Description: The West Virginia University natural gas transmission line leak detection research is only considering using readily available 1/2 inch pipeline access ports for the detection of leak generated signals. The main problem with leak signals is the low signal to noise ratio. One of the acoustic signals associated with gas escaping through a leak is only temporary and is in the form of a rarefaction wave originating when the leak is formed. Due to pipeline friction, over distance such a step function transitions to a ramp function. The ability to identify a leak by pipeline monitoring and signal processing depends a great deal on the quality and signal to noise ratio of the characteristics of the detectors used. Combinations of sensing devices are being used for the WVU sensor package and are contained in a removable sensor housing. The four sensors currently installed are a 1/2 inch 3 Hz-40 Khz microphone, an audible range moving coil sensor, a piezo-electric pressure transducer, and the WVU designed floating 3 inch diameter diaphragm to detect flow transient induced pressure ramp type signals. The WVU diaphragm sensor, which is currently under development, uses the same diaphragm principle as a high quality capacitance type microphone, but utilizes aerodynamic signal amplification. This type of amplification only amplifies the ramp-signal itself, not the random pipeline noise.
Date: April 1, 2003
Creator: Loth, John L.; Morris, Gary J.; Palmer, George M.; Guiler, Richard & Mehra, Deepak