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ePULSE Diagnostic - Leading optimization tool for renewing pipe networks

24/01/2017

World leader in integrated pipeline solutions, Saint-Gobain PAM unveiled, in a European partnership with Canada’s Echologics®, A Mueller Technologies Company, ePULSE Diagnostic, a new optimisation service for renewing pipe networks.  This exclusive, non-invasive system is based on acoustic measurements to assess, without service interruption, the health of pipework by calculating the residual thickness of the pipes.

50% of France’s pipes pre-date 1972!

It is calculated that between 20 and 30% of the drinking water is lost in nature.  Network age, soil type, water hammer, excessive pressure or even road traffic vibrations are all factors that can severely damage pipes and cause leaks in installations.  Apart from these losses, both in regards to the precious natural resource and the money invested to treat it, these malfunctions can also constitute a real danger to public health.

The administrators and operators of water systems are required to establish an accurate status of their pipe networks, set targets to reduce leakage rate and devise renewal plans necessary to reduce leaks to a maximum (Decree No 2012-97 of 02.27.2012).  However, these initiatives are currently based on indicators such as wear rate and the frequency of leaks, in addition to the age, type and diameter of the pipes, resulting in a significant margin of error, which leads to unsubstantiated decisions.

Saint-Gobain PAM has joined forces with Echologics, A Mueller Technologies Company leader in acoustic technology, to offer communities and operators a unique diagnostic aid service for old underground cast iron pipes.  Using a non-invasive method, this system allows maintenance or renewal programs to be targeted and prioritized, with no excavation works, so as to better anticipate and distribute renewal budgets.

ePULSE Diagnostic | User Guide for a French first

Saint-Gobain PAM selected acoustics experts to complement its service offer and thus provide a complete solution ranging from the design of the networks to their maintenance.

Listening to pipes, the ePULSE Diagnostic technology.

Measurements are made every 100 to 200 meters by a low-frequency acoustic signal, emitted into the pipe under pressure.  Depending on the rigidity of the wall, and therefore its condition, the signal changes.  It is measured by sensors connected to existing contact points, such as fire hydrants, valves or directly on the pipe.

Calculation of the thickness of ductile iron
Caption: 
Sensors installed at network entry points (fire hydrants, surface box, valve chambers, etc.) and connected to an acoustic correlator on a computer.

Estimating their thickness, Echologics expertise 

Thanks to these measurements, the thickness of the walls can be deduced: in fact, by computer processing the signal, the residual thickness of the section tested can be calculated, thanks to the patented ePULSE algorithm.  It is by cross checking this information with the original characteristics of the pipe that the Echologics teams can assess the average thinning of the section analyzed.

Renewal planning, the experience of a leader 

Saint-Gobain PAM uses its experience and knowledge of the performance of pipes and their coating in contact with soil and water in order to assess the remaining life of pipes and thus facilitate decision-making by targeting the sections that require priority treatment.

Accelerating the improvement of network performance

Saint-Gobain PAM has a method that provides improved network performance and better control of investments.  This French Company now offers a non-invasive service, easy to implement with no disruption for the consumer.

Images

ePulse Diagnostic
ePulse Diagnostic
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Calculation of the thickness of cast iron from the data transmitted by the sensors ePulse Diagnostic
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Installing ePulse sensors Diagnostic and sending the acoustic signal

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