NERA has supported Australian manufacturing and innovation through a collaborative project with Woodside Energy and Terra15, which involved a proof-of-concept on fin-fans used by the LNG industry.
This project assisted Terra15 to conduct trials of their unique acoustic sensing technology solution following their research breakthrough in distributed fibre sensing, which dramatically reduces complexity and could reduce costs of equipment condition monitoring at LNG facilities.
This project aimed to demonstrate the discrimination between measurement signals from healthy and non-healthy operational conditions. It also aimed to develop the installation workflows and signal process requirements to achieve the continuous, reliable monitoring that is needed at Australia's LNG facilities.
Conventional sensing requires the installation of hundreds or thousands of individual sensors requiring power and wireless or wired telemetry. For vibration sensing, such sensors may include microphones, accelerometers, hydrophones, geophones or seismometers, but all require a physical electronic network or otherwise batteries and manual intervention to deliver power, collect data and reconfigure.
By comparison, the Terra15 Treble system uses a simple optical fibre cable with every metre of the cable functioning as both an acoustic pickup and a vibration/seismic sensor. There is no requirement to attach sensors to the cable, nor deliver power to the sensing points. Robustness of cable allows the sensing points to be placed in harsh environments or difficult to access locations, thereby reducing exposure of personnel to hazards while also reducing maintenance time.
Undertaken with research oversight, the project successfully demonstrated that the technology can be used to monitor the health of rotating equipment used by the energy resources sector.
This project assisted in the further commercialisation of the Terra15 Treble system — an innovative new technology that can use any standard or existing optical fibre cable as thousands of individual microphones or vibration sensors. Embracing technologies like this will support the energy resources sector to: