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Micron Optics - Fiber Optic Sensors Provide Critical Information for Oil and Gas Pipeline Maintenance

Micron Optics Inc., January 29th 2014


Last November, Micron Optics was featured in a presentation at the Pipeline Operations and Maintenance Summit in Dusseldorf, Germany. Colin Cindrich of Weir-Jones Engineering presented a paper titled Implementation of Strain Monitoring Systems for Pipelines wherein he describes the design and implementation of various sensing technologies for strain monitoring in pipelines.  According to the paper, in many areas, pipelines run through hostile environments such as swamps, unstable slopes and river valleys. In these areas soil movement can induce traction forces on the pipeline that cause complex and indeterminate strain changes. These environmental conditions can cause:

• Bending, buckling, ruptures, and degradation of pipelines

• Settlement, compaction, and fraction of soil

Strain sensing during operation allows for continuous monitoring of changes in potentially hostile areas, which leads to mitigation of integrity risks and reduction of maintenance costs.

Of the various different types of strain sensing systems described, Micron Optics’ quasi-distributed approach based on monitoring FBGs was highlighted for its simple cabling architecture (ability to 10’s of gauges on 1 channel) and its moisture resistance.

The figure below shows an example of field data taken using a combination of a Micron Optics si225 interrogator as well as Micron Optics os3110 spot-weld strain gauges. These strain data clearly show the onset of side-bend over stress.

The full Case Study is available here.