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Vibroacoustic Monitoring of Gas-Filled Pipelines

Vibroacoustic monitoring is an emerging technique for the detection of leaks and third party interferences on fluid transportation pipelines. The technique is based on remote identification of fluid transients and pipe shell vibrations produced by the interaction with the pipe and with the flow, and transmitted through the conduit. The system performance is a function of the thermodynamic properties of the fluids, that can be mainly separated in liquids, gases, and multiphase mixtures. While liquids are considered incompressible, gases and multiphase mixtures can sustain strong volume variations, thus producing variable flow regimes along the pipeline. We analyze here pressure transients propagation in gas filled pipelines. We have run field test campaigns in many scenarios, at different pressures, with and without flow, also in operational conditions, generating controlled interactions with the infrastructure and collecting vibroacoustic signals using a proprietary system based on real-time monitoring stations placed along the pipeline. We processed the datasets to derive the propagation of pressure transients and the detection distance of source waves with respect to the interference action (leak, impact, etc.). Effects of flow and turbulence of fluids have been also evaluated to validate mathematical models and to calibrate advanced procedures for pipeline monitoring.

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