Pipeline leak and theft detection can be done through various technologies. There is no si ngle best method as each pipeline is different and ideally, it is best to integrate several different methods within any detection system. Two of the most popular and established methods are flow balance and negative pressure wave, however, both have their challenges. Atmos International (Atmos) invests heavily in research and development and has developed new technologies such as fast scanning, nano wave and non-intrusive hardware to overcome these challenges.
Within systems that use flow balance, fast scanning allows for dramatic improvements to leak location with new filters decreasing detection time. For negative pressure wave syst ems, the development of inexpensive non-intrusive hardware means improving the performance of the new and existing systems (sensitivity, response time, leak location
and reliability) and makes retrofitting leak detection technology even more accessible. Atmos received the prestigious Queens Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2020 for its Atmos Wave product and one of the recent innovations is the nano wave module. The nano wave module improves sensitivit y during dynamic or steady-state conditions in pipelines to help detect smaller and slower leaks.
Pipeline leak and theft detection systems are facing many new challenges from pipelines that lack reliable communication infrastructure, limited or no power and instrumentation (aged pipelines) as well as a lack of adequate housing for the equipment. With stricter environmental policies being introduced around the world - API 1175 states there needs to be a clear strategy in pl ace from leak detection vendors (such as Atmos International) to continuously evaluate their technology, leak detection performance is more important than ever and improvements need to be made to provide better sensitivity, response time, leak location accuracy and reliability (false positives). This paper explores the improvements that Atmos has introduced to its leak detection systems.