The prediction of the oxygen content of the flue gas in a gas-fired boiler system using neural networks and random forest

Nazrul Effendy, Eko David Kurniawan, Kenny Dwiantoro, Agus Arif, Nidlom Muddin


The oxygen content of the gas-fired boiler flue gas is used to monitor boiler combustion efficiency. Conventionally, this oxygen content is measured using an oxygen content sensor. However, because it operates in extreme conditions, this oxygen sensor tends to have the disadvantage of high maintenance costs. In addition, the absence of other sensors as an element of redundancy and when there is damage to the sensor causes manual handling by workers. It is dangerous for these workers, considering environmental conditions with high-risk hazards. We propose an artificial neural network (ANN) and random forest-based soft sensor to predict the oxygen content to overcome the problems. The prediction is made by utilizing measured data on the power plant’s boiler, consisting of 19 process variables from a distributed control system. The research has proved that the proposed soft sensor successfully predicts the oxygen content. Research using random forest shows better performance results than ANN. The random forest prediction errors are mean absolute error (MAE) of 0.0486, mean squared error (MSE) of 0.0052, root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 0.0718, and Std Error of 0.0719. While the errors using ANN are MAE of 0.0715, MSE of 0.0087, RMSE of 0.0935, and Std Error of 0.0935.


flue gas; neural networks; oxygen content; prediction; random forest; soft sensor;

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