High Temperature Pipe Structural Health Monitoring System utilising Phased Array probes on TOFD configuration
Uncertainties in the calculation of the lifetime of super-heated steam pipes in power plants that contain a minor defect create situations with potentially catastrophic results, typically costing €120 million per event.
Super-heated steam pipes are periodically inspected and depending on their defects sizes they may be replaced after a lifetime assessment has been performed. Common errors in defect sizing create dangerous situations as size underestimation will result in a pipe prone to failure. Inetec and Enkon, often face this difficult issue when performing inspections for their customers, thus the need for a frequent in-service and accurate monitoring of defects on pipes was identified.
The final goal of the HotPhasedArray project is the development of a Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) system for super-heated steam pipes.
The expected benefits of the project are:
- Increased safety in electrical production power plants.
- Elimination of catastrophic accidents from super heated steam pipe failures.
- Decrease of the required shut-down time for inspection purposes.
- Increase in confidence in the operational safety of thermal power and nuclear energy plants.
HotPhasedArray is a result of a research project funded by the European Commission Research Programme under grant no. 605267.