Sensornet Installs Leak Detection System at UK LNG Facilities

Sensornet, provider of the world's most advanced optical monitoring solutions, has successfully 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 in to 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 0.01 degrees C at a spatial resolution of 1 meter over the length of the pipeline.

The system, which conforms to Safety Integrity Level 2 (SIL2), giving 99% 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 Shut Down 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 fiber optic sensing cable. This is an improvement over other alternative fiber optic cable installation designs on pipelines above ground.

Jerry Worsley, Vice President Downstream Process, Sensornet said, "The successful installation of the DTS system on the Isle of Grain LNG facility once again highlights our technical capabilities in this field. National Grid and the HSE presented Sensornet with a challenge -- install the leak detection system on the existing pipe infrastructure within very tight timescales. We worked closely with the client to ensure the system was installed with no operational effect to the site."

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