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Powering Singapore


How do you keep Singapore’s electricity flowing even as its economy and demand for energy continue to grow? Partly by keeping a close eye on the vast low- pressure pipe network (ca. 3000 km) that delivers the country’s natural gas to utilities for power generation and other utilizations.

The researchers from NTU’s EEE have developed a research project to use sensors to monitor Singapore’s underground gas pipeline network and alert operators to the need for repairs or preventive maintenance. This could help to ensure that Singapore continues to have interruption-free power generation.

The project is divided into three parts. Two of them focus on the use of sensors to monitor the temperature of the pipes and the flow-rate and pressure of the gas in the pipes. Any anomalies could indicate leaks, water in the pipes or other problems.

These sensors include distributed temperature sensors, which are optical fibres laid on the pipes’ surface to pick up changes in their temperature profile. The use of different sensors in a comparative manner creates a more robust detection system.

The third project is centred on advanced data analytics that use the sensor data, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and historical data to pinpoint the location of anomalies and equipment parts that are at risk of failure.

“The three projects are linked. The objective is to provide multi-sensor, real-time monitoring of the gas pipeline network, data analytics and preventive maintenance. All of this will help Singapore to enhance the resilience of its pipeline gas supply,” said Prof Abhisek Ukil from NTU EEE, who is leading the two sensor projects. Prof Justin Dauwels from NTU EEE is heading the data analytics research.

The NTU EEE teams will also work with two industry partners: Singapore utility SP PowerGrid - PowerGas, which will provide an underground pipeline test site, and global energy player ENGIE, France.


By Professor Justin Dauwels

Click here to find out more.


Published on: 8-Aug-2017 ​​​​​

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