Application of Wireless Sensors for Predictive Maintenance of Rotating Equipment in DOE's Research Reactors

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Analysis And Measurement Services Corporation
9119 Cross Park Drive
Knoxville, TN 37923
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Research reactors in the United States use numerous motors, compressors, fans, turbines, and other rotating equipment that need systematic maintenance. These devices could benefit from advanced predictive maintenance techniques that have become available in recent years. Although some reactor facilities currently incorporate some of these techniques, many lack an adequate complement of test sensors for predictive maintenance. This project will combine wireless sensors with other advanced predictive maintenance techniques to improve the safety, reliability, and efficiency of DOE research reactors. In Phase I, several wireless sensor systems were installed at an operating research reactor, and the feasibility of using wireless sensors for condition monitoring of rotating equipment was established. A conceptual design for a prototype wireless condition monitoring system was developed. Phase II will develop an integrated wireless monitoring system consisting of (1) ruggedized hardware for use in outdoor installations, and (2) custom software algorithms for processing and analyzing data collected from the wireless sensor arrays. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The technology should help with both the safety and economy of research reactors by significantly improving the facility¿s predictive maintenance program, while at the same time reducing the amount of labor required to perform predictive maintenance tasks. In addition to research reactors, the technology should benefit commercial nuclear power reactors and all industrial installations that involve rotating equipment.