KenWave - Pipeline Condition Assessment

The KenWave Tonal Pipe Assessment (TPA) technology helps pressure pipe owners save time, money, and resources by supplying information on the actual state of their buried pipes to support smarter asset management decisions. While KenWave’s TPA pipeline condition assessment and leak detection technology does not fix pipes, it does help find what needs fixing or replacing, and can determine what pipelines are in good decision. The TPA data simplifies choosing the solution with the best combination of loss mitigation, life extension, risk minimisation, and cost.

TPA can be deployed on in-service pipes of all standard materials and sizes, and provide the asset owners with detailed and reliable condition and leakage information such as average wall thickness and strength for individual pipe segments or in terms of 8 to 16 m rolling averages. This pipeline condition data is obtained with no service disruption to service, and no risk of damage to the assets.

How does KenWave TPA work?

TPA’s external sonic transducers generate special signals detected by non-invasive multi-parameter sensors, whose outputs are translated into wall-properties and defect location by special algorithms. Using this pipeline condition assessment data helps asset owners optimise their pipeline renewal programs.

What hardware is used for KenWave TPA?

TPA represents the next evolution of leak noise correlators with improved sensor sensitivity and the ability to collect multiple data types simultaneously, all with a focus on safety and ease of use. For example, KenWave’s ultra-sensitive hydrophones sit behind an acoustically transparent impermeable high-pressure membrane so that they never have to enter the fluid column, thereby minimising any contamination risk.

Being an external tool gives TPA the flexibility to be attached to a variety of fittings so that it can inspect almost any water or wastewater pipeline; irrespective of appurtenance spacing or availability. Where fittings, such as valves or hydrants are not available, both the sound source and sensors can be attached directly to the pipe surface through existing access or simple vacuum excavations.

Unlike acoustic leak detection which relies on leaks or flowing hydrants for a sound source TPA uses a tunable valve box, or a sonar, to introduce test signals specific to each diameter and material combination, without any risk of water hammer.

What is the methodology for determining pipeline condition?

By using a physics-based acoustic model of pipes using ground propagation, dynamic loading, and impedance effects, the pipeline condition assessment technology gathers and analyses the sensor data, with special post-processing to handle spurious noise such as from vehicle traffic. Additionally, a thermodilatohydrometer or THD, uniquely allows TPA to correct for the effect of changes in water temperature, pressure, and dissolved gas content on the acoustic dispersion curve.

What pipeline materials and diameters can you assess?

The TPA condition assessment technology can be used to inspect pipelines filled with: potable water, wastewater, process-water, hot water, chilled water or glycol. Unlike other solutions, TPA has been designed for use on non-metallic pipes, and locations where mixed materials may be encountered (such as ductile iron with PVC repairs).  The following table summarises the pipe diameters and materials which TPA can inspect and the type of data it provides.

What are the next steps for using TPA pipeline condition assessment technology?

Aqua Analytics can provide either one-off pipeline inspections of high-risk pipelines or be engaged under longer-term proactive maintenance contracts to assist with capital allocation. Water utilities have limited budgets for asset renewals, and studies have shown that over 95% of buried pipeline are in like-new condition. Therefore, effort must be placed on collecting better ground truth data on pipeline condition to sound asset management decisions can be made.

By utilising the KenWave TPA pipeline condition assessment technology, water utilities are better placed to optimise their scarce budgets in the coming decades of more prudent investment into their ageing water and wastewater networks. Aqua Analytics can be engaged to either provide a turn-key pipeline condition assessment solution that encompasses all project management aspects or can be a service provider under a maintenance contract, where the asset owner or their O&M contractor

If you require pipeline condition assessment in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia or Hong Kong please contact us today.