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Can You Dig It? - Monitoring Buried Pipelines

Posted by Ben Lapp on May 7, 2019 4:30:00 PM

Wireless Cellular Collection RenderingAging infrastructure is a topic many asset owners and regulators are concerned about. Recent occurrences of pipeline leaks, explosions and other failures are making the evening news. Companies responsible for the integrity of the pipeline are continually seeking new or improved methods of assessing and ultimately monitoring piping for specific conditions which could result in a leak or failure.

Transmission piping typically has conditions where metal wall loss will occur in specific locations under uncertain conditions.

Bottom Corrosion/Erosion occurs in pipelines having conditions where wall loss on the bottom of the piping (sometimes referred to as river bottoming) is due to localized erosion or corrosion conditions.

Top-Side Corrosion attack at the 12-o’clock position of piping is another area of common metal wall loss.

Corrosion due to Cathodic Protection System failures can result in localized corrosion on piping and can be monitored for continued wall lost after CP issues are corrected.

Utilizing Sensor Networks variety of matPIMS™ area monitoring sensors or smartPIMS® multi-point monitoring sensors enable the user to continuously monitor piping above or below ground.  Manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic systems may be configured to address each specific situation.

Manual: Inspectors would connect to a terminal with a PC or tablet, take readings and document the results.

Semi-automatic: the system can be configured with a battery and recording datalogger to “wake-up” periodically, make a reading and then go back to sleep (conserving battery life). Inspectors or data managers would connect to a terminal with a PC or tablet, download the data (up to 3,000 readings) and analyze the information in Sensor Networks smartPIMS software or upload a file to an enterprise software program for analysis.

Automatic: Using cellular connectivity, the smartPIMS cellular system can be programmed by the user to periodically take readings and automatically send them to a cloud-based webPIMS™ software for storage and analysis.

Regulations are in place requiring reporting of safety-related conditions (i.e. CFR 49, B,1, D,191.23) on piping integrity, with one of the important aspects being wall thickness loss due to corrosion. Utilizing Sensor Networks’ ultrasonic monitoring equipment enables the asset owners or inspection service organizations to monitor aging pipeline infrastructure as part of an overall fitness-for-service (FFS) program.  By doing so, asset owners can assess if localized corrosion areas are ‘active’ and perform different tactics to remediate the corrosion (chemical inhibitors, cleaning pigs, etc.). 

Having access to corrosion rate data without having to send expensive in-line inspection tools is changing the way asset integrity monitoring is being performed all along the value chain for midstream companies.

Typical Applications include: Crude, Slurry, LNG or Natural Gas Transmission Pipelines; Walls, roof or bottoms or Atmospheric tanks or Pressure Vessels; Exchanger Shells; Digester Floors

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Topics: webPIMS, smartPIMS

About Sensor Networks, Inc.

Sensor Networks, Inc. has identified a problem in today’s world: when it comes to complex asset integrity, there are obstacles and challenges that you will face along the way. Where there are problems, innovative solutions should be created to fix them. With that basic mission in mind, Sensor Networks, Inc. was born.

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