iX Challenge: Waste Heat Measurement In Hot Process Flue (Exhaust) Stacks

This challenge seeks to identify technologies to measure and characterise hot waste heat streams without invasive installation/operation and do so with a high degree of confidence in the accuracy of the given measurement.

Funding Details
When

Registration Opens

17/06/2022

Registration Closes

12/08/2022

Award

Successful applications will be given the opportunity to pitch their solutions to representatives from the challenge holder business, with the potential for successful solutions to be deployed with the challenge holder.

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The Innovation Exchange programme is working alongside a large UK company. This business is looking to engage innovators and innovative companies that can help them solve a significant challenge they are trying to overcome in relation to high-potential future projects. The Challenge Owner will engage with the suppliers of innovation to support development, if necessary, to better suit the application.

The Challenge Owner operates many facilities with significant waste heat output which, in many cases, is uncharacterised. As expectations from industry shift, there is a growing desire to utilise this waste heat. Waste heat use can allow for reduced operating costs, improved environmental credentials, and longer operational lives of facilities, among other benefits. To determine how best to make use of the waste heat available, the characteristics of the heat stream must be understood. While methods exist to do this, they often require invasive procedures to implement, which would require system downtime. Non-intrusive options would be preferred but these often suffer from poor versatility or accuracy.

The Challenge Owner seeks to identify technologies to measure and characterise hot waste heat streams without invasive installation/operation and do so with a high degree of confidence in the accuracy of the given measurement.

Challenge

There are many sources of waste heat that hot processes can generate but the largest proportion of this heat typically comes from exhaust gases. This is the waste heat stream that the challenge owner hopes to assess. The temperature and mass flow rate of the exhaust stream must be known in order to decide what heat recovery can be achieved and what this recovered heat energy can be used for.

This waste heat stream is, prior to being vented to the atmosphere, contained within an exhaust that ducts it away from the hot process. Often, sensoring ports are not available where the challenge owner would like to take measurements. Current solutions to this would be to conduct invasive works on their facilities to install additional sensoring, or use a non-invasive measurement technique at the desired point. The latter is significantly preferable, however current offerings are limited in their applicability, operational range, and accuracy.

The challenge owner is seeking an alternative solution to those currently available, to increase accuracy of results, reduce impact on machinery at sites where measurement is being conducted, and improve flexibility and deployability of the solution.

The challenge owner is actively looking for solutions that will;

1. Measure and characterise hot waste heat streams, mass flow and temperature without invasive installation/operation and do so with a high degree of confidence in the accuracy without requiring a physical presence within the stream flow.
2. Be deployable in a wide band of scenarios (orientations, materials, environmental conditions etc.)
3. Be portable by a single able-bodied person and ideally measure no more than 0.5 m in all dimensions
4. Not require highly-skilled operatives to use it.
5. Produce information that is readily interpreted by a non-specialist or in a form that can be easily shared with a specialist for remote analysis.
6. Provide data with a high degree of accuracy and assurance of the accuracy of the system.
7. Be ruggedized and able to tolerate harsh operating environments (namely high ambient temperatures).

Technical Characteristics

  • Must be able to accurately record temperatures and mass flows in waste heat streams in the range of at least 200°C to 650°C.
  • Typically operating at near ambient pressures and with waste heat streams also at near ambient pressures.
  • Needs to be suitable for multiple different exhaust sizes and shapes.
  • All data must be locally stored, no cloud connections.
  • Must be rated safe for use in potentially high energy environments.

Entrants to this competition must be:

  • Established businesses, start-ups, SMEs or individual entrepreneurs
  • UK-based or have the intention to set up a UK base