A comprehensive research project through the Pipeline Research Council International (under contracts PR-244-173902 and PR-244-193900) was completed to assess the abilities of various on-water external leak detection technologies to identify the presence of liquid hydrocarbon products on the surface of water in a controlled laboratory environment. The first phase of the project evaluated the performance of six technologies using eight test fluids in an idealized freshwater environment under ambient conditions. The second phase investigated the effect of freezing conditions on the performance of these technologies.
The paper—On-water Liquid Leak Detection Technology Evaluation—describes the test program, including the test setup and the results of Phases 1 and 2 of the project. The technologies were evaluated on the following performance metrics:
- Successful detection of the released product,
- Elapsed time from first contact of the test fluid with the sensor or sensing area to detection (Phase 1),
- Elapsed time from start of release to detection (Phase 2), and
- Estimated slick thickness at the time of detection.
Chris Apps is presenting the results of this project at the upcoming International Pipeline Conference. The presentation will be virtual. You will learn about the external leak detection technologies, test fluids and environmental conditions tested, and the results of the testing.
The entire paper—IPC2020-9463 On-water Liquid Leak Detection Technology Evaluation —is available through the 2020 International Pipeline Conference.
Chris Apps is a Senior Research Engineer in C-FER’s Pipeline Design and Construction department. His focus is on experimental testing of leak detection technologies.