Leak detection is a crucial part of many industrial processes that use tanks and vessels to store pressurized gases and liquids. These leaks can be dangerous to workers and pose a threat to the environment if not dealt with promptly.
Luckily, plenty of Leak Detection Atlanta tools can help identify hidden leaks without the need for costly excavation of property. Here are some of the most commonly used leak detection methods:
Aside from the friendly skies being infiltrated by weekend radio-control enthusiasts, commercial drones have become useful tools for industries like photography, media, environmental management, and security surveillance. Their ability to fly overhead and capture high-resolution images quickly and accurately has made them a vital tool for many organizations. For example, in the case of industrial sites, drones can quickly spot issues that are difficult or dangerous for workers to access on the ground.
This includes areas of a facility that are off-limits to employees, such as the top of an oil pipeline or a hazardous chemical storage area. The drones can fly over the areas, capturing high-resolution videos and photos of the entire site that help technicians identify problems.
In addition to visual data, the drones can also pick up on sound frequencies, allowing them to detect the distinct noise of water escaping from a pipe under pressure – reverberating in the air as it hisses or whooshes. The drones can then pinpoint the exact location of the leak, enabling technicians to respond immediately.
Using drones for gas leak detection is a powerful way to protect the environment and workers, as it allows technicians to pinpoint the source of the problem without having to enter a potentially hazardous or off-limits area. The drones can fly over large areas quickly, detecting even small temperature changes that could be a sign of a leak.
Some drones are equipped with advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) systems that process the data captured by sensors and cameras. These AI systems can use deep learning algorithms to analyze the data and pinpoint potential threats, such as a leak. This is particularly helpful for large enterprises that need to monitor and inspect a wide area of land, such as global companies that operate multiple locations worldwide.
Drones can also be used for a variety of other applications, such as tracking water quality or assessing wastewater treatment plants’ efficacy. These systems can deliver real-time insights to plant managers and improve efficiency, as well as reduce costs by avoiding the need for manual inspections. In the case of water testing, the drones can provide results within hours, compared to traditional methods that can take weeks.
LiDAR uses pulses of laser light to create a map of objects in its environment. The pulses are reflected off of the ground or other surfaces and then returned to the sensor, which records the elapsed time between the emission and receipt of the signal. The resulting data set, known as a point cloud, is a 3D representation of the environment that can be used for various analyses and mapping purposes.
Depending on the system, the data can be analyzed and processed to extract features like ground surfaces, buildings, or trees. Additional information can be stored with each laser return such as intensity, number of returns, a point classification value (e.g., ground, vegetation), RGB (red, green, and blue) values, GPS time, scan angle, and scan direction. The data can then be transformed into a LAS file, an industry-standard data format for three-dimensional x, y, and z positional points.
Most traditional linear LiDAR systems have a swath width of 3,300 ft. However, new technologies are allowing these systems to scan much wider footprints. LiDARs based on solid-state technology can deliver a swath width of 16,000 ft or more.
The higher-resolution capabilities of these new LiDARs are enabling them to be used in more applications, including for detecting leaks in underground infrastructure. Using the reflected light from these scanners, technicians can get a better idea of what the conditions are like underground, which will help them determine the best course of action to take to address a leak or potential leak.
Archaeologists are also relying on this technology to unearth old and mysterious sites. The extraordinary detail that these scanners provide allows them to create detailed models of ancient cities that would have been impossible without the use of LiDAR.
These tools can save time and money by reducing the need for manual surveys and inspections, which can be a major headache for project managers. For example, the ability to perform insurance claim assessment, one of the most expensive and labor-intensive parts of an insurance job, in a matter of minutes means that companies can offer lower, more accurate quotes to their customers.
Infrared cameras detect emitted or reflected thermal energy, rather than visible light. They’re commonly used for night vision, heat detection, and quality control in various industries.
An infrared camera works by converting thermal radiation into an electronic signal, and then displaying it as a color picture of the scene. Each pixel in the sensor array responds to the temperature of the object it’s looking at and then transmits the result to the camera processor. The processor then translates each signal into a matrix of colors, each representing a different temperature value. The image is then displayed on the camera’s screen, with warmer objects showing up as brighter colors and cooler ones appearing as darker colors.
IR cameras can be incredibly useful for spotting leaks in the field, but they must be properly set up to function correctly. Inspectors need to calibrate them for the specific environment, and they must learn how to read the images that they produce. The temperature information is not always as clear and straightforward as it might seem at first glance.
A properly calibrated IR camera can help reduce the number of inspections needed to find leaks, which can cut operating costs. Moreover, it can prevent water damage that may require costly repairs and lead to mold or mildew growth. Infrared cameras can also be used to spot air leaks, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.
While there are many different IR cameras on the market, not all are created equal. Some are equipped with cooled detectors that allow them to capture very high-resolution images. These cameras are often more expensive, but they can be useful for specialized applications that require extreme sensitivity.
For example, a petrochemical plant can use an IR camera to identify leaks in piping and flange connections. This preventative maintenance solution can help to reduce emissions and improve productivity.
A good IR camera will also feature a visible light camera, which can be used to correlate a problem area with the infrared image of that area. For instance, an IR-Fusion technology blends a standard digital image with an infrared thermal image, which makes it easier for technicians to identify problems and locate them within the corresponding thermal image.
Moisture meters are useful tools for locating water leaks in walls and floors. They work by sending out an electrical current and measuring the impedance of the material. This allows the meter to detect moisture levels within a wall or floor, even if the surface looks dry. Many moisture meters are designed to be used with specific types of materials, including wood, drywall, and concrete. They have different settings that allow them to take a reading in the desired material and provide results within seconds. Before using a moisture meter, it’s important to calibrate it to make sure it is working properly. Many models have a calibration button that helps to do this. You should also test the meter with a piece of dry material to make sure it is giving accurate readings.
Moisture meter accuracy is one of the most important considerations when choosing a meter to use on job sites. DIYers and professionals alike look for units that are highly accurate and provide a quick, easy-to-read reading on the display screen. The best options are backed by an excellent track record and will hold up well to regular use.
To get the most accurate moisture meter reading, make sure the probe is pressed firmly into the surface of the material being tested. The meter will normally give you a result within 30 to 60 seconds. If the results are not what you expect, it’s a good idea to remove the probe, wipe down the sensor pad, and try again in a new location.
It’s also important to remember that no moisture meter can accurately report the moisture content of grain in all circumstances. For example, moisture meters used on corn and soybeans are often tested against the official oven drying method. Hurburgh et al. examined several commercial moisture meters and found that they had a coefficient of variation (CV) between 2.5% and 4.2% for corn, with precision decreasing as the moisture content increased.
Moisture meters are commonly used by home inspectors, property managers, and builders to identify potential problems with moisture damage in buildings or structures. They are also used by woodworkers to ensure that their materials are as dry as possible.