VLAD program (Valve Leak Acoustic Detection) by FERP is an integral part of the FMP (Flare Minimization Plan) at installations where a flare is located and is specifically aimed at those valves that interact directly with the system that collects them. But the acoustic inspection, which is a DI&M (Directed Inspection & Maintenance) practice, can be directed at any valve in gas and liquid service operating in any area of the plant where it is considered appropriate to carry out a seat tightness check.
The cataloging and inspection approaches are the same as LDAR EPA 453/R95 for fugitive emissions: ESV (Emergency System Vent), ESD (Emergency Shut Down) valves and manual blow down valves are located, counted and entered into a database. Subsequently, they are inspected using a variety of ultrasonic and acoustic emission technologies, customized and integrated for the correct detection, such as Ultrasonic Automatic Detecting System, Airborne Ultrasound and HD Infrared.
Ultrasonic devices use a probe to detect the acoustic signal generated by the pressure fluctuation caused by the fluid leakage between the seat and the stopper, identifying the LEAKAGE THROUGH. In the Oil & Gas sector, Leakage Through contributes significantly to flare COV emissions. The identification and repair of the components that interact with the blow down network, allow a significant economic recovery and a quantifiable reduction of COV and CO2 emissions, within a formalized control plan.
Valve leak acoustic detection is a method of detecting leaks in valves by listening for the sound waves that are produced by the escaping fluid. These sound waves are called acoustic emissions, and they can be detected using a variety of sensors. Acoustic emission leak detection is a non-destructive testing (NDT) method, which means that it does not damage the valve in any way. This makes it a valuable tool for inspecting valves that are in service, as it can be used to detect leaks without having to shut down the system. Acoustic emission leak detection is most effective for detecting leaks that are small or that are located in difficult-to-access areas. It can also be used to detect leaks in a variety of fluids, including gases, liquids, and slurries.
The basic principle of acoustic emission leak detection is that the escaping fluid will create a turbulent flow field. This turbulent flow field will generate sound waves, which can be detected by a sensor that is placed near the valve. The sound waves will be more intense if the leak is larger or if the fluid is flowing at a higher velocity. The sensors that are used for acoustic emission leak detection are typically piezoelectric transducers. These transducers convert the sound waves into electrical signals, which can then be amplified and analyzed. The analysis of the electrical signals can be used to determine the location and size of the leak. Acoustic emission leak detection is a reliable and effective method for detecting leaks in valves. It is a non-destructive testing method, which makes it a valuable tool for inspecting valves that are in service. Acoustic emission leak detection can be used to detect leaks in a variety of fluids and in a variety of locations.
Here are some of the advantages of using acoustic emission leak detection: