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Sensornet has installed its Sentinel distributed temperature sensing (DTS) pipeline leak detection system at National Grid’s LNG facilities on the Isle of Grain, Kent, UK.

The distributed temperature sensing system was positioned along the facility’s importation and recirculation pipeline, and is tied into the National Grid’s emergency shutdown system.

Sensornet’s Sentinel DTS XR-20 will provide a remote monitoring and early warning system in the event of a suspected LNG leak.

The high-performance DTS can detect very fine temperature changes of down to 0.01C at a spatial resolution of 1m over the length of the pipeline.

The system, which conforms to Safety Integrity Level 2 (SIL2), giving 99 per cent availability even when faced with failure scenarios, was a Health and Safety Executive requirement for continuous operation of the plant.

It will relay information on a suspected release of LNG or damage to the leak detection sensing cable to National Grid’s emergency shutdown system within 15 seconds, allowing for closure of the valves along the pipeline.

The location and layout of the pipeline meant alternative leak detection methods based on gas monitors would have been ineffective because the product is liquid.

Top-hat channels were installed over the sensing cable along the 4.5km pipeline to provide stable ambient temperature around sections of the fibre-optic sensing cable.

This is an improvement on other fibre-optic cable installation designs on pipelines above ground.


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