Safeguarding the well-being of hospital staff and patients against the spread of infectious diseases in public hospitals is critical especially in the current challenging COVID-19 pandemic. Surgical tools and healthcare linen touch patients and hospital staff directly or indirectly on a daily basis, and they undergo disinfection and steam sterilization process to kill bacteria, viruses and microorganisms before their use for medical procedures. The heart of the sterilization process is the hospital steam boiler system which operates around the clock and supplies steam to meet the sterilizing and catering needs of the hospital. To uphold the performance of the steam boiler, regular cleaning of fire tubes is necessary to remove deposit build-up thereby enhancing heat transfer and reducing fuel consumption as well as preventing metal surface from corrosion. The existing cleaning procedure involves considerable manual handling operations potentially leading to repetitive muscle strain injury and dust inhalation. In addition, the cleaning consistency and the health condition of the fire tube could not be validated readily.
This project aims to develop an innovative technology to automate the cleaning and inspection of steam boiler’s fire tubes as a unity. It can be easily mobilized and applied to boilers of different models and sizes in different hospitals and medical laundries. The system should be able to process the cleaning and inspection works without manual control by automatic boiler and fire tube positioning. During the tube cleaning process, fireside deposits have to be vacuumed simultaneously whereas flaw detection of fire tube should be carried out with non-destructive testing method. The acquired data can be remotely accessed wirelessly. It should present the inspection results in 3D graphical format with condition photos to facilitate the boiler life span estimation.
Expected Trial Duration
I&T Wish Proposer
Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD)