Non-radioactive slurry density measurement for inland dredgers
CEDA Dredging Days 2017 - Sustainable Dredging - Continued Benefits
Zych K.S., Osnabrugge J.
Abstract: Inland dredgers are only moderately equipped with dredging sensors. Notably, small dredging contractors resign from use of conventional radioactive density transmitters, due to the difficulties and additional costs of the special safety regulations regarding use and transportation. As a consequence, the operator is left without any feedback about the crucial parameter of the pumped mixture. To address this problem, IHC Systems initiated the development of a non-radioactive slurry density measurement suitable for inland dredgers. The resulting patented device is a kind of electric transducer, where a beam of electromagnetic energy is used to radially penetrate the centre of the pipeline. Information about the amount of solids, averaged over the whole measurement pipe volume, is obtained. Prototypes were built and tested in laboratory and finally placed onboard an inland dredger for long duration field tests. We noticed that the presence of the density meter boosted the efficiency of the vessel up to 50%. Currently, the technology is only applicable for inland river water environments, where electromagnetic absorption due to water salinity is manageable. Further developments of this technology are in progress to test the applicability for sea water conditions.
Keywords: density measurement, non-radioactive, efficient dredging