Distributed Temperature Sensing, DTS


SensorTran offers advanced fiber optic-based Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) solutions that provide a significant advancement in the integrity and flow assurance management of pipelines. With the ability to quickly detect  small leak events and monitor the temperature profile along the complete length of pipleines, these solutions provide an affordable, proven, and reliable means for monitoring both short and long transfer lines, as well as plant-wide pipeline distribution networks.  Small leaks along entire lengths of pipelines are detected and located by monitoring small and anomalous local temperature changes and can be readily applied to a wide range of pipeline applications.  For gas lines, the escaping pressurized gas creates a local cold zone on the outer surface of the pipeline due to the Joule-Thomson cooling effect, the temperature change, and its location being detected and measured by the system.  Cryogenic lines such as LNG, LPG, ammonia, ethylene, etc. also create cold zones which can be easily detected when leaks occur.

Lines carrying heated product such as heavy oil, multi-phase products, molten products, heated water, and steam also lend themselves to these integrity monitoring solutions, due to the local temperature increases which occur as the product escapes.

Fiber Deployment

A wide range of robust optical sensing cables are available to suit specific project and installation requirements. Cables can be supplied and installed within an outer stainless steel tube or Steel Wire Armoured (SWA) cable construction to provide excellent mechanical, chemical, and moisture protection while ensuring good thermal conductance to the fibers. Fiber types are selected suitable for duty with coatings designed to meet temperature limits of –196°C to +700°C.

Numerous alternatives exist for the placement of the optical cables dependent upon the specific project requirements and application thermal time constraints. Installation methods are carefully selected to allow maximum flexibility while affording best mechanical protection.  SensorTran offers project management services to assist customer with the design and installation of comprehensive DTS solutions.

Typical deployment techniques include pre-fabricated cable, spooling, or pulling the fiber inside a previously installed dedicated conduit in close proximity to the pipe surface. Such deployment ensures true representation of pipeline heat distribution, independent of external influences

Flow Assurance

The implementation of SensorTran’s advanced fiber optic-based Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) solutions represents a significant advancement in the management of hydrate formation in production flowlines.  Distributed Temperature Sensing provides an affordable, proven, and reliable solution for the management of minimized chemical injection and pigging operations and monitoring of heating control and insulation integrity.  In addition, DTS systems are perfectly suited for distributed temperature maintenance, heat distribution management, MEG injection, and hydrate control. In summary, DTS systems deployed on heated pipelines provide:
  • Access to positional temperature data to allow for identification of local events for exacting temperature control with no prior knowledge of performance characteristics
  • Data for optimization and control of heating systems  
  • Minimization of expensive pigging and chemical injection processes
  • Identification and tracking of developing and potentially undesirable local temperature events
  • Temperature data for monitoring pipeline structure, heating and insulation integrity
  • Accurate identification of temperature anomalies describing possible hydrate formation zones.

Pipeline Flow Assurance Applications — Download PDF
Pipeline Leak Detection Applications — Download PDF

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