Research Papers: Pipeline Systems

Long-Range Pipeline Monitoring by Distributed Fiber Optic Sensing

[+] Author and Article Information
Daniele Inaudi

 SMARTEC SA, Via Pobiette 11, Manno, Ticino 6900, Switzerlandinaudi@smartec.ch

Branko Glisic

 SMARTEC SA, Via Pobiette 11, Manno, Ticino 6900, Switzerland

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 132(1), 011701 (Dec 09, 2009) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3062942 History: Received January 31, 2007; Revised September 26, 2008; Published December 09, 2009; Online December 09, 2009

Distributed fiber optic sensing presents unique features that have no match in conventional sensing techniques. The ability to measure temperatures and strain at thousands of points along a single fiber is particularly interesting for the monitoring of elongated structures such as pipelines, flow lines, oil wells, and coiled tubing. Sensing systems based on Brillouin and Raman scattering are used, for example, to detect pipeline leakages, to verify pipeline operational parameters and to prevent failure of pipelines installed in landslide areas, to optimize oil production from wells, and to detect hot spots in high-power cables. Recent developments in distributed fiber sensing technology allow the monitoring of 60 km of pipeline from a single instrument and of up to 300 km with the use of optical amplifiers. New application opportunities have demonstrated that the design and production of sensing cables are a critical element for the success of any distributed sensing instrumentation project. Although some telecommunication cables can be effectively used for sensing ordinary temperatures, monitoring high and low temperatures or distributed strain presents unique challenges that require specific cable designs. This contribution presents advances in long-range distributed sensing and in novel sensing cable designs for distributed temperature and strain sensing. This paper also reports a number of significant field application examples of this technology, including leakage detection on brine and gas pipelines, strain monitoring on gas pipelines and combined strain and temperature monitoring on composite flow lines, and composite coiled tubing pipes.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Range extender configurations, allowing the monitoring of long pipeline sections with a single instrument

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Figure 2

Schema of DiTeSt® system configurations, left: single-end configuration; right: loop configuration

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Figure 3

Extreme temperature sensing cable design and termination

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Figure 4

Cross section picture and micrograph of the sensing tape (SMARTape)

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Figure 5

SMARTprofile cross section and sample. The red tube contains the free fibers.

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Figure 6

Construction phase of a buried brine pipeline in the north-east area of Berlin. The fiber optics cable is placed in the sand at the 6 o’clock position about 10 cm underneath the pipeline (4).

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Figure 7

Measured profiles before and after the leakage (3)

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Figure 8

SMARTape on the gas pipeline

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Figure 9

Strain distribution over the monitored part of the pipeline measured by SMARTape sensors

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Figure 10

Cross-sectional strain and curvature distributions measured by SMARTape sensors

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Figure 11

Leakage simulation test

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Figure 12

Results of leakage test; leakage is detected as temperature change

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Figure 13

SmartPipe design, including SMARTprofile monitoring system

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Figure 14

SMARTprofile integration with high-strength fiber windings

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Figure 15

PDT-coil cross section. The fiber optics sensing SMARTprofiles are designated by SP-A, SP-B, and SP-C.

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Figure 16

Results of the traction test and comparison with theoretical prediction

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Figure 17

Results of the torsion test and comparison with theoretical predictions; higher winding angles provide more sensitivity and accuracy for torsion measurements

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Figure 18

Liner heating test by electrical current injection

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Figure 19

Liner temperature changes for different current levels and heating times. The first 545 m of the optical fiber are not integrated into the liner and not shown.




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