
flame were proposed by Gilabert et al (2005). Three identical red, green and
blue charge coupled device cameras together with appropriate optical
transmission units are used to capture concurrently six equiangular 2 D
images of a flame. A new tomographic approach that combines the logical
filtered back projection and the algebraic reconstruction technique is proposed
to reconstruct flame sections from the images. A direct comparison between
the proposed approach and other tomographic algorithms is performed
through computer simulation for different test templates and number of
projections. Experimental tests were undertaken using both gas and coal fired
flames in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the system. This research
initiated has led to the establishment of an effective tool for the reconstruction
of the luminosity distribution of flame sections and, ultimately, the
quantitative characterization of the inter structures of a combustion flame.
Monitoring and characterization of combustion flames using
pattern recognition is one among the techniques for estimation of combustion
quality as proposed by Lu et al (2009). The features were extracted from the
flame images and these features are used for classification of the flame
images based on the combustion quality. The feature extraction was done
using 2D and 3D techniques based on edge detection to infer combustion
quality is the work done in this paper. Edge detection was done to identify the
useful portion of the flame images so as to correlate them with the quality
combustion. Then segmentation based on 2D and 3D techniques were used
for the classification of the flame images based on the quality of the
Shakil et al (2009) attempted the measurements of NOx and O2
emissions from the flame status. Inferential or soft sensing techniques have


been gaining momentum recently as viable alternatives to hardware sensors in

various situations, e.g. continuous emission monitoring systems. Dynamic
neural networks are used in the present work to develop soft sensors for the
NOx and O2 emission due to combustion operation in industrial boilers. A
simplified structure for the soft sensor is obtained by grouping the input
variables, reducing the input data dimension and utilizing the system
knowledge. The principal component analysis (PCA) is used to reduce the
input data dimension. The genetic algorithm (GA) is used to estimate the
systems time delays by optimizing a linear time delay model. Real data from
a boiler plant is used to validate the models. The performance of the proposed
dynamic models is compared with static neural network models. The results
demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed models.
It is basically known that NOx emissions and ash formation
characteristics for biomass, coal and a mixture of biomass with coal are
studied by Asri Gani et al (2005). In an electrical drop tube furnace the
biomass, coal and a mixture of biomass and coal were burnt. In the
combustion test, the ignition characteristics, combustion efficiency NOx
emissions were collected along the furnace axis. When the biomass was added
with low rank coal the combustion is affected. The NO and N2O
concentrations in co-combustion are almost the same as those in coal
combustion, even if the quantity of input fuel nitrogen under the cocombustion condition is half of that under the coal combustion conditions.
The process of burning the biomass with coal shifts the particle size
distribution from fine particles to coarse particles, which can be captured by
dust collection systems. Biomass can enhance the ignition characteristics of
low rank coals during co-combustion. This could be because of the high
Volatile Matter (VM) content in the biomass. Concentrations of NO and N2O
during co-combustion are almost same as those during coal combustion, even
if the input fuel for co-combustion becomes half of that for coal combustion.


In UK boilers the video camera probes are mounted on the rear wall
to observe the oil gun flames during the start up for safety purpose. When the
boiler is on load the large flames are close to the rear wall and there will be
dust and ash deposits near the rear wall. This causes variation in the colour of
the fire ball which is utilised to observe the combustion conditions. A video
monitoring system was developed to monitor the combustion activities. A
Euclidean distance classifier was used for identifying the combustion
conditions along with the CO emissions. Principal Value Decomposition
(PVD) and Euclidean classifier were used for classification of flame images
based on their combustion status by Abdul Rahman et al (2006).
The condition monitoring of combustion systems were developed
by capturing the flame images from the furnace as proposed by Abdul
Rahman et al (2004). The features are extracted from the flame images and a
database is created. These features are used

for testing the performance of

the Self Organizing feature Maps (SOM). The SOM classifies the flame
images based on the pattern recognition technique. Also this SOM was used
to estimate the NOx emissions which are a representative outcome of the
combustion process.
An attempt was made by Hua-Wei Huang et al (2008) to
characterize the colour spectrum of methane flame under various burning
conditions using RGB and HSV colour models instead of resolving the real
physical spectrum. The results demonstrate that each type of flame has its
own characteristic distribution in both the RGB and HSV space. It has also
been observed that the averaged B and G values in the RGB model represent
well the CH and CO2 emissions for methane premixed flame. These features
may be utilized for flame measurement and monitoring. The great advantage
of using a conventional camera for monitoring flame properties based on the
colour spectrum is that it is readily available, easy to interface with a


computer, cost effective and has certain spatial resolution. Furthermore, it has
been demonstrated that a conventional digital camera is able to image flame
not only in the visible spectrum but also in the infrared. This feature is useful
in avoiding the problem of image saturation typically encountered in
capturing the very bright sooty flames. As a result, further digital image
processing and quantitative information extraction is possible using the RGB
colour model to monitor the combustion performance has been discussed. It
has been identified that an infrared image also has its own distribution in both
the RGB and HSV colour space in comparison with a flame image in the
visible spectrum.
Monitoring and control of combustion flames in utility boilers are
required in order to optimize combustion conditions. This paper proposed by
Hernandez et al (2008) presents an instrumentation system for the concurrent
measurement of the temperature distribution and soot concentration of flames
developed on the two colour principle. This system consists of an endoscope,
an optical assembly with optical filters, a Charged Couple Device (CCD)
camera, a frame grabber and associated image processing software.
Experiments are performed on a methane air combustor and the temperature
fields and the soot concentrations corresponding to the flame images are
obtained. The flame temperature can be quantified over a range of combustion
conditions, which sets up a solids foundation for combustion analysis.
Advanced flame and temperature measurement techniques include Laser
Raman (LR)/Laser Rayleigh Scattering (RS), Laser Induced Fluorescence







photography, interferometry and so on. In addition, tracers such as smoke,

small particles, gas streams and bubbles have also been used to visualize
combustion phenomenon.


A dual silicon carbide photodiode chip was developed to determine

the temperature of a natural gas combustion flame by Jeffrey Fedison et al
(2005). Half portion of the chip was covered with a long pass multiple layer
dielectric filters with a short wavelength cut off at about 315 nm. This is a
feasible way of implementation and the sensor used for this type is a closed
loop control system for gas turbines so as to maintain the emissions of NOx
within admissible limits.
Content based retrieval is an important concept for multimedia data
management, proposed by Henning Muller et al (2005). The amount of data is
rising quickly and many good research prototypes exist. Hence such systems
need to be integrated with routine tools to get the real user feedback. The
Image J provides a platform for the computer scientists and MDs to work
together on system integration and usage. General concepts and frameworks
are the same but the databases and specializations need to be done. Many of
the problems seem to be specific to the medical field and apply in other
domains as well. Image retrieval is at the moment mainly an academic
An investigation into the feasibility of using image processing in
the quality control system at particular brickworks was reported by Schmitt
et al (2000). Methods were developed that allowed the identification and
measurement of cracks and surface indentations and protrusions, and the
measurement of the area of uniform pink on the surface of the particular brick
type considered. It is concluded that the methods used could be developed
relatively with ease into a commercial real-time quality control system, which
could result in considerable cost savings. It is also concluded that quality
control measurements additional to those considered could easily be
incorporated into such a system. The 24 bit colour images used for crack


detection were also used for measuring the area of uniform pink. HSI values
were calculated for each pixel from the 0 to 255 scale RGB values.
The air to fuel ratio control in a boiler using a air pressure sensor
and method for controlling the air to fuel ratio is suggested by Yeouido dong
et al (2006). The boiler is comprised of a fan, the air pressure sensor, a air
pressure sensor voltage measurement unit, a air pressure sensor voltage
compensation unit, and a controller, and previously compensates for noise
factors caused by deviation (error) of a component property, a constituent, of
the air pressure sensor so as to be matched to initial reference voltage prior to
operating the fan, thereby maximizing the effectiveness of the air-fuel ratio.
Further, the boiler makes it possible not only to exert an optimal fuel
efficiency effect due to the maximization of combustion efficiency, but also to
minimize discharge of harmful gases, thereby preventing environmental
pollution in advance, and thus improving the reliability of products.
The Weka tool is developed at University of Waikato in New
Zealand by Ian et al (2006). It is a collection of state-of-art machine learning
algorithms and data pre-processing tools. It provides implementation for
regression, classification, clustering, association rules and feature selection. It
has two types of tools. One is Explorer and the other is Knowledge Flow
(KF). It describes the process more clearly and never considers the training
and test data to be separate as in explorer. KF help us to access some midprocess information of the various machine learning methods. Cross
Validation helps to validate the algorithms that are used for various
applications. Source data are separated into several folders for cross
validation. Feature selection is done for each training folder separately.
Different algorithms are used for different cases.
classification is analyzed from the overall results.

The evaluation of


Semi supervised clustering employs a small amount of labelled data

to aid unsupervised learning as discussed by Mikhail Bilenko et al (2004).
The constraint based method guides the clustering algorithm and the distance
function based on the learning method so that it adapts to the similarity
measure. This paper provides new methods for the two approaches as well as
presents a new semi supervised clustering algorithm that integrates both these
techniques in a uniform, principle framework. Experimental results
demonstrate that the unified approach produces better clusters than both the
individual approaches and as well the previously proposed semi supervised
clustering algorithms.
Thus the various algorithms proposed in the literatures in this area
for the past ten years were reviewed so far and it was found that there is a
tremendous scope available to develop an indigenous technique for flame
monitoring and flue gas emissions to optimize the operation of the
combustion chamber of the boiler.