Efficient Plant February 2020 - 25

feature | solution focus
soap and water that the leak was fixed."
The soap-and-water method works,
but slowly, and it requires a lot of
cleanup to prevent slipping hazards.
The company also tried using ultrasonic
parabolic discs connected to headphones to try to find leaks, but without
much success. Technicians couldn't
get close enough to the equipment to
determine the exact leak location. In
addition, traditional ultrasonic leak
detectors detect only very highfrequency leaks and air leaks occur
in many frequency ranges.

Compressor activity before leak repair
400
300
200
100
0
Compressor #1

Compressor #2

Compressor #3

Compressor #4

Before testing with the ii900 imager, the 90-hp compressor (#4) was working full time (shown in red) and air
was working at maximum capacity during peak times.

SEEING AIR LEAKS
Genie tried a new leak-detection technology
that includes an array of tiny super-sensitive
microphones. The Fluke ii900 sonic industrial
imager not only detects sounds in the human
hearing range (2 to 20,000 Hz) and the ultrasonic range (20,000 Hz and higher), but also
presents those sounds visually on screen. The
imager applies proprietary algorithms to determine the location of a leak. According to Javier
Irazola, Global Product Manager for Industrial
Imaging at Fluke Corp., Everett, WA (fluke.
com), the results produce a color SoundMap
image superimposed over a visible-light image
of the equipment to show the user the exact leak
location. The user views the results on a 7-in.
LCD screen as a still image or a real-time video.
"Being able to visualize where the problem
is, and how big it is, adds another dimension,"

said Stockert. "You can identify which threads,
fitting, or hose is affected. Being able to pinpoint
where the leak is coming from on that image is
extremely exciting. You can see different angles
and determine 'Yep, it's these threads versus that
hose that feeds this fitting.'"

SAVING TIME, STAYING SAFE
"It takes me all of 30 seconds to a minute to
find an air leak," explained Stockert. "Some days
we can find and repair 30 or 40 leaks in just a
couple hours."
Beyond making leak detection faster and
easier, the imager also makes it safer and more
compatible for use during normal business
operations. No messy soap and water to use
or clean up, and the sonic imager can be used
to test for leaks during production without
disrupting operations or putting technicians in

'Being able
to visualize
where the
problem is,
and how big
it is, adds
another
dimension.'

Before and after compressor performance
Compressor #1 (75 hp)

Compressor #2 (75 hp)

Compressor #3 (90 hp)

Compressor #4 (90 hp)

Total

Week before

7,954 kWh

2,849 kWh

8,502 kWh

13,818 kWh

33,124 kWh

Week after

10,913 kWh

5, 513 kWh

6, 779 kWh

1,418 kWh

24,623 kWh

Difference

2,959 kWh

2, 664 kWh

(1,772) kWh

(12,400) kWh

Power/energy log

The table shows the impact on Genie's four compressors after leaks were detected and repaired.

FEBRUARY 2020

EP2002fsolfocus.indd 25

EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM |

25

1/28/20 5:55 PM


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Efficient Plant February 2020

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