Through a joint effort with EPRI and American Electric Power (AEP), we have installed our latest high temperature strain gage modules on high temperature boiler header piping to monitor cracking in real time. The high temperature gages are pre-installed on weldable shims for easy installation free of special adhesives and soldering in the field.
The gages are sampled at 256,000 samples per second while the software looks for anomalies in the frequency domain. If any of the natural frequencies of the system start to shift, it points to crack propagation decreasing the stiffness of the system.
Monitoring the health of the boiler pipes is a great way to save money by allowing operators plan maintenance/outages better, and improve plant safety.