Optimized combustion processes thanks to high-temperature pressure sensors

Extremely heat-resistant pressure sensors from Kistler play a crucial part in the ongoing development of combustion processes – especially when the aim is to improve sustainability by using new fuels and hydrogen. These sensors offer high accuracy and long lifetimes: benefits that lead to enhanced resource efficiency thanks to real-time monitoring in locations where this was never possible until now.

Wherever dynamic combustion processes are monitored and optimized, the strengths of high-temperature pressure sensors from Kistler come into play. Especially in gas turbines and aircraft engines, they can be flush-mounted close to the flame; no additional adaptations are needed, and the sensors supply reliable feedback about the combustion process. Piezoelectric pressure sensors in series 602xA from Kistler can permanently withstand temperatures of up to 700°C (1,300°F) and of up to 1,000°C (1,830°F) for short periods.

Unrivaled accuracy, heat resistance and availability

At the heart of the sensor: a PiezoStar crystal grown specially by Kistler for high-temperature applications. Thanks to its exceptional properties, it far surpasses the temperature resistance of conventional crystals. Unlike ceramic materials, PiezoStar crystals are not pyroelectric and they do not produce a popcorn effect. Another plus: Kistler's in-house crystal breeding facility guarantees constant availability, whereas materials that occur naturally can be subject to supply fluctuations.

The measuring elements have been designed to ensure maximum shielding against electromechanical interference. A special measuring chain – including a differential charge amplifier and appropriate cabling – ensures a very low noise level, high resolution and immunity against interference. This makes it possible for customers to capture even the smallest pressure pulsations – a critical advantage so that these phenomena can be detected as soon as they arise, for example in modal analyses for the development of combustors in gas turbines.

Enabling multi-fuel and hydrogen applications

Heat-resistant pressure sensors from Kistler are designed for lifetimes of four to six years. The benefit: they can be used not only in the development phase and for testing gas turbines and aircraft engines, but also for continuous process monitoring during operation. This is especially important for state-of-the-art gas turbines (dry low NOx) that increasingly feature multi-fuel capability and can already be operated with a variable hydrogen component (of 20 percent or more). If the hydrogen content is increased even further, the flame becomes very hot and burns very quickly: this makes optimized and controlled combustion dynamics all the more important, so as to avoid instabilities and damage due to phenomena such as flashbacks. For this reason, Kistler is continuing to develop its sensors in order to achieve even higher temperature resistance – because as time goes on, real-time monitoring of the combustion process will become an absolutely critical factor in enabling sustainable gas turbines and hydrogen-powered aircraft.

Variable sensor designs and customized measuring chains

High-temperature-pressure sensors are available in three standard sizes, and Ex-certified versions can also be supplied on request (ATEX, IECEx, EACEx). The measuring chain can be adapted to customers' individual applications thanks to a wide range of components such as cables, connectors, charge amplifiers and signal filters. As well as gas turbines and aircraft engines, the thermoacoustic measurement principle is also suitable for monitoring and optimizing similar technologies such as gas exhaust systems, rocket engines and turbomachinery such as steam turbines and compressors.


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