Operating Experience Using Acoustic Leak Detection at Gaston Station B & W Paper BR-1492
This paper details what Babcock and Wilcox learned from their initial experience installing a 16-channel Acoustic Leak Locator (ALL) system on an 884 MW boiler for Alabama Power Company. Included in the study: Cost justification, component descriptions, installation procedures, and success in early leak detection.
Recent Advances in the Application of Acoustic Leak Detection B & W Paper BR-1594
This paper describes the basic principles of applying acoustic leak detection to the various components of utility and industrial power plants. It explains the differences between airborne and structure-borne monitoring techniques and how to choose the proper method for the application. Also, it shows how the presence of corrosion and/or insulation adhesion adversely affects sensitivity by severely attenuating structure-borne sound waves.
Through ongoing research and operational experience, effective and reliable methods of applying acoustic leak detection have been developed. In theory, leak detection using the acoustic method is simple and straightforward. Sound waves are detected by transducers (sensors) that convert the mechanical waves to electrical signals. These signals are then processed and the resulting root-mean-square (RMS) voltages are tracked. An increase in these voltage levels is relied upon to indicate the onset and growth of a leak. In practice, however, the application almost always involves several considerations, including significant amounts of interfering background noises, unacceptable sound wave attenuations, and inaccessibility of desired sensor locations. For these and other reasons it is imperative that proper specialized techniques, generally unique to a given application, be employed to ensure optimum sensitivity. This paper describes the basic principles of applying acoustic leak detection to the various components of utility and industrial power plants. It explains the differences between airborne and structure-borne monitoring techniques.