Description: An acoustic leak detection facility was completed and used to evaluate the capability of piezoelectric sensors, accelerometers, and capacitance microphones to detect and locate gas and water leaks in underground district heating and cooling (DHC) piping. Leak detection sensitivity and location capabilities for DHC systems were estimated from laboratory data and from data obtained from the underground DH system in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where acoustic background noise levels and acoustic signals from field-induced steam leaks were acquired. Acoustic detection of leaks with flow rates of less than 10 gpm is possible at a distance of several hundred meters, with a location accuracy of a few meters. Although steam leaks of comparable mass loss can be detected over a similar range with transducers mounted on the pipe outer wall, location accuracy of a few meters over this range may only be possible with transducers in direct contract with the steam. Intrusive sensors may also be necessary to detect and locate leaks in plastic pipe.
Date: February 1988
Creator: Kupperman, D. S. & Karvelas, D. E.
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