Industry takes up research performed in Powerplants project

Installation of an ultrasonic flow meter that also measures the speed of sound

Despite the important and necessary increase of renewable energy in the EU, large-scale power plants continue to form the backbone of secure energy supply, generating around 80 % of electricity. EMRP Project ENG06 'Metrology for Improved Power Plant Efficiency' will develop methods and technologies to increase the efficiency of large-scale power plants by reducing the measurement uncertainty of several critical parameters, including temperature and electrical output.

One aspect of the research in ENG06 focused on the possibility of measuring the average temperature of water flowing through pipes by measuring the speed of sound, as the two values can be correlated over the pipe cross section. Project partners VSL (Netherlands) and SP (Sweden) analysed this method and performed experiments, showing that the use of ultrasound-based temperature measurement can be an improvement over the traditional method of temperature measurement in pipes.

Based on these positive test results an operator of a nuclear power plant in Sweden, amongst others, is now implementing this technology. Currently a validation program at an industrial level is being designed in order to conform to the requirements of the nuclear regulator in Sweden.

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