Gas transmission and storage incur a significant part of the methane gas emissions in Europe and there is a need for novel techniques to efficiently detect and quantify these emissions in a cost and time efficient manner. Ultrasound cameras are novel hand-held inspection devices that have been invented in 2013 to detect leaks from any gas type.
They became recently available in ATEX certified version.
Ultrasound cameras detect gas leaks from their acoustic emissions. They combine an optical camera and a microphone array that computes the time differences of arrival of incoming sound waves to pinpoint leak locations. Inspections can be performed at a few meters distance, without requiring contact with the gas, a key advantage compared to traditional gas detection techniques
Acoustic cameras are in addition able to quantify the gas leak rate from the sound strength of leakage sources. The precision of the methane leak rate quantification is discussed. A comparison with other gas localization techniques, including Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) is made. Moreover, the use of ultrasound cameras for gas leak detection in compressor stations and pressure reducing stations is presented.