Acoustic technology for gas distribution pipeline inspection

The latest Call for Innovation seeks potential solutions to a problem area identified by a number of gas distribution networks (GDNs).  This call is intended to identify acoustic technology that can be used to inspect gas distribution pipes whilst in service.


The UK GDNs operate and maintain approximately 300,000km of buried pipeline. Techniques to locate pipe features have improved significantly and operatives no longer automatically undertake excavation work to uncover pipe features. Innovative techniques have been developed to provide detailed identification of pipe features. These techniques produce valuable information in emergency scenarios and give confidence of pipeline geometry and location whilst reducing the excavation impact of operational activities. Although successful at gathering detail and reducing excavation, access is still required to the pipe at relatively short intervals.


The GDNs have noted that technology deployed in other sectors using reflected acoustic waves might also be useful for gas pipe inspection. It is envisaged that the benefits of using these techniques over current inspection methods might include the location of pipe features over an increased survey distance and reduced time to identify in-pipe abnormality locations.


The GDNs understand that other in-pipe ‘acoustic detection’ systems may now be available, although how appropriate they are for use with gas distribution pipelines is unknown.


More information about this opportunity and submission requirements can be found here.


To register initial interest, and request an Initial Proposal Form, please enter your details online or call the Energy Innovation Centre on 0151 348 8040 and quote the reference number GDN-17-08.


Please note, specific EOI forms are created for each individual Call for Innovation and the matching form will be required to progress any submissions.


The closure date for registering initial interest is 9 November 2017.  Please note office open hours are between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.