ABB Leak Detection, Greenhouse Gas Measuring System Can Help Satisfy PIPES Act

Special to P&GJ

HoverGuard can help operators of USA’s three million miles of pipeline infrastructure increase their safety and environmental capabilities in line with the USA 2020 PIPES Act, ABB announced.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the majority of gas shipments in the U.S. take place using the millions of miles of the nation’s pipeline infrastructure. The country’s Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act was signed into law Dec. 27. The act directs gas pipeline operators to use advanced leak detection technologies to protect the environment and pipeline safety.

Detection of odorless and invisible gas leaks can be challenging and expensive. ABB’s latest addition to its ABB Ability Mobile Gas Leak Detection System, HoverGuard, provides a solution by finding leaks faster and more reliably.

HoverGuard is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)-based system that detects, quantifies and maps leaks up to 300 ft from natural gas distribution and transmission pipelines, gathering lines, storage facilities, and other potential sources. It automatically generates comprehensive digital reports that summarize results and can be shared in minutes after a survey.

The cloud-connected, multi-gas solution quantifies the greenhouse gases methane, carbon dioxide and water vapor while flying. Sourcing individual gases also provides important information to scientists and researchers when studying the complex environmental processes affecting climate and pollution.

The high sensitivity of the methane detection through patented cavity enhanced laser absorption spectroscopy allows HoverGuard to detect leaks while flying at altitudes of 130 ft, or higher, and at speeds greater than 55 mph.

“HoverGuard represents an important step-change in gas leak detection both in terms of safety and the environment.” said Doug Baer, ABB Global Product Line Manager of Laser Analyzers.

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