Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Woosoon Yim

Number of Pages



The target complex facility (TC-1 facility) located at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), is serving the fundamental research of thermal-hydraulics and corrosion test of liquid metal coolant lead bismuth eutectic (LBE). A stable thermal condition is the basis for the TC-1 facility to operate and target coolant LBE to circulate throughout the loop made of the main components of TC-1 facility, TC-1 loop. The proper thermal process of the TC-1 loop critically comprises a smooth heating phase, the main intention of which is to warm all the loop components and melt solid LBE; a stable temperature maintenance phase, which is to maintain the TC-1 loop temperature around the setting point to make sure target coolant circulates efficiently for long lime; and a cooling phase, which to make sure coolant be stored inside a certain component drainage tank as solid state after the circulation finishes; The current thermal control scheme for the TC-1 loop has a very low efficiency. Under the current control, many problems happen to the important temperature maintenance phase. For example, heating zones' temperature of the TC-1 loop vibratos seriously, some heating zones' vibration range is much bigger than accepted, and to the worst some zones' temperature vibrato outside the setting range. All these problems affect inversely the further research of hydraulics and corrosion of liquid metal coolant; In this thesis, the system identification method has been used to identify system mathematical model. Based the identified system models, different control schemes are studied and demonstrated. Current control scheme of band temperature control is investigated again, then two new thermal control schemes are proposed for the TC-1 loop, one of which is a hybrid scheme of proportional-plus-integral-plus-derivative control scheme (PID control) and ON/OFF control, the other is a disturbance observer (DOB) based PID-ON/OFF control scheme; Moreover, the performance of the current control scheme and proposed control schemes is demonstrated for the nine heating zones separately as well as a simulator furnace by simulation method through SIMULINK toolbox under the MATLAB environment. Finally, guided by the obtained simulation results, many experiments corresponding to these different control schemes for the heating zones of the TC-1 are performed on the furnace using the commercial National Instrumental LABVIEW; The obtained experimental results from the simulator can be used as a guideline and reference for the further experiments in the TC-1.


Circulation; Control; Coolant; Liquid; Loop; Metal; Thermal

Controlled Subject

Mechanical engineering

File Format


File Size

2304 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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