Wire-mesh sensors for industrial application
The industrial type of wire-mesh sensor aims at combining the well-established wire-mesh sensor measuring technique with improved hardware components and an optimized design in order to meet the requirements of harsh operating conditions that occur in industrial applications. Furthermore, measured data is processed online, so that information on flow properties can be provided in real time for the purpose of process control. In order to achieve this, the electronics assembly was extended by means of a FPGA unit for internal data processing. The FPGA controls the modules for transmission and receiving, calculates the spatio-temporal phase fractions based on previously stored calibration data and applies algorithms for data reduction. In contrast to the scientific environment, in which a high spatio-temporal resolution of phase fraction is usually required, the industrial wire-mesh sensor provides information on the mean phase fractions and the flow pattern exclusively. These parameters are of utmost importance for industrial purposes. However, the identification of flow regimes is far from trivial. Therefore, complex algorithms that base on fuzzy cluster analysis of phase fraction data were developed and implemented into the device. They were successfully validated for both vertically and horizontally aligned two-phase flows and are able to identify transitional flow patterns as well. The transfer of information to e.g. a process control system is accomplished by 4-20 mA signals. Moreover, the industrial wire-mesh sensor applies internal temperature compensation. In doing so, calibration data is automatically adjusted in dynamic operation modes in order to provide reliable measurements all the time.
Beside the adjustments of the electronics assembly a new sensor design was realized. Main emphases was put to the resistance against extreme conditions that occur in various processes as well as simple assembly and removal. Hence, a robust metallic body is equipped with flanges enabling easy mounting in existing plants. The sensor itself is constructed as slide-in module allowing rapid and easy assembly and removal in case of maintenance or if another sensor with a different spatial resolution should be substituted.
The project "IndWMS - Entwicklung eines industriellen Gittersensormesssystems" was funded within the framework of a ZIM-cooperation project by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Funding number: ZF4292502WM6, duration: 01.03.2017 - 31.05.2020
Parts of the presented work have been realized within the frame of the EXIST-program funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the European Social Fund. Project name: "FlowSens - Industrielle Messtechnik zur Erfassung von Prozessgrößen in Mehrphasen-Strömungen", funding number: 03EFT9SN41, duration: 01.08.2012 - 31.01.2014.
The development of the industrial type of wire-mesh sensors is conducted in cooperation with our industrial parter Teletronic Rossendorf GmbH.
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