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Real time water pipes leak detection using electromagnetic waves for the water industry

Goh, J H (2011) Real time water pipes leak detection using electromagnetic waves for the water industry. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

This project concerns the use of an electromagnetic sensor for the detection of leaks/cracks in water pipes. As old metal pipes corrode they start to become brittle, resulting in the potential for cracks to appear in the pipes. In addition corrosion can build up resulting in a restricted flow of water in the pipe. Using an electromagnetic (EM) wave sensor to monitor the signal reflected from the pipes in real time, provides the necessary information to determine where a leak in the pipe has occurred. Analysis of the reflected signal can provide the operator with information about the condition and position of a leak within the pipe. This is the first time research has been carried using EM waves for leak detection in water pipelines. This project involves the design and construction of an EM sensor operating at frequencies in the range of 240MHz to 560MHz, and at a power of OdBm. The sensor is launched into the water pipeline through any existing hydrant and is moved along the pipeline to check for leaks. The simulation software High Frequency Structure Simulator (HFSS) was used to model the pipe section as a circular waveguide cavity, and also for antenna simulation. The monopole and loop antenna were designed to determine the best antenna for this project. The printed circuit board (PCB) design package Eagle was used to provide the surface mount layout for the sensor, and the PCB board was fabricated by using a computer numerical control (CNC) routing machine. Finally the graphical interface package LabVIEW was used to control the frequency sweep for the sensor and to capture the data from the sensor. Based on the findings of this project, the EM wave sensor could be used to determine a leak up to a 0.9 correlation limit using low cost RF electronic devices.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering
Divisions: Electronics and Electrical Engineering
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2017 12:39
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2017 12:39
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6013

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