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USING THE PCM FOR THE SIGNAL ATTENUATION COATING SURVEY, HOLIDAY DETECTION, LEAK POINTS AND TRACING/LOCATING THE PIPELINE

TECHNOLOGY EMPLOYED.

PIPELINE CURRENT MAPPER (PCM)

METHODOLOGY JUDGING CRITERIA

OF

THE

SYSTEM,

DATA

GATHERING

AND

PIPELINE CURRENT MAPPER METHODOLOGY

The PCM system comprises of a transmitter, a receiver, an A frame and a software amongst other accessories. The transmitter output leads are connected to the target pipeline to be surveyed and a suitable earthing, sacrificial anode or ground connection. Before this connection is done the transformer rectifier on the target pipeline is switched off.

The transmitter then injects a signature impressed current unto the target pipeline to be surveyed; this current travels a distance of 30 to 35km on the pipeline. This current produces an electromagnetic field (signal) around the target pipeline. This signal contains the same current magnitude and direction as the impressed current.

From the principle of current/signal attenuation the impressed current naturally attenuates along the pipeline. The integrity of the coating and pipeline determine the rate of current loss along the entire length of the target pipeline. At pipeline sections with poor coating condition the current losses becomes more significant and at areas were a coating fault and corrosive action is present there is a sharp drop in current being sent from the transmitter.

A hand held receiver attached to a magnetometer is used to measure current loss at designated distances along the pipeline route and the measurements are stored in the receiver. The gathered data in the receiver are later uploaded to a PC, the PCM software is then used to analyze the data and present a graphical representation of the pipeline integrity.

During the survey, areas where coating faults occur are precisely and accurately pinpointed using the A- Frame attached to the hand held receiver.

As a result of the effectiveness of the PCM system, pipeline coating integrity surveys can be carried out faster than other methods with better accuracy and fault detection precision. The PCM can be used over road crossings, paved areas and river crossings. Unlike other traditional methods the PCM receiver does not need to touch the pipeline to take readings as the magnetometer picks up the signal from the pipeline above ground and it also measures the depth of the pipeline if desired.

The PCM also shows the integrity of the earthing system provided on the target pipeline. When the PCM is connected to the pipeline, if the earthing is not in good condition a voltage indicator led on the PCM transmitter comes up showing the status of the earthing system which thus prevents current output to the target pipeline.