American Gas - May 2010 - (Page 26)
technology updates & advances
Technology for a Better Tomorrow
Pipeline integrity and DImP are just two of the drivers propelling technological advances today.
The RD&D oRganizaTion nYSeaRCh, a sub-organization of the northeast gas association, has been serving utilities in north america as a voluntary research and technology program since 1996. nYSeaRCh member companies determine the organization’s research emphasis, and in recent years, they have leveraged their R&D dollars toward finding technological responses to several key business drivers for the natural gas industry: 1) regulations regarding pipeline integrity inspection, 2) distribution integrity management with a focus on damage prevention, 3) increased diversity in gas supply and the changes resulting from varying gas compositions, and 4) increased emphasis and need to develop tools/technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (ghg).
Following are several samples from the nYseArcH research portfolio that address these challenges and demonstrate the innovation occurring within the natural gas industry today.
Priority No. 1: Pipeline Integrity
in a consortium led by nYseArcH—and with co-funding from the U.s. Department of energy’s national energy Technology Laboratory, the U.s. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous materials safety Administration (DOT/PHmsA) and Operations Technology Development—the explorer ii inspection platform to inspect un-piggable pipes sized for 6- and 8-inch diameters and for pressures up to 750 psi currently is undergoing final pre-commercial field deployments. The commercializer, invodane engineering, is ramping up commercial service offerings for the latter half of 2010. This unique technology solution has been successfully tested on live pipelines and can provide inspection from one excavation over several thousand feet. it can negotiate backto-back bends, vertical climbs and other obstacles common to utility-owned distribution and transmission pipe. With its ability to be controlled from above the line and to crawl untethered through the pipe on its own accord, it can provide inspection capabilities that are not currently available. explorer ii uses sensing technology to provide inspection data at resolutions equivalent to traditional in-line inspection technology. in 2011, additional robotic inspection capabilities will be added for pipes sized at 20 through 26 inches and subsequently for 10- to 18-inch diameters. in addition to evaluation of various technologies that have been adapted from other applications to address cased pipe, nYseArcH has worked with ULc robotics to develop a new annular space inspection camera that can provide visual inspection data for the outside of the
DAPHNE D’ZURKO is executive
The explorer II robotic platform (upper right) further demonstrated its readiness for commercialization during recent live field testing shown here at National Fuel Gas. This inspection platform for un-piggable pipes is currently sized for 6- and 8-inch pipe diameters for pressures up to 750 psi.
director of NYSEARCH and vice president, RD&D, for the Northeast Gas Association.
Photos courtesy of NyseArch
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Gas - May 2010
American Gas - May 2010
In the Know
To Be the Best
Priority No. 1: Safety
A Return to Firm Financial Footing
Places to Be
Facts on Gas
American Gas - May 2010