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Published on Friday, 26 October 2018
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Challenge Expiration Date: November 26, 2018
Enel –Produzione S.p.a. would like to improve the current methods for inspecting large chimneys in power plants. Currently, chimney inspections are executed by specialized personnel working at heights with scaffolding and taking pictures high resolution cameras. This method is typically time consuming and expensive. The Seeker is looking for alternative ways to remotely inspect chimneys using ready or near ready technology that can lessen these factors. Near ready is defined as something that could be tested within the next 6 months and has feasibility already tested.
Solvers that have the ability to continue to develop the solution after the Challenge are encouraged to submit.
This is a Theoretical Challenge which requires only a written proposal to be submitted
The chimneys used on power plants can be with single or multiple liners (up to a maximum of 4) incorporated inside a reinforced concrete containment structure that can reach up heights of 290 meters. Essentially liners are cylindrical elements, whose diameter is proportional to the flow rate of the exhaust gases. The construction materials could be different: with low temperatures gases, that are not particularly chemically aggressive, mild steel is used; in condition of possible acid condensation (i.e. particularly chemically aggressive), anti-acid tiles or bricks are used for the internal walls.
The general reference characteristics of a chimney are as follows :
Several chimney configurations are shown in the pictures within the Chimney example paragraph of the challenge full description.
Today the accepted practice provide sufficiently clear images to detect the following types of defects:
Defects are marked with a referenced altitude and position to facilitate the mapping and localization.
Access to the single liner is possible from the top or from the waste gas duct.
This Challenge provides contribution to the following Sustainable Development Goals:
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For questions about the challenge and your proposal you can contact EnelOpenInnovabilityChallenges@innocentive.com
We are looking for an innovative solution to carry out inspections of inner surface of chimney in order to:
The solution should be easy to be implemented, also in relation to the difficult operating conditions to reach access points. Design and operative procedure proposed should take into account the difficulty of recovering any objects that fall into the hopper during setup and the execution of inspection.
We require a solution that is ready to be tested within the next 6 months and has feasibility already tested.
(Completely untested solutions would take too much time to perform a complete significant tests within 6 months.)
Attached are shown pictures of different chimneys structure and the main types of defects that can occur.
Figure 1 - Chimney with multiple liners
Figure 2 - cone shaped Chimney with antiacid bricks (inside) and concrete shell (outside)
Enclosed also a typical example of a single-liner chimney with refractory bricks consisting of two concentric rings:
Figure 3 - Detail of a joint
Attached are shown some examples of problems encountered in the chimneys.
In the image it is shown the state of health of the mortar between the bricks. It is needed a check in order to evaluate possible filling.
In the image there are some dark areas in the wall texture, with evidence of acid dripping that corroded the superficial surface of the refractory bricks.
In the image there are fractured refractory elements
Things to Avoid
Any solution should be compliant with the following requirements:
The following would be “nice to have” but are not required for an award:
The solution may combine existing components, commercially available components, and/or novel Solver solutions. Ideas leveraged from industry with similar needs are encouraged.
The submitted proposal should include the following:
This is a Theoretical Challenge which requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker. If multiple proposals meet all the Technical Requirements, the Seeker reserves the right to award only the solution which they believe best meets their application.
To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, they will grant to the Seeker non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.
Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (Central European Time) on Nov. 26, 2018.
Late submissions will not be considered.
After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions. ABOUT INNOCENTIVE InnoCentive collaborates with Enel to manage this challenge. InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.
After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions.
InnoCentive collaborates with Enel to manage this challenge.
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.