Research and development projects
Water Pipe Condition Assessment based on Acoustic Resonance Technology (WaPiCA)
EU – Eco Innovation Funding
In October 2012 BIT was awarded EU funding under the Eco Innovation Programme (see CIP Eco-innovation website: http://ec.europa.eu/ecoinnovation) supporting internationalisation of BIT inspection services in the EU.
The WaPiCA project aims to replicate the BIT technology and deploy it in the European market. Two Inspection Units will be developed and deployed – one is planned for the UK (covering England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and Northern Ireland) and the other in Central Europe (covering Germany, Austria, France, Be-Ne-Lux, Italy and possibly other countries).
Eco – Innovative aspects
Seen from BIT’s customers – the utilities, the challenges associated with maintenance and rehabilitation of water distribution infrastructure may be summarised as follows:
- Old or ageing distribution infrastructure
- Pipeline failures such as:
- Leakage: non-revenue water, contamination risk
- Breaks: delivery security, costly damages
- Expensive repairs
- Low rehabilitation rate
- Insufficient information on pipeline condition
- Inefficient rehabilitation
- No quantification of probability in risk analysis
- Shortage of human and financial resources
- Apart from pipe scanning no methods for assessment of a pipeline’s real condition.
Today, assessment of water pipes is in big need, but is hardly performed aside from listening for water leakage and assessing pipe remaining life-span based on statistical models. The common approach is “leave until breakdown” before replacing. This practice is:
- Very costly and ineffective (Introduces repeated digging with consequences for water supply, traffic, and other activities)
- Introducing pollution resulting from break-downs
- Leading to enormous loss of drinking water
The PipeScanner is an acoustic device that passes through water-filled pipelines and measures residual wall thickness and detects internal and external corrosion and leakage. Original prototypes were tested mainly on Norwegian networks. The WaPiCA project aims to exploit the technology more effectively by building two new units and deploying them elsewhere in Central Europe and the British Isles, whilst simultaneously establishing operational and marketing businesses under the umbrella of Breivoll inspection Technologies in these areas.
The technology enables utilities to clearly identify pipe sections in poor condition, enabling efficient rehabilitation and limiting leakage and its consequential direct and social costs. Equally, pipe sections in good condition can be left as they are, leading to significant cost savings and reduced environmental impacts.
The UK and France/Germany were identified as potential target markets and the project aims to fully assess their potential as well as the most appropriate organisational structure from an operational and marketing perspective.
Expected and/or achieved results
- Delivery of two new inspection units, together with fully equipped inspection vehicles.
- Evaluation of EU market potential
- Identification of partners and business structure for operation and marketing outside Norway.
To download the project information sheet, please click here
To download the layman’s report, please click here
To download the BIT brochure, please click here
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Breivoll Inspection Technologies AS and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.
Breivoll Inspection Technologies AS is an official partner of the EU-funded TRACT project, aiming to develop a new generation of PipeScanners for smaller diameter pipes, which can navigate and inspect water pipes without needing to shut the network down. More information at www.tractproject.eu