Location

Rolla, MO

Session Start Date

6-11-1999

Session End Date

6-17-1999

Keywords and Phrases

Sensor; AirBoss; FloSonic; WIPP; Airflow; Monitor; Equipment; Instrumentation

Abstract

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is an U.S. Department of Energy underground disposal facility designed to permanently and safely isolate U.S. defense-generated transuranic radioactive waste. The underground ventilation system is engineered to minimize the release of radioactive contamination to the environment in the event of an accident. During 1994 an extensive ventilation remote monitoring and control system was installed. It consists of fifteen air velocity sensors, eight differential pressure stations, automated control features on key underground air regulators, and eight psychrometric stations. The airflow monitoring component of the system has been a problem since the original installation. Due to the WIPP's variable airflow capabilities, the air velocity sensors required extensive and time-consuming re-calibration to make the sensors read out volumetric flow, rather than the point or line values, which they were factory calibrated for. Problems with the hardware made the process difficult. Furthermore, once re-calibrated the durability and reliability of the units were inconsistent, and often unacceptable. Two new types of airflow sensors were tested; one or both of which will ultimately replace the old units. The tested sensors were an ultrasonic-type device (FloSonic), and a warm body, mass flow unit (Airboss*200W) (a re-engineered version of the previous units). Recommendations were made regarding which type of sensor to install at specific locations. These decisions were based on the conditions at each sensor location and the relative strengths of the two sensor types. Installation, field calibration methodology, test procedures, main results and recommendations are discussed.

Department(s)

Mining and Nuclear Engineering

Appears In

U.S. Mine Ventilation Symposium

Meeting Name

8th U.S. Mine Ventilation Symposium

Publisher

University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

6-11-1999

Document Version

Final Version

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Jun 11th, 12:00 AM Jun 17th, 12:00 AM

Evaluation of Different Airflow Sensors at the WIPP Facility

Rolla, MO

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is an U.S. Department of Energy underground disposal facility designed to permanently and safely isolate U.S. defense-generated transuranic radioactive waste. The underground ventilation system is engineered to minimize the release of radioactive contamination to the environment in the event of an accident. During 1994 an extensive ventilation remote monitoring and control system was installed. It consists of fifteen air velocity sensors, eight differential pressure stations, automated control features on key underground air regulators, and eight psychrometric stations. The airflow monitoring component of the system has been a problem since the original installation. Due to the WIPP's variable airflow capabilities, the air velocity sensors required extensive and time-consuming re-calibration to make the sensors read out volumetric flow, rather than the point or line values, which they were factory calibrated for. Problems with the hardware made the process difficult. Furthermore, once re-calibrated the durability and reliability of the units were inconsistent, and often unacceptable. Two new types of airflow sensors were tested; one or both of which will ultimately replace the old units. The tested sensors were an ultrasonic-type device (FloSonic), and a warm body, mass flow unit (Airboss*200W) (a re-engineered version of the previous units). Recommendations were made regarding which type of sensor to install at specific locations. These decisions were based on the conditions at each sensor location and the relative strengths of the two sensor types. Installation, field calibration methodology, test procedures, main results and recommendations are discussed.