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Hifi: more machine learning for smarter pipelines

Calgary, where Hifi Engineering are based (via Wikimedia Commons, by Kevin Cappis).
Calgary, where Hifi Engineering are based (via Wikimedia Commons, by Kevin Cappis).

The fibre-optic based leak detection company is introducing an update to better scrutinise pipeline data with machine learning and increased channel capacity. 

The Canadian company announced the update to their high-fidelity dynamics sensing system (HDS) 15 January and with it, hopes to enhance their proprietary fibre-optic leak detection system with a platform that can better handle and process data. The system will use machine learning technology to address multiple aspects of pipeline management, the press release emphasising the ‘highly technical’ application of preventative leak detection. The company has a patent pending for this updated version of the system.

The new development was assisted by the Alberta Centre for Advanced MNT (micro nanotechnology) Products (ACAMP), a body aimed at developing businesses and technology in Alberta that has recently been working on driverless cars.

Hifi introduced installed the first full, ‘macro’ HDS in 2014.  It used fibre optics to sense acoustics, temperature and strain and vibration over a maximum of 50km. The advantage, says the company, is that every centimetre of the pipeline is monitored 24/7.

The enhanced HDS is being used first by Husky Midstream LLP in Alberta, Canada. The system will monitor longer segments of pipeline (over 150km) and shorter ones of ‘high consequence’.

The partnership is made of Husky (35% ownership), and Hong-Kong based companies Power Asset Holding (48.7%) and Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (16.25%). Husky sold its majority in the midstream assets in 2016 to the two companies for a reported C$1.7 billion (€1.11 billion).

According to Reuters, the assets over Alberta and Saskatchewan covered by the LLP are made up of about 1,900 km of pipeline and 4.1 barrels worth of storage capacity.

Founder and CTO of the company, John Hull, said in a statement: “We are very excited to be deploying Hifi’s new HDS technology across pipeline industry installations in Canada and the United States” and added that the new system is designed to move the energy industry towards ‘100% pipeline safety’.

Fluid Handling talked with Hull in its most recent issue, which you can see here.

Calgary, where Hifi Engineering are based (via Wikimedia Commons, by Kevin Cappis).