May 2017, Vol. 244, No. 5

Features

Rooting Out Trouble Before It Happens

For years, utilities like PSE&G have used pigging devices to inspect the inside of gas pipes for corrosion, damage by excavators and other signs of trouble that could cause leaks and, in extreme cases, explosions. A pipeline pig normally is propelled by the speed of the gas flowing through the transmission main while sensors measure corrosion and any thinning of the pipe wall. “PSE&G maintains about 61 miles of gas transmission pipelines that serve our system,” said George Ragula, distribution technical leader for gas asset strategy. “In about 30 of those miles, we are unable to use a standard pig because the flow of gas is too low to propel it. We need a more advanced way to perfo

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