Picarro natural gas leak detection for PG&E

Cavity ring-down spectroscopy, isotope fingerprinting and GIS in ‘first of its kind’ solution.

Santa Clara, CA-based Picarro has announced a ‘first-of-its-kind’ solution for natural gas pipeline leak detection and measurement, based on its cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) technology. The vehicle-mounted Picarro Surveyor detects methane in the air and alerts users and repair teams in real-time. The technique was demonstrated last month by anchor client, Pacific Gas and Electric, the first utility to deploy the solution. The solution combines ultra-trace methane concentration measurements in air with high-resolution GPS location, a time stamp and wind speed and direction. Methane isotope signatures distinguish leaks from false positives due to naturally occurring methane. Wind speed and direction analysis provides an indication of the likely location of a leak.

Picarro Surveyor includes instrumentation and Picarro’s ‘P-Cubed’ cloud-based processing platform. PG&E executive VP operations Nick Starvropoulos said, ‘This solution will transform leak detection programs by increasing the frequency of leak surveys and reducing false positives, while radically reducing the cost per survey.’ More from Picarro.

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