Featured Image Caption: Leak Detection Systems
In many places around the world, pipeline networks are used to channel fluids. These fluids include hazardous gases and liquids. In recent years, pipelines have grown due to the ease they bring when one wants to transport oil fluids. However, the pipeline network is not very safe and poses a risk to the environment and the public where the pipes are laid down to transfer oil fluids.
To ensure that the public and nature are safe, engineers carry out risk tests and manage them. There has to be a balance between economic growth and keeping nature and the public. In many cases, pipelines are used to transfer highly explosive fluids such as liquid and gas. In such cases, systems have to be put in place to help detect leaks that can cause injuries and damages. In this post, we will explore some systems that detect leaks and how they are applied in sectors across the globe.
In many sectors that deal with gas and liquid, systems used to detect leaks are put in place to help find where leaks come from. Back then, dogs were used to detect leaks in gas that had odors.
Today, many LDS such as the popular weldsaver are designed to point out where leaks come from pipelines. These systems make it easy for operators to spot and stop leaks before the leaking fluids create more damage. The type of system used to detect leaks in pipelines depends on many factors, including the size of the leak, the type of pipeline installed, and the type of fluid that runs through the pipe. The system used to detect leaks can be simple or complex.
The complex designs that come with some systems don’t always work well as desired when finding leaks. Many tests carried out in the US showed that many of these systems were only 20% effective. This doesn’t mean that LDS are not useful in sectors that deal with oil. High-risk areas that use make or distribute oil fluids should have complex systems to detect leaks. This is more vital in sectors that deal with and supply oil products in pipelines.
External Leak Detection Systems
External leak detection systems monitor and detect leaks in pipelines that have left the pipeline pressure boundaries. No matter what type of flow switch is used in detecting leaks, the user needs to consider a few factors. Some of these factors include:
- The need to use electric energy to power the system
- The system need to be sheltered to protect it from elements that can damage it
- The system should also have a data transfer link between the SCADA or controller HMI system and external LDS
In any external flow switch system, these factors should be the minimum needs. Other factors depend on the tech used to design the system. For example, if the tech used to run the system needs long-distance sensing cables, it needs supporting infrastructure and multiple field sites.
While using external leak detectors, the system needs to transfer leak alarm and system status info to the controller. Engineers usually use a common approach where a local programmable logic controller (PLC) is linked to the leak alarm status bit. Being part of the SCADA system, the field devices display the alarm to the controller. This way, additional system info is transferred. Through a communication network that is transferred using external LDS, the alarm signal status may be sent directly to the SCADA system.
The Performance, Testing, and Tuning of Leak Detection
In a flow switch, performance metrics are the standard used to measure and obtain info about the configuration. This includes the monitored pipeline, observation, and testing of the system settings. The metrics fall into these categories:
– Leak Detection Scope
This refers to metrics that show the performance of the LDS at the system level. These are global parameters such as the fraction or proportion of the leak detection system’s monitored pipeline.
– Leak Detection Sensitivity
Leak detection sensitivity refers to the metrics that tell how the LDS identifies leaks. These metrics include the leak time to detect tDET, the minimum detectable leak rate QDET, and the leak detection confidence. These variables are not the independent of one another.
– Leak Location Performance
Metrics that define the ability of leak detection systems to locate leaks fall into this category. These metrics include the leak location error, the leak rate QDET, and the leak location confidence PLOC. Through the LDS leak location performance map, these variables are dependent on each other.
These are some safety factors that need to be considered when using pipelines to transport hazardous materials inside and across countries. Failure to put leak detection systems may lead to serious accidents that may cause injuries, damages, and even death. As much as economic development is important, the public’s safety should also be considered when laying down pipeline networks.
By Naman Modi
who is a Professional Blogger, SEO Expert & Guest blogger at Proteus Industries Inc. He is an Award-Winning Freelancer & Web Entrepreneur helping new entrepreneur’s launches their first successful online business.