Beijing Utilizes Leak Noise Sensors to Monitor Pipelines to Olympic Venues

June 25, 2008
City has installed 3,500 Permalog sensors from FCS to monitor pipelines to the city's 2nd Ring Road

To listen for and alert city officials of leaks in their water distribution system, the city of Beijing, China, has installed 3,500 Permalog leak noise sensors from Fluid Conservation Systems (FCS). The FCS products are being used to monitor the pipelines that distribute water to the city’s 2nd Ring Road, which includes Olympic Games venues and Olympic Village facilities.

The Beijing municipal water supply has depended on Permalogs since it first installed 60 of the acoustic sensors in 2000. In 2007, the city upgraded their detection network with more than 3000 additional Permalogs. Besides monitoring the Olympic locations, the Permalogs keep the water systems that supply Tiananmen, Zhongnanhai, Wangfujing and other key regions running efficiently. The Permalog system has already proven itself by helping to prevent pipe bursts and flow problems during other prestigious events held in China such as the Sino-Africa Forum, Spring Festival, the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference sessions.

Deployed throughout a utility’s distribution system, Permalogs attach magnetically to valves and use advanced algorithms to discern the acoustic signature of leaks from background noise. The units “wake up” and listen during the night when ambient noise is at its lowest. If leak noise is detected, the unit reports this information via a two-way radio link, along with the general location of the leak to a mobile unit that can then send a crew to pinpoint and repair the leak.

The use of the Permalog system has enabled the local water authorities to meet China’s national goal of aiding water conservation by dramatically reducing leakage. In addition, the Permalogs’ two-way radio link greatly reduces the time it takes for maintenance crews to investigate areas of the distribution network, which has proven particularly useful in the busy metropolis of Beijing. The Permalog network has prevented serious incidents by allowing engineers to pinpoint leaks in the city’s mostly large, metallic pipes quickly before they grow and endanger the pipes’ integrity.

According to Allied Power Technology, Ltd., FCS’s local distributor, the China National Science Commission and China Academy of Science have listed this project as one of the Key Projects of 2007. Mr. Wang Yaowen, Chief Engineer of Beijing Water Group, said, “The Permalog water network leakage detection system is a leading system in the world. It has already been used in America and Europe for many years, and this project is helping to make Beijing’s water network as advanced as any other city in the world.”

Source: Fluid Conservation Systems, Halma Water Management

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