Saturday, 16 Feb 2019

Leak detection of pipelines and valves

Leak detection of pipelines and valves

Pipeline networks are the safest and the most economical mode of transportation gases, oil, and fluid product. Because pipelines are means of long-distance transport, they have to fulfill high demands of safety such as reliability and efficiency. Once a pipeline fulfills the high demand of safety, and it is properly maintained, it can last indefinitely without leaks. If a pipeline is not maintained properly, it can destroy.

 Never has the issue of clean environment take the front burner of global discussion than now, at the same time, a more dependable fluid flow system is required to curb wanton pipeline leakages. Pipeline leakages not only result in financial losses, it also poses a major challenge to our ecosystem especially when the leakage is dangerous.

 However, there is a way to detect a pipeline leak and solve the problem. To detect the leak location of the pipeline and how to solve the problem, utility managers need to know valve locations, how they operate and the condition of the valves.  Pipeline leak detection is used to determine where a leak has occurred in systems which contain gases and liquid. Hydrostatic testing, laser technology, and infrared after leak  detection and pipeline erection during service are methods of pipeline leak detection.

 Choosing a suitable leak detection system is not a simple task for pipeline operators. The leak detection system must comply with relevant regulations, and it must meet the needs of the particular application. The American petroleum institute (API) provides a detailed overview of recommended leak detection system requirements and criteria.

 The requirements and criteria include:

  1. The system should be able to locate leaks precisely; it should be able to indicate leakage rate, the quantity of escaped product, and the product that is escaping
  2. The leak detection system should continue to monitor the leaks even in non-ideal conditions including sensor failure, temperature fluctuations, and change in viscosity.
  3. The system should be able should be detected small leaks within a short period.
  4. The system should not make false alarms; it must be reliable and sensitive.

In addition to the requirements, other characteristics that should affect the choice of leak detection system may include the length of the pipeline, the type, volume, and quantity of the system.

 Can control valves help with pipeline leakages?

Pipelines in environmentally sensitive areas should have leak detection technology and automatic shut-off valves. Control valves are components that help in regulation of fluid flow; it is dependent on the signal received from a controller. These controllers may be hydraulic, electrical, or pneumatic in nature.

Leak detection of pipelines and valves

 How control valves help with pipeline leakages

  1. Control valves may be linked with a feedback system which enables the actuator to regulate the flow automatically in case of any variable parameter.
  2. Control valves are easily controlled with an actuator, which means immediate action will be take in case of any leakage as the actuator can change the position of the modulation element which in turn shuts down the fluid flow. So control valves can help with pipeline leakages.