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Title: Development and testing of an acoustic combustion sensor for domestic gas boilers
Author: Neeld, Thomas David
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 6208
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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For reasons of energy security, affordability and decarbonisation, future gas supply in the UK and Europe will likely be characterised by a wider variety of gas specifications. Due to variations of burn conditions associated with different gases, this shift necessitates the integration of technologies capable of detecting and adapting accordingly. Presented here are the results of a novel flame detection technology based on combustion acoustics, i.e. an acoustic combustion sensor. For the boilers investigated, this study has shown that pitch related acoustic features can be used to predict the equivalence ratio (φ) of the burn with a root-relative-squared-error (RRSE) of less than 3%. This was achieved for an φ range of 0.75-0.88, independent of gas type and for the full range of transducers tested. Transducers tested included a piezoelectric contact microphone costing 1-2 USD. Additionally, independent of variations in φ, it was possible to predict gas type using combustion acoustics to 100% accuracy; this was achieved across four gas types investigated (G20, G21, G25 and G222). The minimum number of dimensions required to predict φ, to less than 3% RRSE, varied from 12 to 26 depending on boiler and transducer combination. For all data gathered, it was found that ML algorithms based on pitch related acoustic features significantly outperformed those based on ionisation current and CO concentration data for tracking φ and detecting gas type. Thus, it appears that a system based on a practical combustion acoustics sensor could outperform current, industry standard commercially available systems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available