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Microcontroller-Based Reformer Tube Internal Diameter Data Acquisition

[+] Author Affiliations
Liqiong Tang, Morio Fukuoka

Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Peter Tait

Methanex New Zealand Ltd., New Plymouth, New Zealand

Paper No. DETC2011-48976, pp. 517-523; 7 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 2011 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5480-8
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Reformer tubes are high cost components in process industries. The service life of the reformer tubes is primarily ended by creep damage, which is caused by operation at high pressure and temperature. As a result of the creep damage, the geometry of reformer tubes changes especially the diameter. Therefore, monitoring the diametric changes of the reformer tubes is able to help to judge the degree of creep —damage. Different sensors, methodologies and techniques are proposed to obtain and monitor the diametric data of the reformer tubes. However, the cost of the dominant systems available is hard for majority of the industrial companies to afford. This paper presents a novel design of a microcontroller-based, wireless data acquisition system for obtaining reformer tube internal diameter data. The system focused on using cost effective components and methodologies. Tests made on the prototype showed that the system is able to reliably transmit reformer tube internal diametric data to a computer located on top of the reformer tube in real time.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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