Design Project



Supervisor: Peter Wild, (Apr. 2017)

PW1 Wireless transmission of sensor signal through a steel casing

Background: Mechanical wood-pulp refiners are used in the pulp and paper industry to break wood-chips down into fibres for papermaking. However, this refining process is energy intensive. For example, in BC approximately 10% of BC Hydro's electricity production is used for wood pulp refining. To reduce the energy consumed in this process, control schemes are being developed based on new sensors that measure forces applied to the wood chips inside the refiner during operation. These, sensors are connected to data acquisition equipment, external to the refiner, via pressure-tight feedthrough connectors that pass through a hole in the refiner casing. However, for most commercial refiners, there are no pre-existing holes that can be used for this purpose and drilling of a new hole requires recertification of the casing as a pressure vessel. This recertification is prohibitively expensive.

Objective: To develop a wireless method to transmit sensor signals from inside the refiner, through the steel wall of the refiner casing to the data acquisition system, external to the refiner.

Possible approaches: