Our client wanted to establish production of solid fuel boilers that would not require constant attention; filling the bunker and cleaning up the ashes should only be required on a weekly basis. Our client asked if we could manage all works concerning the development of the boiler control system.
Participation in this project meant solving some engineering tasks as well as software development.
This order was interesting because we participated in creating an integrated software and hardware solution. In fact, the customer only had the metal body of the boiler. Thus, we were tasked with developing the control system design, equipment installation, and the software.
We wrote a driver for an automated boiler control system that loads to a boiler microcontroller chip. It reads data from the sensors, synchronizes the work of sensors and other facilities (heat-variable resistor, engine fuel feed system, smoke exhauster, etc.), and displays error messages and other boiler operating information on a microcontroller display.
Our specialists developed an interface for microcontroller management through the touchscreen, created graphic designs, and designed the control logic and algorithms. However, the chip’s operational memory was insufficient for proper program work and data storage. The problem was solved by installing an external source of memory (SD card) in the chip’s special slot.
As the boiler’s sensors were heterogeneous, a special task was to have all of them calibrated.
A serious problem we encountered during the project was stray currents, which were causing interference and the improper workings of some elements. The reason for the stray currents was an insufficient ground connection.
We also encountered a problem with the voltage, which we resolved by protecting sensitive components from power surges.