Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MoniTank (Underground Storage Tanks Risk Mitigation System for petrol fuel stations)
Reporting period: 2018-10-01 to 2020-01-31
This hazardous situation is a very serious threat to the society, due to the contamination of soil and underground water resources, which will lead to a polluted environment. If there are agricultural grounds nearby, the crops could be grown with contaminated water if the water supply is not checked for quality continuously. The leakage of fuel from the tanks of the petrol station is an economical loss for the owners, but this loss is not as important as the environmental hazards posing serious threat to the aquifers. Every precaution should be taken in order to prevent this.
The overall objective of the MoniTank Project is to take measures to detect damage to the integrity of the fuel tanks before any actual leak happens and the tank owners will have time to take the necessary precautions and prevent leakage of fuel to soil beforehand. To achieve this objective, in the MoniTank Project, acoustic emission technology for monitoring underground storage tanks was adopted with the view of managing risks more effectively. A technology which is already at TRL Level 6 is to be used and developed up to TRL Level 9, ready for commercialization. All the related standards have been being taken into account and the system shall be certified.
The project has been adopting the technology for acoustic emission monitoring of underground storage tanks with the aim of developing both the hardware and the control/acquisition/processing/monitoring software with a dashboard into a very functional and versatile but at the same time an affordable product.
The product will be able to identify structural integrity faults by detecting structural problems in USTs before they lead to rupture or failure. Consortium including INT NDT, IRIS, TWI, BIC and Flotek will avail the business opportunity provided by market of potential customers (in particular, filling stations in EU) and foreseen maintenance services investments in storage systems, resulting in growing NDT and maintenance needs and lack of robust autonomous continous SHM systems for USTs in oil and gas production and distribution industries market at present by offering MoniTank product.
Limitations of current monitoring systems performance, their non-compliance with legislation/standards requirement of detection accuracy and reliance on experienced workforce for inspection and maintenance create a differentiation strategic advantage for successful market replication of MoniTank.
Our product will be able to provide continuous monitoring and will use intelligent algorithms to predict potential structural failure. The technologies integrated and finalised during this project will consist of: sensors; processing capabilities (MCU processor hardware); AE sensors, transmission data; and data wireless transmission and cloud computing, therefore presenting the target customers with a system for risk based inspection criterion for USTs.
Our vision is to grow our business by €24million in gross sales with a return on investment of about 15:1 in 5 years post project commercialisation. With business growth, we will create 112 new jobs. It is our strong belief that the Fast Track to Innovation Pilot is the ideal financial instrument for us to accelerate commercialisation of MoniTank.
The MoniTank Consortium is committed to delivering an economically viable, affordable, acoustic emission based condition monitoring, post-processing and asset management system designed for underground storage tanks.
Novelty of product can be described as automatic and continuous condition monitoring system based on acoustic emission for structural health assessment of underground storage tanks in petrol filling stations and oil/gas production facilities integrated with digital technology of Internet of things gateways, cloud based data collection and storage and innovative risk based inspection algorithm and software for informed decision and preventive maintenance of USTs.
The main impact shall be the prevention of fuel leakage to the environment and thus contamination. It is a fact that a high percentage of the underground petrol tanks leak fuel to the soil underground due to metal aging (losing its integrity) and/or corrosion due to the surrounding land type. It is quite difficult for the owners of the petrol stations to be aware of an underground leakage immediately as planned maintenance schedules can be spreading to years.
Therefore, the motto of MoniTank project is “affordable, acoustic emission based monitoring and risk mitigation system for every station to prevent environmental hazards”. The merger of a cutting edge monitoring technology with a customised risk assessment algorithm and cloud computing makes the MoniTank system unique and accessible.