Identification in Nuclear and Thermal Energy. Moderator Temperature Coefficient Estimation via Noise Analysis and Black-Box Modeling of Heat Transfer

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Identification techniques have many practical applications. This PhD discusses two applications, namely, the determination of a safety parameter in an operating Pressurized Water Reactor and the estimation of the heat transfer between the fluid in a geothermal borehole and the surrounding
soil. Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) represent about two-third of the current fleet of nuclear reactors worldwide. The Moderator Temperature Coefficient (MTC) is an important safety parameter in PWRs. The determination of MTC is not straightforward at the end of an operational cycle. Reducing the uncertainty of the MTC estimate associated with the current measurement techniques has economic and safety advantages. This work evaluates the accuracy and precision of the MTC estimate obtained
via noise analysis techniques. Geothermal boreholes are used in ground coupled heat pump (GCHP)
systems that provide an energy efficient alternative to traditional air-conditioning systems for space heating and cooling. Heat is extracted from or injected into the ground through vertical borehole heat exchangers. The energy efficiency of the GCHP depends on the temperature of the fluid coming out of the borehole. This work aims at finding an accurate model that relates the thermal (heating or cooling) load of the ground and the fluid temperature. These models can later be used with more accurate controllers to optimally heat/cool buildings using geothermal energy.
Date of Award22 Apr 2013
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorGerd Vandersteen (Promotor), Peter Baeten (Co-promotor), Steve Vanlanduit (Jury), Johan Deconinck (Jury), John Lataire (Jury), Joannes Schoukens (Jury), Christophe Demazière (Jury), Saqib Javed (Jury) & Jan Swevers (Jury)


  • Identification
  • Nuclear and Thermal Energy

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