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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number DTI/CC/121
Title Advanced Monitoring Using Imaging for Combustion in Power Station Boilers
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electric power conversion) 20%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Coal, Coal combustion) 80%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr J (John ) Gibbins
No email address given
Sch of Engineering and Electronics
University of Edinburgh
Award Type 3
Funding Source DTI
Start Date 01 March 2000
End Date 01 October 2003
Duration 43 months
Total Grant Value £114,447
Industrial Sectors
Region Scotland
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr J (John ) Gibbins , Sch of Engineering and Electronics, University of Edinburgh (99.995%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , RWE npower plc (0.001%)
Project Contact , TXU UK Limited (0.001%)
Project Contact , Imaging and Sensing Technology Ltd (formerly IST-Rees) (0.001%)
Project Contact , Pinacl Ltd (0.001%)
Project Contact , British Energy Group plc (0.001%)
Web Site

Furnace cameras are used in large PF fired boilers to allow operators to observe combustion conditions. A number of these are installed in the UK to view oil light up burners, furnace deposition (low load) and for subjective assessment of the combustion conditions. Recent improvements in self illuminating video (SIV) imaging equipment and digital image processing together with the falling costs of the necessary hardware, mean that there is the potential to develop commercially viable systems to generate quantifiable performance parameters from boiler video cameras. This information can then be used for combustion improvements on utility boilers.

This programme aims to develop a prototype SIV system and test it in real environments in order to achieve the following objectives:

  • to use SIV and image analysis techniques to identify adverse combustion conditions
  • to provide a number of quantifiable parameters from video images which can be used to evaluate flame stability and combustion
  • to develop software to run on a stand-alone PC system to provide the above information in real-time and transfer key parameters to existing data logging systems
  • to develop systems to transmit and integrate video data from a number of cameras under actual boiler conditions
  • to determine optimum video probe designs and locations for quantitative SIV

The three utility partners in the project will provide images from video camera probes on power station boilers. The positioning of the cameras will be investigated and trial video data will be recorded for off-line processing. A number of plant parameters will be logged during this period for comparison with video observations.

Robust software will be developed for real time SIV image processing of multiple-burner flame images. A prototype system for field testing and gathering longterm data on derived combustion parameter trends will be installed on the boiler. Logged plant performance parameters and other data will be compared with SIV system measurements over extended periods of operation to assess system performance and guide development. The prototype will be progressively upgraded during the project taking into account feedback from the tests. In addition to investigating and developing techniques for suitable digital processing software, the most appropriate camera type, configuration, digitisation and networking technology will be investigated to give optimum data acquisition and allow integration of data from a number of cameras. A final version of the multiple-burner SIV system, including software for real time analysis, will be developed with detailed trials during the latter period of the project.

Video data for single burners will also be used to assess whether any significant improvements in flame monitoring performance might be obta ined to offset the significantly greater cost of providing a video camera probe for each individual burner.

Publications Related PublicationDTI (2001). Advanced Monitoring Using Imaging For Combustion In Power Station Boilers : Project Profile 291. DTI Cleaner Coal Technology Programme, URN 01/927, DTI, UK (PDF 210 KB)
Related PublicationDTI (2005). Combustion In Power Station Boilers - Advanced Monitoring Using Imaging: Project Summary 291. DTI Cleaner Coal Technology Programme, URN 05/939, DTI, UK (PDF 173 KB)
Final Report Abdul Rahman, M.G., Gibbins, J.R. & Forrest, A.K. (2004). Combustion in Power Station Boilers - Advanced Monitoring Using Imaging. Report No. COAL R264 DTI/Pub URN 04/1797, DTI, UK (PDF 1011 KB)
Added to Database 01/01/07