NCyboSoft Wins DOE Grant

June 12, 2008
The Importance of Improving the Stability, Robustness and Performance of the Actuation System Can’t Be Overstated

CyboSoft has received a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant titled, “Intelligent Actuation Control Using Model-Free Adaptive Control Technology.” The grant will fund R&D work on an intelligent actuation control solution.

Dr. George Cheng, CyboSoft’s CEO, said, “CyboSoft is honored to receive this new grant from DOE, and looks forward to working on this exciting project. Since all three key components—sensor, actuator and controller—have to function properly for an automatic control system to work, the importance of improving the stability, robustness and performance of the actuation system can’t be overstated.”

For the U.S. to reach its future energy objectives, it must develop and build ultra-clean and highly efficient energy plants. The control and optimization of coal-fired power plants are highly dependent on using coordinated and integrated sensing, control and actuation technologies and products. Prior efforts to develop novel sensing and control technologies have been successful, but little work and analysis have been devoted to the coordinated control and actuation of processes in a coal-fired power plant. Studies show that control valve problems cause as many as two-thirds of control loop oscillations. Therefore, more effective and robust valve positioning control is highly desirable.

As new power plants are required to achieve maximum energy efficiency, near-zero emissions, fuel flexibility and multi-product capabilities, major advances and improvements in sensor, control and actuation are necessary. Maintaining the tight tolerances that new energy plants are required to achieve will depend on intelligent and robust actuation control. Better actuation will also lead to major improvements in existing coal-fired power plants and all other process plants.

The overall objective of this multi-phase project is to research, design, develop, test, evaluate, benchmark and bring to production an intelligent valve-positioning control solution that can provide much more robust and precise control for large-scale, coal-fired power plants using CyboSoft’s model-free adaptive control technology.

The SBIR and STTR grants are designed to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy. In 2008, the Department of Energy evaluated 1,494 Phase I SBIR and STTR grant applications. Among them, 284 applications were selected to receive SBIR awards, and 37 were selected to receive STTR awards.