Developing metrology for fibre-optic thermometers to support accurate temperature measurements in industry
Accurate temperature measurements are vital across numerous fields. Many processes need to be held within specific temperature ranges to ensure safety and efficiency. However, accurate thermometry can be complicated by the processes themselves. For example, processes like cement production take place at very high temperatures, which can cause drifting in the thermocouples commonly used to monitor them. Others, such as nuclear energy production and electricity transmission, can be affected by environmental factors like radiation or electromagnetic interference.
Fibre optic thermometers have been developed as an alternative to traditional contact thermometers. They can achieve a high level of accuracy and are less sensitive to many common environmental effects. However, there is a lack of traceability and a robust metrological infrastructure for fibre optic thermometry and current thermometers are highly specialised to their particular applications, limiting uptake.
This project will accelerate the uptake of fibre optic thermometers by developing methods to quantify their sources of uncertainty and interference. It will develop and validate fibre optic thermometry techniques for large-scale applications and for harsh environments, including those up to 1600 °C. These techniques will then be used to perform industrial case studies across a number of thermometry applications such as power cables, heat storage and nuclear power plants.
The work of the project will be used to establish an integrated European metrology infrastructure for fibre optic thermometry, including calibration guides and training centres.
This will support the uptake of fibre optic thermometry, which will improve the efficiency and safety of processes where high-accuracy temperature monitoring is required.