Wire-mesh sensors for industrial application
The industrial type of wire-mesh sensor aims to combine 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 and ambient conditions that occur in industrial applications. Furthermore, measured data will be 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 will be 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 where a high spatio-temporal resolution of phase fraction is required usually, the industrial wire-mesh sensor will provide information on the mean phase fractions and the flow pattern exclusively. These parameters are of outmost interest for industrial purposes. However, the identification of flow regimes is far from trivial. Therefore, specific algorithms that base on fuzzy cluster analysis of phase fraction data are developed and implemented. They are already validated for vertically aligned two-phase flow and are able to indicate transition regions as well. Currently we are adapting the method for flows with horizontal alignment. The transfer of information to e.g. a process control system is accomplished by 4-20 mA signals.
Beside the adjustments of the electronics assembly a new sensor design will be realized. Main emphases is put to the resistance against extreme conditions that occur in various processes as well as simple assembly and removal. Hence, a robust metallic body will be equipped with flanges enabling easy mounting in existing plants. The sensor itself will be realized 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" is currently supported within the framework of a ZIM-cooperation project with the funding number: ZF4292502WM6 by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
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 bis 31.01.2014.
The development of the industrial type of wire-mesh sensors is conducted in cooperation with our industral parter Teletronic Rossendorf GmbH.
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