Cooling Water Systems are essential to the operation of many processes inside the Energy Generation and Refining sectors. They are used in nuclear and coal power plants as well as refineries. Depending on how the electricity is being generated, excess heat from production is exchanged with water, or steam is condensed and fed through pipelines before being re-circulated for reuse, expelled into cooling towers, or fed back into large bodies of water. These pipes are often large in diameter and under high pressures in noisy facilities. The noise level eliminates traditional acoustic leak detection methods. Advanced methods of testing often include internal inspection, or adding a traceable chemical so that a “sniffer” can be used. All of these technologies introduce risk to the system or cause a complete shutdown since they cannot function while the system is in operation.
There is one remote sensing technology that does not require the interruption of operation for systems. Infrared – Energy Pattern Analysis (IR-EPA) is able to detect hot water by measuring the thermal activity at the surface above the pipe. IR-EPA is often complimented with Ground Penetrating Radar to create a 3D model of the affected area so that trenchless repairs can be made, or to help calculate the volume of soil that may need to be remediated. For more information regarding trenchless, remote sensing technologies for Cooling Water System Leak Detection, click on the link below to be directed to the page.