Loughborough University
Thesis-2008-Pal.pdf (32.31 MB)

Leak detection and location in polyethylene pipes

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posted on 2014-07-10, 14:42 authored by Maninder Pal
This thesis is focused on the application of cross-correlation technique for leak detection and location in medium density polyethylene (MDPE) pipes. A leaking water pipe generates noise that depends primarily on water pressure, pipe characteristics and the leak size and shape. This noise, commonly called leak signals, can be used for the purpose of leak detection and leak location in MDPE pipes. A correlation technique is typically employed to detect, position and characterise these water leaks and is proved to be very efficient for metallic pipes. However, the same is not true for MDPE pipes where the attenuation rate with distance of the leak/source signal is very high, and the generated leak signals are of low frequency and narrow bandwidth. In order to locate leak with good accuracy in MDPE pipes, the correlation process relies on the estimation of speed of leak signals in water/pipe and the time delay between leak signals measured at two locations. For time delay estimation, a correlation function is used. Its accuracy depends upon the sharpness of the correlation peak, type and positioning of sensor, and the processing of signals obtained, which in turn further depends upon the characteristics of leak signals. In MDPE pipes, leak signals are of low frequency and narrow bandwidth; however, their frequency response is not well characterised. Therefore, this thesis presents an analytical model to explain the acoustic characteristics of leak signals in MDPE pipes. The model is used to study the effects of the cut-off frequencies of low, high and band pass digital filters and the selection of acoustic/vibration sensors for the correlation technique. It detailed the importance of the cut-off frequency of the high pass filter and the insensitivity of the correlation function to the cut off frequency of the low pass filter... cont'd.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


© Maninder Pal

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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