Image processing checks gas combustion
If ceramic tiles surrounding the combustion chambers of gas turbines become detached they can be carried into the turbine`s gas flow, causing extensive damage to turbine blades. Early detection of such potential hazards can prevent expensive and lengthy shutdowns. Realizing this, Power Technology (a division of PowerGen; Nottingham, England) has installed an automatic system that monitors combustion chambers continuously within each gas turbine.
Gas turbines at Power Technology have two combustion chambers, each with multiple gas burners that generate temperatures in excess of 1000C. To monitor these chambers, Foster Findlay Associates (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England) built a custom image-processing system to detect any possible faults in the gas turbines and record them remotely. The system, dubbed Combustion Chamber Monitoring Project (CCHAMP), consists of a Pentium PC running Windows 95, located in the local control room of the generator. To monitor both combustion chambers, Foster Findlay used two Sony XC003P cameras attached to a single color frame grabber from Synoptics (Cambridge, England) via a video matrix switcher. A second PC, located in the central control room is connected under RS232 control to a VCR whose input is displayed on a monitor. This communicates to the PC in the local control room over a local-area network. This link and an identical user interface allow warnings and messages to be displayed for status monitoring. According to Dominique Miller of Foster Findlay, should any faults occur, the systems logging and recording facilities can provide diagnostic information. For information, e-mail: support@ffaltd. demon.co.uk.