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Ceramic Microcombustor as a Heat Energy Meter
Keywords: minicombustor, fluid heat energy, thermal sigma-delta modulator
Fluid fuels are the main energy source for powering of motor vehicles, house heating and cooking. Usually purchasing the fuel individual customer is unable to test the fuel quality and must rely on the honesty of supplier. Proposed mini combustor combined with a syringe pump controlled by a flowmeter enables construction of portable fluid heat energy meter. The method of measurement exploits the benefits of a constant temperature principle, where a small volume stable flame is maintained between two ceramic plates, which temperature is being controlled by two platinum resistors deposited on the both ceramic plates. These resistors serve as heaters and temperature sensors. The temperature of both ceramic plates is maintained at constant temperature level above 800°C. The intensity of fuel supply to the combustion zone is precisely controlled, and can be easily modulated. As the additional amount of fuel enters the combustion zone, and is being burned additional amount of heat is produced. In response, in order to maintain the constant temperature of ceramic plates, the control circuit decreases the amount of electric of power delivered to the heaters. On the basis of the change of electric power delivered to the heaters the heat energy is of fuel is evaluated. The amount of heat energy in the fuel is calculated as the ratio of the electric power change expressed in Watts to the change of fuel supply delivered to the combustor within time period of 1sek. This way, the method enables a direct evaluation of fuel energy expressed in Jules per unit of mass or volume. Both, the flowmeter and the combustor were made in thick film technology, where the sensing resistors were created with the application of platinum metallorganic composition. The measured heat energy values for typical fuels, like hexane, gasoline, propanol, will be presented and compared with standard lower heating values (LHV).
Zbigniew Magonski, Dr.
AGH University of Science and Technology
Cracow PL 30-059,

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