Boiler heat exchange in thermal power plants involves tubes to transfer heat from the fuel to the water. Boiler tube leakage can cause outages and huge power generation loss. Therefore, early detection of leaks in boiler tubes is necessary to avoid such accidents. In this study, a boiler tube leak detection and classification mechanism was designed using wavelet packet transform (WPT) analysis of the acoustic emission (AE) signals acquired from the boiler tube and a fully connected deep neural network (FC-DNN). WPT analysis of the AE signals enabled the extraction of features associated with the different conditions of the boiler tube, that is, normal and leak conditions. The deep neural network (DNN) effectively explores the salient information from the wavelet packet features through a deep architecture instead of considering shallow networks, such as k-nearest neighbors (k-NN) and support vector machines (SVM). This enhances the classification performance of the leak identification and classification model developed. The proposed model yielded a 99.2 % average classification accuracy when tested with AE signals from the boiler tube. The experimental results prove the efficacy of the proposed model for boiler tube leak detection and classification.
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