Detection of Internal Pipeline Corrosion Using a Wireless Sensor
75085-Internal corrosion of natural gas pipelines is a leading cause of pipeline failures, leading to product losses as well as injuries and fatalities. Although in-line inspection tools are presently utilized, 30 percent of natural gas pipelines are not accessible to these tools, and internal corrosion is not detected in real time. This project will develop a wireless sensor network to detect the presence of water inside a gas pipeline, measure the corrosivity of the water, and estimate the corrosion rate. Phase I will determine the viability of using a wireless sensor network with commercially available microsensor systems in a gas pipeline environment. First, the transmission range of a wireless sensor network will be established, and then the full sensor concept will be validated under simulated gas-transmission pipeline conditions. In Phase II, the sensor package will be introduced into natural gas pipelines at appropriate locations, and software will be developed for recommending maintenance and repair at specific locations in the pipeline, based on the data collected. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The technology should directly benefit the Nation¿s energy and chemical process sectors, as they currently expend much money and effort on the inspection of gas pipelines and other piping systems (e.g., cooling water and process stream piping). Often, these inspections require system shut down or excavation leading to the high expenses encountered. As a consequence, the inspections are conducted periodically rather than continuously, resulting in unanticipated failures.
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