In-core temperature measurement for the PBMR using fibre-bragg gratings

De Villiers, Gerrit Johannes (2009-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.


The PBMR has called for research into the possibility of distributed in-core temperature measurement. In this thesis, several methods for distributed temperature measurement in high-pressure, -radiation and -temperature environments have been investigated by means of a literature study. The literature study has revealed FBG temperature sensors as the most feasible solution to the temperature measurement challenge. Various parameters affecting the propagation of light in optical fibres and consequently the FBG reflection profile was researched. The differential equations describing FBG structures were solved and implemented in Matlab in order to simulate WDM of a distributed FBG sensing system. Distributed sensing with apodized FBGs written in sapphire optical fibre show the most promise of becoming a solution to the measurement challenge. However, practical testing of sapphire FBGs exposed to the environment in the PBMR core is required. With this long-term goal in mind, a general test platform for FBG temperature sensors was assembled. A heater controller was built for a specialized fibre heating element capable of controlling the temperature of a single FBG up to 1600 C. Temperature measurement using wavelength division multiplexing of apodized FBGs written in silica optical fibre were demonstrated in the test platform with great success. The measured results corresponded very well with the theory. Finally, the implementation of FBGs in the PBMR is discussed and recommendations are made for future work

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