Acoustic Steam Leak Detection

Inspecta FFT logo
Inspecta FFT Steam Leak Multiplexer
Steam Leak Detection
INSPECTA FFT™ acoustic tube leak detection systems are used on large coal-fired boilers, gasifiers and oxygen plants. 16 or 32 point Fast Fourier Transform spectrum analysis versions are available for early warning of steam leaks in boiler tubing. The 19" rack housing suits equipment panels and control rooms, with visual displays and disk-on-a-chip firmware.

The conventional method of detecting tube leaks such as monitoring boiler make up water, mass balancing or merely depending on the human ear to recognise a sound change, are not sufficiently sensitive for large boilers. By using these methods the leak is often big enough to have already caused serious consequential damage sometimes to an entire boiler face. Research on acoustic tube leak detection for power station boilers started during the 1970's and has since become the most advanced method of tube leak detection worldwide. In 1984 we produced a computer based acoustic tube leak detection system for use on large boilers.

Up to 32 specially designed microphones are used to monitor the combustion chamber. The system uses Fast Fourier Transforms for generation of audio spectrums and computer analysis to determine the plant condition. When a leak is detected by a change in the sound signature, alarms are activated and the fault is localised. Mimic diagrams on the VDU show the plant operator where the leak is likely to be and print-outs can be made of sound spectrums, alarm bar graphs and trends. Power stations worldwide are now using this equipment for the early detection of tube leaks to reduce down time and prevent consequential damage. Leaks less than 2mm in diameter can be detected on 600 MW boilers.

The INSPECTA FFT™ system consists of a self-contained hardware package, a Eurocard CPU with programmable memory, a VDU and serial printer. Options include automatic waveguide air-purge low maintenance systems; Intrinsically safe (IS) sensors for hazardous areas; and SCADA software for logging historical data, trending, networking and remote access via modem.

INSPECTA FFT™ systems are designed, made and tested to comply with CE and C-Tick EMC, EMI and Low Voltage directives and they are manufactured under the control of an ISO9001 system. Full data, specifications, demonstration software and reference sites from an installed base of over 220 systems are available on request. For further details and application information, please contact us.
Inspecta FFT in a typical equipment cabinet
Equipment Cabinet
Inspecta FFT field mounted junction box
Field Junction Box
Inspecta FFT sensor and stub pipe with air-purge
Sensor and Air-Purge
Inspecta acoustic steam leak detection
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