Adaptive Electrical Capacitance Volume Tomography for Real-Time Measurement of Solids Circulation Rate at High Temperatures

Period of Performance: 07/27/2015 - 07/26/2017


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Tech4Imaging LLC
4171 Fairfax Drive Array
Columbus, OH 43220
Firm POC, Principal Investigator


Advanced noninvasive sensors for controlling and optimizing power generation systems are being developed here. Controlling emissions and increasing efficiencies are essential requirements in such future advanced power plants. Herein, next generation power systems require greater flexibility in their operations for meeting the higher efficiency and lower emissions conditions that are geared toward meeting consumer demand and adhering to increased regulatory standards, simultaneously. Devices that can accurately measure the solid flow rate of an operating gas-solid system would be of great aid for optimizing and controlling the combustion processes in advanced reactors. Presently, the availability of such devices, particularly at high temperatures, is very limited. In this Phase II effort, we will build a functional prototype of an Adaptive Electrical Capacitance Volume Tomography (AECVT) system for mass-flow gauging of solids circulating at high temperatures. The intrinsic high measuring speed of capacitance measuring technology and high resolution capability of AECVT technology will enable such mass flow measurements at 5% spatial resolution and 1 Hz temporal resolution. Simulation and preliminary measurement results have verified feasibility of the AECVT architecture, as documented in the attached final report of Phase I. Capacitance sensors exhibit favorable features of safety, flexibility, and suitability for scale-up applications that make them a favorable solution for industrial applications. Tasks in this Phase II will focus on optimizing sensors, electronic hardware, and feature extraction software for hot flow applications based on AECVT technology. Tasks are based on Logical progressions from past experience of developing imaging systems. Successful completion of this Phase II will provide a prototype of an AECVT system for hot temperature applications in harsh conditions reactors that can be extended to many energy-related applications. A logical progression from Phase I to Phase II is established in which Phase II efforts are focused on implementing designs developed on Phase I that proved feasible. The proposed system would also advance multi-phase flow research of hot systems by providing access to obscure locations of a flow system. It also has a very high potential of attracting commercial interests as the need for advanced instrumentation is imminent to address the increased sophistication of advanced power plants. This would also benefit the public by spurring economic growth.