Digital turbocharger monitoring system
The natural gas transmission industry relies heavily on thousands of reciprocating engines for compression horsepower to keep gas flowing from one point to another. At the heart of each engine is a turbocharger. If a turbocharger fails, the engine is compromised. In an effort to prevent turbocharger failure and to identify warning signs, Pivot International developed a digital turbocharger monitoring system (DTuMS) to track turbochargers' performance over time. This monitoring system can now be found within the national natural gas distribution system, where it monitors turbochargers on IC engines.
The general system is composed of a control board with sensors and inputs for speed, temperature, and vibration. A metal housing protects the board and allows for system mounting. Once inputs are received from the sensors, the data is saved to an Opto22 SNAP-PAC I/O data acquisition system. A backup rechargeable battery is available, which allows the current data stream to be saved to Flash memory in the event power loss to the system.
In designing and manufacturing the DTuMS, Pivot met several customer requirements. The operating environment required the system to handle a temperature range with a top end of 180° Fahrenheit. Input voltage was to be 24 VDC, with an output voltage ranging from 8VDC to 24VDC. We included 11 different sensors, 4 of which were pressure sensors for 0 to 30 psi, and 4 of which were thermocouple inputs. The other sensors included a pressure sensor for 0 to 40 inches H20, a variable reluctance magnetic pickup to measure speed, and an atmospheric pressure sensor. The control board with sensors and inputs was completely gasket sealed, allowing it to work within an explosive environment.
Shock and vibration testing were done in accordance with ASTM D4169 standards, and drop testing was done to ensure the system remained functional after a 2-foot drop onto a concrete surface, in accordance with ASTM D5276 requirements. Upon completion, the DTuMS order was delivered to our client in Manhattan, Kansas.