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Development and Testing of an Acoustic Combustion Sensor for Domestic Gas Boilers

Neeld, Thomas David; (2019) Development and Testing of an Acoustic Combustion Sensor for Domestic Gas Boilers. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

For reasons of energy security, affordability and decarbonisation, future gas supply in the UK and Europe will likely be characterised by a wider variety of gas specifications. Due to variations of burn conditions associated with different gases, this shift necessitates the integration of technologies capable of detecting and adapting accordingly. Presented here are the results of a novel flame detection technology based on combustion acoustics, i.e. an acoustic combustion sensor. For the boilers investigated, this study has shown that pitch related acoustic features can be used to predict the equivalence ratio (φ) of the burn with a root-relative-squared-error (RRSE) of less than 3%. This was achieved for an φ range of 0.75-0.88, independent of gas type and for the full range of transducers tested. Transducers tested included a piezoelectric contact microphone costing 1-2 USD. Additionally, independent of variations in φ, it was possible to predict gas type using combustion acoustics to 100% accuracy; this was achieved across four gas types investigated (G20, G21, G25 and G222). The minimum number of dimensions required to predict φ, to less than 3% RRSE, varied from 12 to 26 depending on boiler and transducer combination. For all data gathered, it was found that ML algorithms based on pitch related acoustic features significantly outperformed those based on ionisation current and CO concentration data for tracking φ and detecting gas type. Thus, it appears that a system based on a practical combustion acoustics sensor could outperform current, industry standard commercially available systems.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Development and Testing of an Acoustic Combustion Sensor for Domestic Gas Boilers
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request. - Some third party copyright material has been removed from this e-thesis (pp. 175-176).
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10074501
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