Knowledge Based Sootblowing

Use of Griffin AI to implement a knowledge based sootblowing (KSB) also known as Intelligent Sootblowing (ISB) for improved power plant operation.

Sootblowing Optimization

Benefits – Upgrade your time based sequencing system with an effective and easy to use system that continually monitors plant conditions and evaluates which blower will offer the maximum benefit. Avoids unnecessary sootblowing activities while improving the stability of your key operating parameters. Reduces time spent by operations ‘cleaning up’ the unit and permits greater availability of blowers for dual header systems. Results in improved heat rate and less stress on heat transfer surfaces.
High Availability – With the Griffin Knowledge Based SootBlowing system (KSB) the focus is on cleaning to maintain T, P, deltaT, deltaP and other key control signals. This results in a high availability system for continually evaluating priorities versus current conditions.
Easy Customization, Low Maintenance – The Griffin KSB is configured through a series of user tuning screens and an easy to use Graphical Programming Environment (GPE). No programming is required and there are no ‘black-box’ components. The end-user operators and engineers can easily modify the system over time to meet changing objectives and conditions.
Quick and Cost Effective Installation – The Griffin KSB is designed to provide the maximum benefit without requiring expensive new equipment, sensors or time consuming calculations. The system quickly integrates with existing open PLC systems. In many cases, the operator can keep their existing displays.

System Overview

The Griffin KSB system is configured to fit your operating needs. Once configured, the KSB system will perform an evaluation of each of the blowers every few seconds against the desired control values. When a sootblowing operation is permitted, the priority of every blower will be calculated based on the user set tunable parameters. These parameters are dynamic (e.g. RH blowers may get their ranking factor bumped faster than economizer blowers, as they approach a time constraint). Note: Griffin is very fast and normally completes the total evaluation in well under 1 second.
All parameters are available through tuning screens and prioritization logic is viewable and changeable through the Griffin application GPE. With this user-friendly setup, tuning is available to a wider set of engineers and operators and logic changes are accessible to the end-user without supplier intervention.
With the Griffin KSB system, sootblowing operations now activate based on the key parameters and constraints, resulting in a break from ‘blind’ time blowing.
Below is a sample tuning screen. Columns in green are areas an engineer uses to tune the system. Status reflects additional alarms created by Griffin for detecting blowers which failed to activate or failed to run a sufficient period of time.

The Griffin KSB system has the ability to add operator features, separate from the PLC’s. For example, a prohibit may be created to prevent blowing on one side of the furnace, which allows some blowers to remain active while work is performed on the opposite side blowers. This ability to keep some blowers in service avoids the need to do ‘catch-up’ manual blowing.
The Griffin KSB system frees operators from time consuming sootblowing operations, while standardizing the method for determining blower activation. System responds to changes in fuel, long periods at full loads and other characteristics.


The GPE allows users access to all logic and tuning, with simple 2 click update feature.
The Griffin KSB implements additional checks on blower activation, which provides quick feedback via e-mail (where permitted) to key personnel of non-functional blowers.
Effectiveness tables track blower effectiveness for all key parameters.
The Griffin KSB operates/integrates easily with existing sootblowing systems.
Constraint system ensures blower activation which helps prevent overblowing and underblowing.


Using the Griffin Toolkit, dynamics between steam temperatures, spray flows, economizer temperatures and other key parameters are captured and used to alter sootblowing strategy for a dramatic reduction in alarms. Because the system incorporates the user’s rules and experience, the system is reactive to the process, avoiding many hours previously spent adjusting sequences. The following graphic shows the reduction in time achieved using the Griffin KSB system.

User Feedback

The success of the system is best highlighted by one of our user’s feedback.
Per Ben Hanneken, Career Engineer, Labadie Energy Center, Engineering

“The Griffin system works very well. As you know, our previous system was sequence-based. Griffin is a huge improvement over our previous system and it is maintaining the cleanliness very well.
We’ve had a few short boiler outages on our unit where Griffin is installed. I make it a point to check the reheater for slag when the unit is off. I haven’t seen any issues. The operators ask me, “When are we going to roll Griffin out to the rest of the units?” My standard answer is usually “not soon enough”.
Before Griffin, I was walking the unit down easily once a week, sometimes more. Usually we asked Operations to blow certain lances, which required verification and a physical check to make sure it achieved the level of cleanliness that we wanted. Sometimes I would change sequences to get the boiler clean…which usually required a week or so to tweak the sequence, document the changes and verifications. Before Griffin, boiler cleanliness consumed 30% of my day. Now with Griffin, I don’t do any of the tweaking anymore. Griffin does it for us.
As pleased as I am with Griffin, what amazed me most was how smoothly and effectively Griffin was rolled out. It was almost seamless and very professionally done. I’ve never been involved, at any place I’ve ever worked, where a change of this magnitude was rolled out so smoothly and seamlessly across multiple shifts.”


Preferred implementation is through an OPC type server. Typically this involves sending a blower ID and activation signal to the existing PLC, while receiving blower status information.

Commercial Note

Users with a Griffin corporate license incur no repeat license fees and no repeat deployment fees of Griffin or Taber Intl. developed logic. Single unit pricing is available. Low risk demonstration projects are also available for first time buyers.

System Requirement

Operating System: Windows OS 2003 Server, Windows 2008 Server, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7. Other Platforms are available, please inquire.
Processor: Quad Core Processor or higher
Memory: 4GB or higher
Hard Drive: 500GB or higher
Java Version: Java 6 with the latest update
Additional software for OPC Data Link: .NET Runtime Version 3.5
Additional requirement for PI Data Link: PI-API software


    For more information, please contact:
    Taber International, LLC
    PO Box 204, Orangeville, UT