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 Guide to Configuring a Fiber Optic Sensing System

 

         Welcome to Davidson Instruments

Davidson has designed and developed innovative temperature-tolerant pressure measurement instrumentation that is rugged, immune to electromagnetic interference, and intrinsically-safe based on patented fiber optic sensing technology. 

The instrumentation has been proven through numerous installations with over one million hours of time in service.  Davidson's products include instruments for making high resolution static pressure measurements and others for making high speed dynamic pressure measurements.    

The need for Davidson’s temperature-tolerant pressure measurement instrumentation in harsh industrial applications is being driven by the need to operate industrial equipment at reduced emission levels and with greater margins of safety, higher performance, longer life, and improved reliability.  Davidson’s technology offers measurement solutions for some of the most demanding industrial applications.  Davidson has targeted the following fields of use in the growing multimillion dollar harsh industrial instrumentation markets:

  • Power Generation:  Combustion Turbines, Clean Coal, and Nuclear Power
  • Advanced Reciprocating Engines and Compressors
  • Industrial Process Control: Subsea, Offshore, Drill Ships, Refining, and Chemical Processing
  • Laboratory Test and Measurement
  • Aerospace and Defense

Gas Turbine Combustion Dynamics Monitoring – Davidson’s pressure transducers can operate continuously at temperatures exceeding 1000°F providing unprecedented accuracy, fidelity, and reliability for gas turbine combustion dynamics monitoring.  Because Davidson’s transducers can “take the heat” and are immune to electromagnetic interference, they are positioned to make direct measurements flush with the inner diameter of the combustion liner. The electronics can be seamlessly integrated with any monitoring, data archival, and control systems.   

Advanced Reciprocating Engine and Compressor In-Cylinder Instrumentation – Davidson’s pressure transducers can be used for in-cylinder monitoring of advanced natural gas reciprocating engines and compressors as well as gas turbines.  The high speed signal conditioners convert the optical signals into electronic signals at 30 kHz providing the very fine temporal resolution required for the optimization and health diagnostics of advanced reciprocating engines and compressors. 

High Temperature Subsea Instrumentation – Davidson’s pressure transducers can operate continuously at temperatures exceeding 500°F, well above the temperatures anticipated for any high temperature subsea applications.  Conventional electronic transducers are unreliable and subject to errors or failure when exposed to temperatures above 300°F.  Deep water subsea applications require instrumentation that is much more robust and tolerant to high temperatures to provide greater margins of safety and measurement accuracy over the life of the instrumentation and the subsea system.  

Refining/Chemicals/Petrochemicals – The most fundamental measurements made in the process industries are pressure and temperature.  Because the electrical power used in all electronic transmitters is greater than the safe limit of electrical power, all transmitters and cabling used in explosion hazard areas of industrial plants require explosion-proof enclosures.  Because of the ultra low light power levels involved in Davidson’s fiber optic-based instrumentation, the transducers and cabling are inherently safe and do not require explosion-proof containment.  This fundamental technical advantage allows a new paradigm in industrial measurements with the potential to eliminate significant cost and measurement errors.

Drill Ship Density / Level Measurement – Although modern drill ships are highly automated vessels, accurate and reliable measurement of the level and density of the mud due remains an unmet need.  Davidson’s innovative design for a mud level/density gauge immediately solves the safe measurement issue through the use of ultra low power fiber optic sensing that operates at less than 5% of the lower limit of optical energy density that is considered the safe threshold.  Davidson’s inherently-safe mud pit density gauge can be used in the most hazardous of environments on a drill ship without concern.

Offshore Oil & Gas – Leaders in the offshore industry are beginning to realize the need for instrumentation that is not only accurate, reliable, and safe but also light in weight.  Davidson’s instrumentation is inherently safe, immune to EMI, and tolerant to high temperatures, and it is also light in weight for many reasons.  First, the transducers are very small compared to conventional transmitters and do not require explosion-proof enclosures.  Second, the transducers use rugged, lightweight, multi-strand optical cables eliminating the need for many heavy electrical cables and the associted explosion-proof conduit.  In the end, Davidson’s instrumentation suite has the potential to provide significant weight savings and lower life-cycle costs while eliminating many sources of errors and increasing the safety and reliability of the instrumentation.

Catalytic Reactor Temperature Profile – Proplyene oxide and ethylene oxide catalytic reactors are pressure vessels that contain thousands of tubes filled with catalyst.  To optimize the life of the catalyst and to safely control these catalytic reactors, it is essential that the operators know the temperature of the catalyst at any radial and axial position within the reactor.  Conventional electronic instrumentation cannot make temperature measurements with high enough spatial resolution to allow the operators to optimize performance or predict the life of the catalyst.  Davidson’s innovative high resolution temperature profile probes solve the problem by providing a temperature profile with spatial resolution of 100 mm, ten times finer than conventional thermocouples or RTD and with a probe that has a cross-section less than one half the conventional temperature probes providing improved measurment accuracy and time response over conventional temperature instrumentation.

Gas Turbines – In addition to making measurements of combustion dynamics in low emission gas turbines, it is also possible to eliminate all conventional transmitters and related instrumentation with Davidson’s “all-optical” instrumentation suite.  This “all optical” instrumentation suite can reduce the cost of the installation, eliminate errors associated with the rich EMI environment, and provide double or triple redundancy for every critical measurement point on the engine.    

Clean Coal – Advanced “clean coal” combustion technology involving acoustic tomography can be realized with Davidson’s temperature-tolerant, high performance instrumentation which does not introduce any frequency-dependent phase delays.  A breakthrough in clean coal acoustic tomography could have enormous economic impact as a key enabling technology leading to significant improvements in environmental quality at coal burning power generation facilities worldwide.

Nuclear Power Generation – Davidson’s fiber optic-based instrumentation is designed to use radiation hardened cables that can function to 200 Mrad allowing the cables and transducers to be used in containment and for balance of plant operations significantly reducing the number and size of cabling egress points and allowing the signal processing to occur remotely in a benign environment outside of containment.  The Department of Energy is funding the development of temperature-tolerant optical instrumentation for advanced Small Modular Reactors (aSMR).   Future aSMR deployment will require new instrumentation and control architectures to withstand the extreme in-vessel environmental conditions.

Laboratory Test and Measurement – Almost every new process or process improvement begins with the development of pilot plants and many pilot plants operate at elevated temperatures in explosion hazard areas and in EMI rich environments.  To minimize the cost, optimize the performance, and increase the margins of safety in these harsh industrial environments, advanced measurement technology is required.   Davidson’s innovative fiber optic instrumentation provides a cost-effective solution for any laboratory test and measurement issue that requires precise measurements at high temperatures or in explosion hazard or EMI-rich environments.  In addition, the small cross-section of the transducers and the ability to make multivariable measurements with a single interrogator provides significant advantages in laboratory and pilot plant applications. 

Defense and Aerospace – The defense and aerospace industry has made great strides in recent years deploying fiber optics and photonics technology on commercial and military platforms because the technology provides so many fundamental advantages. This trend will continue as fiber optic systems evolve for avionics, communication, and vehicle monitoring applications.   Defense and aerospace instrumentation must be lightweight, immune to EMI/EMP, tolerant to elevated temperatures, and rugged enough to survive severe shock and vibration.  With Davidson’s lightweight and robust sensor technology, it is practical to replace conventional electronic sensors and related instrumentation with rugged low cost fiber optic alternatives. 

Call Us at 281-362-4900 to Discuss Your Most Demanding Applications!

 

 

 
 
 

DAVIDSON INSTRUMENTS - 9391 GROGAN'S MILL ROAD; SUITE A5 - THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS 77380  281-362-4900