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Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering

Print version ISSN 0104-6632On-line version ISSN 1678-4383


SOUZA, A.L.; CRUZ, S.L.  and  PEREIRA, J.F.R.. Leak detection in pipelines through spectral analysis of pressure signals. Braz. J. Chem. Eng. [online]. 2000, vol.17, n.4-7, pp.557-564. ISSN 0104-6632.

The development and test of a technique for leak detection in pipelines is presented. The technique is based on the spectral analysis of pressure signals measured in pipeline sections where the formation of stationary waves is favoured, allowing leakage detection during the start/stop of pumps. Experimental tests were performed in a 1250 m long pipeline for various operational conditions of the pipeline (liquid flow rate and leakage configuration). Pressure transients were obtained by four transducers connected to a PC computer. The obtained results show that the spectral analysis of pressure transients, together with the knowledge of reflection points provide a simple and efficient way of identifying leaks during the start/stop of pumps in pipelines.

Keywords : leak detection; pressure wave propagation; spectral analysis.

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