What computational methods of leak and theft detection (LDS) are available from Atmos?
Model-based LDS - RTTM (real-time transient model) systems use mathematical models such as conservation of mass, conservation of momentum, and conservation of energy
How do I know what method of LDS is best for my project?
Atmos’ skilled sales team and pipeline engineers can advise you the most suitable method based on pipeline topology and available metering equipment.
Pigging a pipeline affects both the flow and the pressure. How does Atmos Pipe accommodate these changes?
Pigging does introduce changes in the flow and pressure data, it reduces pipeline friction as well. The flow and pressure become more noisy during pigging. Atmos Pipe continues to perform effectively during pigging by increasing the variance (the uncertainty) of the statistical calculations. Leaks will still be detected during pigging but the detection time will be slightly longer.
How does Atmos identify a leak from operational changes such as pipeline slack, transients and line packing?
Atmos systems monitor the flow and pressure in a pipeline and perform pattern recognition to identify operational changes continuously.
The fluid compressibility is included in the volume balance calculations through the use of flow and pressure measurement data. Inventory changes due to fluid compressibility can be represented by pressure variations during most operating conditions.
When pumping into a slack line, the inventory will increase in the line as it packs. Thus, the inlet flow will be greater than the outlet flow. However, the pattern recognition tool will identify that the pipeline pressure is increasing as the line packs.
If a real leak occurs, the Atmos systems will identify the changes in flow and pressure that are unique to a leak. Thus, the pattern recognition tool will confirm it as a leak.
In addition Atmos systems have been proven to be able to detect leaks under severe transient operating conditions e.g. during a pump switch over. This feature has been approved by TUV in Germany and published in a paper at the International Pipeline Conference in 2004.
When the pipelines are shut-in, can Atmos still perform leak detection?
Yes, Atmos systems detect leaks when the pipeline is shut-in as long as at least one pressure measurement is available for the shut-in section.
What fluids can Atmos systems be used for?
Atmos systems have been implemented on more than 70 different types of fluid including:
- Crude oil
- Natural gas
- Aviation fuel, diesel, gasoline
- Chemicals such as ammonia, carbon monoxide, ethylene, chlorine
- LPG and NGL
What is the effect of instrument quality on Atmos systems?
The quality of field instruments for flow and pressure measurements is important for pipeline integrity monitoring. Typically the better the instruments, the higher the performance of the leak detection and simulation system. However, all Atmos systems are robust for instrument errors and failures.
Do Atmos systems require specialist instrumentation?
Atmos systems work with any type of industry standard instrumentation. For the optimal performance some specific instruments may be recommended.
Can additional branches be added to a system once it is installed?
Yes, additional branches can be included to the online system as the field instruments become available. Some of our systems experience continuous expansion as the clients’ needs change. Support for the ongoing changes is always available or the clients may choose to make the required changes themselves.
What is the maximum number of inlet/outlet points that Atmos can handle in one system?
There is no limit in the maximum number of inlet and outlet points. Since a modern computer is powerful enough to handle thousands of signal points from the field, Atmos systems are able to process all these signals within 1 to 10 seconds depending on the sample intervals.
Do Atmos systems work on lines with different pipeline diameters?
Yes. Atmos LDS systems work for pipelines with varying diameters. No change in leak detection performance but some increase in the location error.
Is the performance of a system affected by the pipeline length?
Atmos systems have worked effectively on pipelines between 2 and 1800 kilometers. The performance on each pipeline depends more on the level and quality of instrumentation system than the length. If intermediate pressure measurements are available along a very long pipeline, high performance systems can be delivered.
What certifications and qualifications does Atmos system carry? What trade bodies does it belong to?
ISO 9001 Quality Management
This is the ‘world’s most widely recognized quality management standard'. In order to receive the quality standard, Atmos has proved itself to have implemented clear business processes, a high quality service, and well trained employees in all of the projects that we carry out.
Microsoft Gold Partner
Atmos has achieved Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status for the three consecutive years. Microsoft certified partners are independent companies that supply products and services related to Microsoft. Gold Certified Partner status, the highest membership level, means that Atmos has ‘demonstrated a “best-in-class” ability' to meet the ever changing needs of Microsoft customers within a specific area.
IATA Strategic Partner
International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 240 airlines or 84% of total air traffic. IATA’s mission is to “represent, lead and serve the airline industry”. The partnership ensures that Atmos is constantly abreast of the needs of the industry and continues to develop our aviation solutions in line with the market needs.
Business Associate to the Pipeline Industries Guild
The Pipeline Industries Guild (PIG) is the only association for the pipeline industry to encompass every “engineering discipline, application, [and] qualification” as well as being relevant to all pipeline fluids. The PIG is held in high esteem and is the go-to directory for pipeline solutions. Membership gives Atmos access to an exclusive network of business leaders who are active across the pipeline industry..
What is a leak trial?
A leak trial is an actual fluid withdrawal test for a leak detection system. It requires fluid or gas to be removed from the pipeline thus is a demanding task for the customer. As an alternative, leak tests can be performed with simulated data.
What is the duration of the system's learning period for tuning?
Every pipeline has its own characteristics. To optimize the sensitivity and reliability of each leak detection system, tuning is carried out based on the actual pipeline operational data. The duration of the data collection period depends on the pipeline operating cycle. For example, if a typical cycle is seven days, then one week data would be representative of normal pipeline operations. Atmos experienced engineers perform the tuning and system optimization prior to site installation and commissioning. For most pipelines one month learning period is sufficient.
What are the main milestones of a project installation?
- Kick off meeting
- Functional design specification
- Factory acceptance test
- Site visit
- Data collection
- Site commissioning
- Project completion
- Warranty and maintenance