While the presence of stationary beds is generally regarded as an undesired operating condition, the recent monitoring of industrial pipelines with novel instrumentation has now revealed that beds indeed repeatedly developed under certain operating conditions. The smaller beds depleted routinely after process conditions returned to normal. However, as soon as bed heights increased beyond a certain value, pressures and flow rates were insufficient to prevent subsequent pipeline blockages.
This novel instrumentation is now being further enhanced in two ways. Firstly, additional sensors are mounted along the circumference of the pipe so that the actual bed height can be provided as a percentage of the pipe diameter and be used as a single parameter for bed control. Secondly, multiples of these sensor sets can be installed at key locations along the pipeline where settlement is expected. The results from all sensor sets are integrated online for visualisation to provide an instant overview of the actual bed conditions to the operator. In this way the pipeline can intentionally be operated safely with a known bed height. The effects of interventions deployed to change the bed height are immediately available for responsive process control. Based on the experiences from recent field work, the paper concludes with an assessment of trade-offs which were necessary to design a reliable wireless sensor network.
Keywords: stationary bed control, online visualisation, wireless pipeline monitoring
Ilgner, H & Kruger, C 2018, 'Non-invasive sensor network to map stationary bed heights and moving dunes along pipelines larger than NB150', in RJ Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Proceedings of the 21st International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 139-154.
Bontha, JR, Adkins, HE, Denslow, KM, Jenks JJ, Burns, CA, Schonewill, PP & Wilcox, WA 2010, Test Loop Demonstration and Evaluation of Slurry Transfer Line Critical Velocity Measurement Instruments, PNNL-Report 19441 Rev 0, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland.
Ercolani, D, Ferrini, F & Arrigori, V 1979, ‘Electric and thermic probes for measuring the limit deposition velocity’, in HS Stephens (ed.), Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Hydraulic Transport of Solids in Pipes, BHR Group, Cranfield, pp. 27–42.
Goosen, P, Ilgner HJ & Dumbu, S 2011, ‘Settlement in backfill pipelines: its causes and a novel online detection method’,
in HG Ilgner (ed.), Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Mining with Backfill, The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Johannesburg, pp. 187–195.
Ilgner, HJ 2005, ‘Advances in the race between paste and other backfill types’, in RJ Jewell and S Barrera (eds), Proceedings of the International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Addendum to the Seminar Proceedings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 39–58.
Ilgner, HJ 2014, ‘Novel instrumentation to detect sliding and erratic bed load motion’, Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Hydrotransport, BHR Group, Cranfield, pp. 163–178.
Ilgner, HJ 2016, ‘Detection of bed height for settling slurries’, Proceedings of the 10th North American Conference on Multiphase Flow, BHR Group, Cranfield, pp. 117–131.
Ilgner, HJ 2017, ‘Non-invasive detection of sedimentation and its removal in industrial pipelines’, Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Transportation & Sedimentation of Solid Particles, Institute of Hydrodynamics CAS, Prague,
Ilgner, HJ, Brink, VZ & Brink, S, 2015, ‘From data mining to decision making in the South African mining industry’, in P Perna (ed.), Proceedings of the 15th Industrial Conference on Data Mining, Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 71–82.
Ilgner, HJ & Pienaar, S 2016, ‘Implementing a compact data format for Bluetooth and 3G communication to monitor remote pipelines’, Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Advances in Computing and Communication Engineering, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, New Jersey, pp. 45–50.
Kalvoda, P 2015, Implementation and Evaluation of the CBOR protocol, bachelor thesis, Charles University, Prague.
Kazanskij, IB 1979, ‘Critical velocity of depositions for fine slurries – new results’, Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Hydraulic Transport of Solids in Pipes, BHR Group, Cranfield, pp. 43–56.
Nixon, M 2012, A Comparison of WirelessHART™ and ISA100.11a, Emerson Process Equipment, Round Rock.
Romanet, T, Volle, J & Reber JD 2005, Method and Device for Detecting Deposit in A Conduit, US Patent 6 886 393 B1.
Schreib, SF 1984, Ultrasensitive Apparatus and Method for Detecting Changes in Fluid Flow Conditions in Relief Flow Lines Associated With a Chemical or Refinery Complex, US Patent 4 434 418.