© christian42/Fotolia.com
Leaking gas pipelines are a serious safety risk for oil, petrochemical and gas industries.

We develop imaging methods for gas leak detection.

Leaking gas pipelines are a serious safety risk for the oil, petrochemical and gas industries.

© Karol Sobolewski/Fotolia.com
Gas leaks in large plants can be reliably monitored by remote detection.

Gas leaks in large plants can be monitored reliably by remote detection.

Gas emissions caused by leaks pollute the environment. Sensitive systems for remote gas detection locate leaks from distances of up to 40 meters - for example in biogas plants.

© Fraunhofer IPM
A cloud of gas is visible on the image of the thermography camera. Additional measurements with a laser spectrometer provide information about the type of gas.

Thermographic cameras make gas visible.

The picture of the thermographic camera shows a gas plume. Additional measurements with a laser spectrometer are more gas specific.

Gas leak detection

More safety – Less environmental impact

The infrastructure for natural gas transport is steadily expanding and modernized. Today, the German natural gas network covers a length of more than 500,000 kilometers. Legal requirements regarding the tightness of the gas infrastructure are increasing. In addition to safety, the environmental impact of unnecessary gas emissions has a growing importance for the high demands made on the tightness of the gas network. This also applies to industrial sectors such as the oil, petrochemical and gas industries. Just like gas network operators, they also need effective measuring systems for leak detection, which allow reliable and sensitive remote detection of natural gas or certain process gases

Leakage testing with gas cameras

Fraunhofer IPM is developing sensitive and convenient measurement technology for the quantitative leakage testing of gas infrastructure. The easy-to-use measuring devices facilitate efficient and reliable leakage testing or the location of leaks. Among other things, we use imaging gas cameras in which optics and image processing are adapted to the respective measuring task.

In the development of gas-specific cameras, we draw on extensive experience with measuring systems based on laser spectroscopy, evaluation models and the use of thermographic cameras. Our hand-held laser spectrometers for remote gas detection, for example, allow quantitative leakage evaluation. In the development of our gas-specific leakage measurement systems, we work with lasers of all wavelength ranges. In addition to the detection of methane in the natural gas network, the devices can thus also be used for gas detection in industrial production processes: For example in the packaging and food industry, where it is necessary to monitor the inert gas atmosphere for food storage or packaging.

Our leakage measuring systems for remote detection are used as hand-held systems, but also on mobile platforms, especially on vehicles. In a current project, we are developing a leakage measuring system for use on a drone.

Publicly funded projects in the field of »Gas leak detection«

EU Eurostars

Project »LeakLoQu«

Remote detection of methane by means of laser spectroscopy is becoming increasingly important for gas leak detection. The goal of the project is to make this measurement technique more accurate in order to improve the assessment of the leakage size.

BMBF Civil Security

Project »SORTIE«

In this joint project, Fraunhofer IPM is developing remote gas detection from a drone for use over collapsed infrastructure in order to warn rescue workers of potentially explosive areas.

European Community - Horizon 2020

Project »RedFinch«

In the joint project »RedFinch«, Fraunhofer IPM is developing a miniaturized, portable PAS gas sensor system e.g. for gas leak detection.

EU Eurostars

Project »MEscal«

We develop an energy-efficient, low-cost and stable gas sensor for the qualitative detection of flammable gases such as methane or hydrogen.