2022 journal article

Predictions of component Remaining Useful Lifetime Using Bayesian Neural Network

Progress in Nuclear Energy, 146, 104143.

By: A. Rivas n, G. Delipei n & J. Hou n

author keywords: Prognostics and Health Management; Remaining Useful Life; Bayesian Neural Network; Deep learning; Predictive maintenance; C-MAPSS dataset
Source: ORCID
Added: March 1, 2022

The Machine Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) are concerned with the prediction of the Remaining Useful Lifetime (RUL) of assets. Accurate real-time RUL predictions are necessary when developing an efficient predictive maintenance (PdM) framework for equipment health assessment. If correctly implemented, a PdM framework can maximize the interval between maintenance operations, minimize the cost and number of unscheduled maintenance operations, and improve overall availability of the large facilities like nuclear power plants (NPPs). This is especially important for nuclear power facilities to maximize capacity factor and reliability. In this work, we propose a data-driven approach to make predictions of both the RUL and its uncertainty using a Bayesian Neural Network (BNN). The BNN utilizes the Bayes by backprop algorithm with variational inference to estimate the posterior distribution for each trainable parameter so that the model output is also a PDF from which one can draw the mean prediction and the associated uncertainty. To learn the correlations between various time-series sensor data measurements, a time window approach is implemented with a two-stage noise filtering process for incoming sensor measurements to enhance the feature extraction and overall model performance. As a proof of concept, the NASA Commercial Modular Aero Propulsion System Simulation (C-MAPPS) datasets are utilized to assess the performance of the BNN model. The modeled system can be treated as a surrogate for turbine generators used in NPPs due to the similar mode of operation, degradation, and measurable variables. Comparisons against other state-of-the-art algorithms on the same datasets indicate that the BNN model can not only make predictions with comparable level of accuracy, but also offer the benefit of estimating uncertainty associated with the prediction. This additional uncertainty, which can be continuously updated as more measurement data are collected, can facilitate the decision-making process with a quantifiable confidence level within a PdM framework. Additional advantages of the BNN are showcased, such as providing component maintenance ranges and model executing frequency, with an example of how the BNN estimated uncertainty can be used to support the continuous predictive maintenance. A PdM framework based on a BNN will allow for utilities to make more informed decisions on the optimal time for maintenance so that the loss of revenue can be minimized from planned and unplanned maintenance outages.