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EMPIR project develops thermometer for measuring rapidly changing temperatures

Image showing pressure meters on natural gas pipeline
Pressure meters on natural gas pipeline

Combustion pyrometer successfully measures sub-millisecond temperature transients

EMPIR project Development of measurement and calibration techniques for dynamic pressures and temperatures (17IND07, DynPT) is developing traceable calibration methods for dynamic pressure and temperature sensors for use in industrial settings where the pressure and temperature change such as product testing and process control. For example, in the research and development of engines precise knowledge about in-cylinder pressure and temperature is important understanding the combustion process, which in turn enables optimisation of engine power and fuel consumption.

The project will also develop computer simulations to model sensor behaviour when exposed to a range of changing conditions and various media, with new sensor types also to be assessed for suitability of use. With best practice guidelines and workshops delivered by the project, results will also support international standards adopted by industry.

As part of the project NPL has developed a novel ultra-fast fibre-optic based dynamic thermometer, known as a combustion pyrometer. This instrument, designed and built in-house, has been traceably calibrated in a wide temperature range, from 800 °C to 2600 °C, and tested for speed (up to 250 kHz) using the pyrotechnic facility at NPL and cross-validated at RISE in Sweden. The instrument successfully measured and recorded very fast temperature transients, at sub-millisecond timescales in explosions of pyrotechnic charges.

The project research was presented and well received at the EVI-GTI 2019 International Gas Turbine Instrumentation Conference in Austria in November 2019, where interest in future collaboration for a potential EMPIR follow-up project was shown by a number of industrial stakeholders.

Sari Saxholm from VTT MIKES said

‘The project results will significantly improve the quality of measurements and thus support the innovation potential and competitiveness of European industry. The main strengths of this project are the skills, experience and expertise of our consortium. The combined resources of the consortium provide a best-in-the-world knowledge base and facilities covering the wide range of dynamic pressure and temperature calibrations and measurements.’


This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

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