New Joint Location and Leak Detection Technologies Coming to Market: Metallic Joint Locator (MJL) and Portable Methane Detector (PMD)

May 14, 2010

Des Plaines, IL

Two new products that will deliver significant operating and maintenance cost savings, enhance safety and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are coming to market this summer.

One of the promising technologies is the Gas Technology Institute (GTI)-patented Metallic Joint Locator (MJL), a user-friendly device that can locate joints in cast-iron gas piping from the ground to minimize excavations. With cast-iron joints often the source for leakage, MJL offers utilities high-accuracy location to perform repair and remediation, potentially through keyhole techniques, with significant cost savings. Given that there are roughly 400 joints per mile of cast-iron mains, even companies with modest amounts of cast-iron can benefit from this new technology. In addition to cast-iron joints, the MJL may be able to find chill rings in welded steel pipe, metallic tapping tees, metallic flanges, and metal repair clamps.

The MJL is wheeled across the ground along the length of the buried pipe to find joints without requiring contact with the pipe. Readings are automatically triggered by an odometer wheel, stored internally, and retrieved via serial link. The technology has been proven to detect cast-iron joints up to a depth of one meter.

Another GTI-patented technology, the Portable Methane Detector (PMD), demonstrates significant market potential, streamlining leak survey and detection operations. The handheld device supports natural gas infrastructure leak surveys using a novel infrared (IR) detection technology and leak pinpointing capability for greater user flexibility and safety. The technology detects a wide range of leaks with specific response to methane from a few parts per million to 100 percent gas for fast leak classification.

"The PMD maintains the accuracy of the widely used detection survey system, Flame Ionization Detector (FID), and significantly lowers operational costs," explains GTI Institute Engineer, Dr. Kiran Kothari. PMD's leak pinpointing capabilities also allow the potential to eliminate the need for Combustible Gas Indicator (CGI).

The two technologies have been licensed to Sensit Technologies—a global leak detection product manufacturer—and will be marketed as the Ultra-Trac MJL and the Sensit PMD. Both products will be commercially available through Sensit Technologies’ representative and distributor network during the second half of the year.

Notes Scott Kleppe, President and COO, Sensit Technologies, "Globally, these two unique products have a tremendous future. They will allow gas company personnel to truly work more effectively and efficiently."

GTI managed the projects and coordinated several successful field demonstrations under the sponsorship of Operations Technology Development (OTD), a not-for-profit company that supports a wide variety of gas-operations-related research and development activities for the benefit of the gas industry and its customers. GTI’s Sustaining Membership Program (SMP) also provided funding support up to proof-of-concept of a MJL prototype.

About Operations Technology Development (OTD)
OTD was established in 2003 as an Illinois not-for-profit company to facilitate voluntarily funded, collaborative research. OTD’s mission is to identify, select, fund, and oversee research projects resulting in innovative solutions and the improved safety, reliability, operational efficiency, and sustainability of gas systems.

For more information contact us.

About Sensit Technologies
Sensit Technologies (formerly J and N Enterprises, Inc.) is a global supplier of innovation, solutions and service for manufacturing gas detection products. Since 1980, Sensit Technologies has been an industry leader by quickly and easily locating the sources of gas leaks and providing accurate measurements of an array of toxic gases.