Mexican researchers have designed new software that detects leaks in water, gas or oil distribution networks.

Cristina Verde Rodarte, researcher at the Institute of Engineering, from the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM), designed a virtual guard that can immediately detect abnormalities in any type of duct.

The software is called Viviunam and performs logical deductions in real time, which allow you to identify the type of failure and get to the root of the problem.

“The system allows you to cut out the time spent digging or manually searching for the problem throughout the pipeline,” said the researcher, who is also a member of the Academy of Engineering.

The software uses an algorithm to determine how gas, water or oil behaves in the pipeline under normal operating conditions.

This data is then compared with the record of pressure measurements within the pipe and the difference between these measurements would indicate the presence of a leak.

When the results from the mathematical model do not match the automatically recorded measurements an error or an abnormal event is happening, for example the pressure sensor may be disconnected, a leak is present, and an illegal connection or any other disturbance that alters the behaviour of fluids within the pipeline is present.

Verde Rodarte notes that the chemical and oil industries, and general processes involving fluid transport systems should have automatic, safe and efficient monitoring in order to avoid accidents with highly volatile fluids or pollutants that cause a great impact on the environment, damage society and the economy.

Therefore, her proposal is to place the Viviunam system in control distribution networks to report the presence of disturbances and assist in implementing adequate contingency plans.

Investigación y Desarrollo