Independent testing of start-up Hifi Engineering Inc.’s pipeline leak detection technology successfully detected all leaks generated in a comprehensive testing program, with no false positives in real time, the company said today.
Hifi’s high-fidelity dynamic (acoustics, temperature, strain) sensing (HDS) technology, which utilizes fibre optic cables placed on or near the pipeline to detect leaks, was tested by C-CORE, a Canadian research and development corporation. Operating pressures ranged from 195 psi down to three psi, for both liquids and gas, in both offshore and land applications.
“To achieve 100 per cent performance with no false positives proves our technology is world class, and ready to assist the industry in achieving 100 per cent pipeline safety. These results reaffirm the performance also demonstrated through Hifi’s many field pilots and commercial installations,” John Hull, Hifi’s founder and chief technology officer, said in a statement.
Hifi’s HDS technology monitors every centimetre of a pipeline 24 hours per day, and can detect flows less than a litre within seconds. Its proprietary fibre optic cables are optimized for sensing, as are its optical hardware and software for permanent deployment and continuous monitoring.
The patented software algorithms are designed to correlate acoustic, temperature and vibration/strain data in real-time to discern operating conditions such as excessive strain, thermal events and security intrusions, which if left unaddressed could evolve into a leak in the pipeline.
Hifi said the HDS system can also detect extremely low flow and pinhole sized leaks, with the ability to alarm and notify the pipeline operator in seconds through a control room software powered by GE Predix.
Hifi has been working with Enbridge’s Pipeline Control Systems and Leak Detection team to evaluate Hifi’s HDS technology, along with other joint industry partners Kinder Morgan Canada and TransCanada Pipelines, through C-FER Technologies’ External Leak Detection System Evaluation Program in Edmonton.
The program was funded by LOOKNorth, a national Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research hosted by C-CORE. Calgary-based Hifi, which also produces tools for downhole flow applications and permanent monitoring of pipelines and reservoirs, is privately held with minority ownership from Enbridge and Cenovus.