13 August 1997 Infrared imaging of fossil fuel power plant boiler interiors
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Abstract
Fossil fuel power plant boilers operate continuously for months at a time, typically shutting down only for routine maintenance or to address serious equipment failures. These shutdowns are very costly, and diagnostic tools and techniques which could be used to minimize shutdown duration and frequency are highly desirable. Due to the extremely hostile environment in these boilers, few tools exist to inspect and monitor operating boiler interiors. This paper presents the design of a passively cooled, infrared borescope used to inspect the interior of operating boilers. The borescope operates at 3.9 micrometer, where flame is partially transparent. The primary obstacles overcome in the instrument design were the harsh industrial environment surrounding the boilers and the high temperatures encountered inside the boilers. A portable yet durable lens system and enclosure was developed to work with a scanning radiometer to address these two problems by both shielding the radiometer from the environment and by extending the optical train into a snout designed to be inserted into access ports on the sides of the boiler. In this manner, interior images of the boiler can be made while keeping the radiometer safely outside the boiler. The lens views a 40 degree field of view through any 2.5' or larger opening in a foot thick boiler wall. Three of these borescopes have been built, and high resolution images of boiler interiors have been obtained.
© (1997) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
James W. Howard, Brian W. Cranton, Karen L. Armstrong, Robert G. Hammaker, "Infrared imaging of fossil fuel power plant boiler interiors", Proc. SPIE 3061, Infrared Technology and Applications XXIII, (13 August 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.280311; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.280311
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