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Chemical Plant Monitoring Systems

 
 chemical plant monitoring systemOver the past decades, several major industrial accidents (Seveso-Italy-1976, Bhopal-India-1984, AZF-France-2001, and more recently Ajka-Hungary-2010) led the chemical industries handling large quantities of dangerous substances to reinforce the safety of their installations, in compliance with local laws such as Seveso II directive in Europe.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 chemical plant monitoring systemIndeed, chemical and inflammable substances (like ammoniac, chlorine, LPG, Peroxydes, etc.) might be at the origin of toxic gas releases, fires or explosions, which can have severe consequences on the installations as well as on the surroundings (environment and neighbourhood).
 
They must take all measures to reduce the occurrence of such catastrophic events by using safety technical barriers in order to prevent or mitigate any potential danger on their key structures such as pipelines, reactors, storages, transfer lines, etc.
 

Leakages and explosions may have different origins, such as corrosion caused by rain and chemical aggressions, wear, material flaws, shocks, abnormal temperatures, extreme pressures, or excessive deformations caused by movement of the ground.
 
When under pressure, or when a leak is occuring, liquid and gaseous substances generate a hot or cold spot, depending on their physical properties, process and environmental conditions. These local thermal anomalies can be detected by a distributed temperature sensing system with good temperature, spatial and time resolution, such as the Testindo Group's DiTeSt and DiTemp systems.

 

A laser beam is injected in the fiber at a specific wavelength. The light interacts with the silicium in every point of the fiber, and the backscattered light carrying the information about local temperature (Raman effect: DiTemp system) or local strain (Brillouin effect: DiTeSt system) is analyzed by the measurement instrument.

Benefits of the Testindo Group’s Integrated Chemical Structures Monitoring Solutions

1 - State of the art system The Testindo Group’s fiber optic technology allows operators to identify events such as leakages and excessive deformations with a one meter spatial accuracy (virtually having a sensor every meter) over the whole length or surface of the structure to be monitored. Temperature (0.1°C) and strain resolution (0.02 mm/m) allow the system to detect microleakages and microstrains.

 

2 - Continuous monitoring 24/7, with fast response time The system operates continuously and autonomously so you can see your installation in real-time. It provides alerts as soon as an anomaly is detected, in a fast response time (typically 30 seconds), so the operator can take action as soon as a problem occurs.

3 - Prevention and mitigation function The processing detection software allows the configuration of different alarm levels:
 
- An early warning to detect excessive deformation/small leakages for actions such as visual inspection or containment/repair of the leak without any disruption of the operations.
- A safety warning to detect significant leakages for immediate action such as isolation of the leak by closing the appropriate valves.

 

4 - Easy installation, operation and maintenance The fiber optic cable is light and small, making the installation easy. The system is designed for requiring low maintenance operation with only one unique calibration made at the commissioning of the system. During normal operation, recalibration and maintenance assistance are not required. If the system is in fault, immediate support/diagnosis from our offices can be given through a remote connection.
This system may be used in explosion-hazard environments, since the sensor, which is the optical cable itself, has no electrical power.
 
5 - Reliability, availability, testability Redundancy and appropriate system architecture (1002, 2003) can be implemented in order to have a good compromise between availability of operations and reliability of the system, maintaining the safety function in case a “false alarm” occurs. The system is delivered with a self-diagnosis process (for example, to detect any cable rupture or the failure of the instrument), and can be automatically and frequently tested through temperature simulation, for example.

 

6 - Proven concept The fiber optic safety monitoring systems of the Testindo Group have been installed since 2001, and are in operation on many structures around the world (mostly on ammoniac, oil/gas and polluted water pipelines), where the performances and the reliability of the systems can be verified.
 
7 - Reduce economic, environmental, social and image liabilities Leakages can have consequences that go beyond the mere loss of revenues from the operation of the installations. Investing in the prevention of such events helps the acceptance of new projects, reduces insurance costs and promotes the environmenta and social consciousness of both the site owner and operator. Thanks to the early detection and fast containment of leakages, the owner can avoid any catastrophic event, which can soil its reputation, and finally cause the closure of the plant.

 

8 - The Testindo Group: a dependable partner for instrumentation project management The Testindo Group will support the owners in all phases of a project, from system design to installation, commissioning, training & maintenance. Through the experience and commitment of the Testindo Group, any monitoring needs will be met. The Testindo Group has been instrumenting critical structures, including dams and nuclear power plants, for more than 60 years. Its worldwide network of system integrators provides a competent local support for any project. All the systems come with a 10 year warranty on the availability of spare parts.


Solutions
 

The following packages are the most widely used for pipeline monitoring. However, each project has specific requirements and needs that can be addressed by a tailored system. The Testindo Group has developed a 7-step methodology to design and implement an optimal SHM system for any pipeline.

 

 

 

Leakage: Liquid and gas leakage identification and localization

 

 

 

 

Distributed Temperature: Temperature distribution

 

 

 

Local Strain: Strain in critical locations

 

 

 

Distributed Strain: Localization of high-strain areas

 

 

 

Soil Stability: Unstable soil, settlement

 

 

 

Pipe Corrosion: Internal corrosion