Wireless sensors with contactless battery and open communication protocol for increase of maintainability and environmental and economic efficiency of power generation equipment

The objective of Xsensor includes the delivery of a Condition Monitoring and Structural Health Monitoring system that consists of a line of wireless sensors and a universal unit used to connect any standard probe and make it a wireless node.

Power generation value chain players, especially coal mines and power plants are increasingly better and better equipped with sensing technologies. This decade’s long trend has resulted in dramatic increase of safety and reliability of generated power. Now, this trend is gaining new momentum with the appearance of new generation of energy efficient technologies, together creating so called “Internet of things”.

A line of wireless sensors, which will provide key information to improve the management and operation of power generation assets, which were not yet possible to take into account due to prohibitive cost of cabling and/ or data processing is being developed. The products will cover the most important sensors used for Condition Monitoring and Structural Health Monitoring, i.e. vibration, magnetic sensor for monitoring wall thickness changes (first of all in boiler tubes) and a universal unit used to connect any standard probe and make it a wireless node. In the future it will be possible to add next sensors, e.g. electric drives or ultrasonic.

Key innovation of the product will be introduction of the contactless battery, robust high range wireless transmission and very efficient data analysis algorithms. Power supply is a key factor for wireless sensors. If power consumption is higher, due to readout frequency, battery life is not sufficient. Exchanging batteries placed inside an industrial housing is error prone, time consuming and costly. Therefore, we will use a separate “brick”, clamped to the sensor, which will transmit power via an inductive loop without any mechanical contacts. The solution uses a technology patented by AGH University.

Another competitive advantage will be open data exchange protocol, not binding the customer to a particular vendor and the robust radio module suited for harsh industrial conditions.
Use of additional information from our sensors will increase the knowledge about assets in the plant, especially in remote locations (e.g. belt conveyors, boiler tubes, large structures /boilers, cooling towers/, moving structures /air heaters/, remote machinery /distant pumping stations/, low-cost non critical machinery). Documentation for ATEX certification will help to obtain certification required for explosive zones (e.g. coal dust, hydrogen).

Overall Status: 

Finalized a feasibility study for all products and partners (power plant application) including existing partner IP assessment and strategy for new IPs created by partners within the Xsensor context.

Project Coordinaton and Management:

Project Manager: dr hab. inż. Tomasz Barszcz

Project Consortium:

Project Products:

During the project, the multi-component system will be design from scratch, manufactured, and sold to an industrial customer.