The Transitgas pipeline is 292 km long and transports natural gas mostly from the Netherlands and from Norway to Italy. The 48” pipeline crosses central Switzerland and the Alps and continues towards the south. After having crossed most of the Alps, it arrives at the Gries Massif, where it reaches Italian territory in a tunnel at an elevation of 2400 m. With its capacity for transporting, the pipeline is a key component of the European natural gas system and transports almost 15% of all imported gas into Italy.
The pipe crosses an unstable area in Berner Oberland that would threaten the security of the gas supply. In 2010 the pipeline was severely affected by mudflows, with the interruption of gas transportation. To resume and ensure the service the pipeline needed to be rerouted and monitored. A total of 36 MuST fiber optic sensors from Smartec were bonded onto critical points along 500 meters of pipe crossing to assuring a continuous and automatic monitoring of the pipe along its critical sections. The pipeline crosses the Aare River and the crossing is still interesting from mudflow and a lot of material could be moved downstream with the pipeline. All the data coming from the various monitored sections are sent via the remote control system to be processed at the remote control center 70 km from the site and an overview of the state and behavior of the pipeline can be viewed on different screens. The software can trigger alerts (SMS, mail, or phone call) and show warnings on the display when strain and tension parameters in the pipe are exceeding the preset alarm thresholds. As such, the pipeline is controlled and the pipeline operator can monitor its integrity thanks to reliable information on the actual behavior of the pipe and so take supported decisions and prevent costly pipeline shutdowns.
Aim of monitoring:
Pipeline strain monitoring to assure a continuous and automatic monitoring of the pipe along its critical sections. The pipeline crosses the Aare River and the crossing is interesting from mudflow and a lot of material could be moved downstream with the pipeline.
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