Research Papers: Pipeline Systems

Leak Estimation Method for Complex Pipelines With Branch Junctions

[+] Author and Article Information
O. González

Engineering Department,
Universidad Tecnológica de México,
Mexico City 11320, Mexico
e-mail: ogonzale@mail.unitec.mx

C. Verde

Instituto de Ingeniería-UNAM,
Mexico City 04510, Mexico
e-mail: verde@unam.mx

L. Torres

Cátedras CONACYT,
Instituto de Ingeniería-UNAM,
Mexico City 04510, Mexico
e-mail: ftorreso@iingen.unam.mx

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received July 2, 2013; final manuscript received July 29, 2016; published online September 28, 2016. Editor: Young W. Kwon.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 139(2), 021701 (Sep 28, 2016) (8 pages) Paper No: PVT-13-1106; doi: 10.1115/1.4034403 History: Received July 02, 2013; Revised July 29, 2016

This work proposes a methodology to estimate positions of leaks in pipelines with multiple elevation profiles and branch junctions in which only data of pressure and flow at the extremes of the pipeline and the branch junctions are assumed known. The key of the proposition is the error of the position at the branch junction in the presence of leaks. Specifically, the sign of the error determines if the leak is located downstream or upstream from the branch junction. This information then allows us to obtain static equations which characterize the leak position. To simplify the leak position expression, the piezometric variable instead of the pressure head is used for its derivation. Simulation results and real industrial data tests acquired from a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) pipeline of 60 km with five elevation profiles and one branch junction with known extraction flow and position show the potentiality of the suggested method.

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Fig. 1

Topographic profile of the LPG pipeline of 60 km

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Fig. 4

Variables' description with a branch junction in section k

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Fig. 2

Pressure and piezometric head of the pipeline

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Fig. 3

Three-branch junction at point zbi of the section i with cross-sectional areas A1i,A2i, and A3i of the line ji

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Fig. 5

Pipeline with two extractions at position z1 and z1+z2, respectively

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Fig. 6

Residual evolution and leak position estimation

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Fig. 8

Leak symptoms for a small leak

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Fig. 9

Input data and estimated leak positions with noisy conditions



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