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Energies 2018, 11(3), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11030587

Development of Magnetostrictive Transducer Prototype for Blockage Detection on Molten Salt Pipes

Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Oviedo, 33203 Gijón, Asturias, Spain
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Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Energy)
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Abstract

In solar thermal power plants molten salt is often used to store and transport the energy that is collected during the day. The external pipe temperature is measured to activate an electric heating system if the temperature approaches the melting point. However, salt solidification cannot be completely excluded from the plant management. Once occurred, the location of a salt blockage is very complex due to the high temperature of the pipe. Therefore, when this problem arises, power plants have to stop production with the consequences in time and cost that this entails. Electro-magnetic acoustic transducers can be used as non-destructive testing systems for this application. A method for salt blockage detection is proposed that is applicable in straight sections of pipes by employing torsional guided waves that are generated with magnetostrictive transducers. The present paper deals with the transducer conception and the design of the power supply to activate it. Two alternatives are proposed and compared to determine the improvement in the amplitude/noise ratio. Finally, the experimental results show the performance of the equipment in a small prototype, thus validating the technique presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: guided waves; torsional waves; magnetostriction; electromagnetic acoustic transducer; electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT); nondestructive testing; nondestructive testing (NDT); solar power plant guided waves; torsional waves; magnetostriction; electromagnetic acoustic transducer; electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT); nondestructive testing; nondestructive testing (NDT); solar power plant
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Andrés-Mayor, H.; Prieto, M.J.; Villegas, P.J.; Nuño, F.; Martín-Ramos, J.A.; Pernía, A.M. Development of Magnetostrictive Transducer Prototype for Blockage Detection on Molten Salt Pipes. Energies 2018, 11, 587.

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