Data Acquisition & Control Systems for Experimental Brayton Loops

by Keith Barrett1 & Steve Wright2
1PrimeCore Systems Inc.
2Sandia National Laboratories

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PrimeCore Systems and Sandia National Laboratories have developed data acquisition and control systems for several experimental Brayton Cycle Loops. These loops have utilized similar hardware and software to control the systems and acquire data. The system level architecture of the data acquisition and control system utilizes a real time controller with data acquisition equipment and PCs to combine reliable performance with flexible analysis and display capabilities. Transducers utilized have been pressure gauges, thermocouples, RTDs, strain gauges, and various flow meters. Data displays have included graphical loop diagrams, charts, phase state diagrams, and live compressor maps to quickly evaluate compressor performance during a test. Standard NIST code libraries have been integrated into the software to calculate gas properties to provide real time values for phase states and energy balances. Various control algorithms for heaters, cooling, turbine, and inventory control are integrated into real time PAC controllers.