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IoT for improving chemical plants and natural gas infrastructure
Leaks occurring in chemical plants or natural gas infrastructure pose a serious safety risk as evidenced by numerous fatalities each year. These incidents also cost the operators dearly in terms of damage to their finances and image as well as the environment. Because of the lack of suitable gas detection equipment, it is difficult to provide hard data regarding the actual global damage but current research estimates the loss at at least 30 billion USD per year.
The main reason for hidden or unknown gas leaks is the lack of a suitable gas detection technology that can provide reliable data at an acceptable overall cost. Today companies still have to send out personnel to check crucial points of a chemical plant or pipeline using bulky, expensive equipment.
The project intends to prove the feasibility of using low-cost, reliable methane gas sensor nodes to monitor industrial sites by using WoePal’s wireless sensor network technologies. Based on the network data a 3D mapping of gas concentrations and leakage localization shall become possible. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating a low-cost, reliable sensor node by WoePal GmbH while maintaining at least equal performance as compared to currently used bulky equipment, which costs at least 1000 € but generally considerably more. Via wide-area distribution of the sensor nodes temporarily and spatially resolved monitoring of the gas concentration shall be achieved. The integration of IoT technologies including big data analysis, industrial process involving methane may be comprehensively monitored for the first time. Using IoT technologies will allow to detect and localize gas leaks from chemical plants and natural gas infrastructure, assess the performance of currently deployed gas infrastructure equipment and use big data to detect weak spots, which may in turn be used to quickly develop next generation products featuring improved performance at lower cost. As such IoT4gas will enable innovative business models and prove the economic feasibility of using IoT in the chemical plant/natural gas sector.
Figure 1: Using WoePal’s low-cost, yet reliable gas sensing technology in combination with wide area networks a comprehensive monitoring of industrial sites becomes feasible.
(IoT4industry funding): 37 000 €
Project end date
Using WoePal’s low-cost, low-power consuming infrared gas detection technology the IoT4Gas project has demonstrated the feasibility to design and deploy wireless, wide area gas sensor networks for real time methane concentration monitoring to enable leak detection. Using the LoRa protocol a network of sensors that specifically detect methane has been built and tested. The battery-operated sensor nodes additionally provide data on temperature, humidity, and pressure to provide comprehensive information of environmental conditions.
"Definitely this technology will allow to increase competitiveness with our clients. We are going to collaborate with the companies that have developed this solution to scale it to commercial level and that we can increase our portfolio of European clients based on its innovative nature."
AMPER Group, Spain
|Logo / Website||Name||Type||Country||Region|
|Sensing and Control S.L.||SME||Spain||ES5|
Vertical sector addressed
- Chemicals, Plastics & Rubber
Industrial application addressed
- Monitoring & control
- Safety & security
- IoT & wearables