Real-time leak detection on short liquid pipelines is challenging due to system fluctuations of a few seconds or less. This presentation reviews a leak detection system for short liquid lines involving rapid pressure and flow sensors at pipeline ends, coupled with a fast simulator based on water hammer principles, implemented computationally by the Method of Characteristics (MOC). The effect of data fidelity and sampling rates on leak identification – magnitude and location – is studied to specify appropriate instrumentation. Leak detection performance is evaluated by means of in-house laboratory experiments, scaled to represent commercial liquid ammonia pipelines.

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