Continuous Health Monitoring of Coal Power Plant Components using Acoustic Emission Technology

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-09ER85612
Agency Tracking Number: 90107
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: 07 b
Solicitation Number: DE-PS02-08ER08-34
Small Business Information
2134 Sandy Drive, Suite 14, State College, PA, 16803
DUNS: 122589794
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Thomas Hay
 (814) 237-1031
Business Contact
 Thomas Hay
Title: Dr.
Phone: (814) 237-1031
Research Institution
Several critical components of a coal power plant that operate at high temperature and high pressures ¿ including boilers, high pressure pipelines, waterwall tubes, and boiler support structures ¿ are very susceptible to various time-dependant failure-causing mechanisms such as high temperature tensile failures, creep and rupture failures, hydrogen embrittlement, and hot corrosion/erosion failures. The evaluation of the condition of these power plant components, and the subsequent estimation of their remaining life, could lead to an optimization of inspection and maintenance schedules, and prevent unplanned plant component shutdowns. However, current non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques for time-based maintenance cannot be applied while the components are in operation, because the normally-used piezoelectric transducers cannot handle the high temperature of the components. This project will develop a low cost, non-intrusive acoustic emission (AE) technique for continuous structural health monitoring of the critical components of coal power plants. The AE sensors will operate at high temperatures and will be attached permanently to the components. Data interpretation procedures for the location of defects and for failure prediction also will be developed. Performance of the technology will be demonstrated at a coal power plant in Pennsylvania. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee:The acoustic-emission-based continuous health monitoring technology should improve the safety and reliability of coal power plant components and provide condition-based maintenance of these components, thereby avoiding plant shutdowns and the unnecessary loss of millions of dollars.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government