Implementation of an Improved Leak Detection Technique in a Pipeline System using Flow Induced Vibration-Based Wireless Sensor Network

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Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.


This paper describes an experimental study of non-invasive leak detection technique using Micro Electro Mechanical System-based WSN in a multi-hop environment. An outdoor testbed of dimension 21m by 18m made up of fifteen (15) PVC pressure pipes of 2 inches diameter was set up; six (6) Valves (V1toV6) installed at each joint of the network. The six (6) pieces of custom built acceleration-based sensor nodes were attached few meters away from the Valves to sense, process and transmit data to the sink node which forwards the collated packet to the base station. In the monitored pipeline network, leak or rupture was found to correspond to an increased pipeline surface acceleration (measured in g-force). The difference in acceleration data collated from each network joint shows that the acceleration of water flow in a pipeline network tends to be higher in a sloppy area. Non water-flow and water-flow conditions for closed, half and full-open valves condition were considered and graphical plots of acceleration data with time indicating the presence of rupture along the pipeline were presented.



WSN, Pipeline Operations, Leak Detection, Testbed