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G. Calchetti
ENEA-Italian National Agency for New Technologies Energy and Economic Development, Via Anguillarese 301, 00123 Rome, Italy

G. Cavaliere
ENEA - Energetic Plant Department

R. Iannucci
ENEA - Energetic Plant Department

M. Rufoloni
ENEA - Energetic Plant Department


In the field of energy recovery from civil waste, a special kind of technology makes use of the gasification of waste, the cleaning of the gas and, at the end, the combustion of the gas itself in a gas engine.
Power plants that realize this process are very crucial for many reasons: process peculiarity, management complexity and harmful air pollutions hazard.
The REGOLO (Refuse Gasification OverLOoker) system, a special kind of automatic, computer-based , monitoring and surveillance system for these plants, has been developed in order to improve plant reliability and availability and to avoid risks and hazards.
The REGOLO system consists of:
- analog and digital I/O and control devices; a data acquisition/control and storing subsystem;
- an "intelligent" subsystem for data analysis and plant conditions evaluation;
- a computer RAM partition that REGOLO uses to transfer data between the data acquisition and the "intelligent" subsystems. The computer memory area is "shared" among the subsystems.
The "intelligent" subsystem, the kernel of the whole REGOLO system, is an Expert System built by making use of a powerful tool for Expert Systems building, in the field of industrial plants management and control: the G2 system by GENSYM Corporation. The subsystem gets data and informations on the plant conditions from the data acquisition/control system through the "shared" RAM area and, on the basis of these, evaluates the situation and operates the plant.
The REGOLO system is able to operate, in an automatic way, a gasification and energy recovery power plant. On the basis of the available rules (the knowledge base of the Expert System) and the data and parameters values collected on the plant, it continuously evaluates the conditions of the plant itself. If something is wrong, it automatically lookes for a new operating condition in which it is possible to safely operate the plant, and carries out all the necessary operations in order to take the plant in the new operating condition.
Furthermore the system can:
- shows, on request, the situation of plant variables and parameters;
- provides alarms;
- shows the plant operating situation;
- gets operator inputs and commands.
The REGOLO system is working on a prototype gasification and energy recovery plant since May 1991. The tests and checks so carried out, led to a first update has already been made, and is ready to be installed on the same plant.

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