The Owl Test Station™
With more data, the Owl
is the wisest of all test
To understand what makes the BSI Owl Test Station so unique, it is helpful to briefly take a look at the purpose of test stations and cathodic protection in general.
The concept of Cathodic Protection (CP) is not new. It is a technique that is used to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making the metal surface the cathode of a dissimilar “sacrificial” metal, also known as the anode. Electrons from the different types of metal travel from anode to cathode and, in the process, combine with oxygen and water. Different combinations of the electrons, water, oxygen and the steel cathode cause corrosion.
Protection occurs by using a direct electrical current to counteract any external corrosion of metal. For structures such as long pipelines, an external DC electrical power source may be used to provide sufficient current.
This is the conventional method that has been used for hundreds of years with relatively few changes.
While there is nothing technically wrong with the conventional method for measuring cathodic protection effectiveness, BSI always seeks to do more. We believe in utilizing the latest improvements in technology to address new applications for our products — including test stations.
What Makes the Owl So Wise?
Quickly and easily installed, the Owl Test Station consists of two corrosion coupon probes, each monitored with three ultrasound transducers. The corrosion coupon probe is located inside the circuit and the native corrosion coupon probe is buried close to the circuit. Readings are taken directly at the probe with the BSI data logger.
Ultrasonic corrosion probes record and monitor corrosion rates (if any) for cathodically-protected structures. The native corrosion coupon will experience wall loss over time that the structure would ordinarily have experienced without cathodic protection. The Owl Test Station is a unique and effective tool for monitoring the impact of AC-induced corrosion on underground structures.
What makes the Owl Test Stations the wisest of them all? While most operators use indirect measurements (volts/amps) in their test stations, BSI can tell you precisely what the pipe or structure is doing by measuring the rate of the CP induced structure. Using sacrificial coupons AND ultrasonic probes, the exact thickness of the metal can be measured.
Of course, our test stations meet all of the guidelines mandated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (US Department of Transportation). But, this patent-pending solution provides an entirely new and superior dimension in cathodic protection effectiveness. Just like its namesake, the Owl Test Station inherently contains unique features and pinpoint accuracy.
Where Can I Use Test Stations?
Test Stations are commonly placed at strategic locations, based on customer requirements, to protect a wide range of metallic structures in various environments. Some common locations include:
BSI recognizes that there are very specific, serious safety issues involved when a pipeline is located near high-voltage power lines. In these situations, the pipeline can receive AC power from the high-voltage lines and that power can build up on the pipeline, creating corrosion spots in the metal. This AC-induced corrosion can be a significant issue resulting not only in corrosion, but also potentially in unsafe voltage buildups.
In cases such as this, BSI has the expertise to help you develop an AC Mitigation Plan to minimize the induced voltage on your system. Mitigation plans are specialized in design, installation, and monitoring capabilities, depending on the specifics of your location. If you need assistance with creating an AC Mitigation Plan, contact us to get started on a solution.
Historically, ultrasonic instruments have been used to evaluate the integrity of components manually. In many circumstances, the accuracy of these measurements is operator dependent. In addition to being somewhat inconsistent and unreliable, manual assessment can be disruptive to operations, is time intensive, and costly. A more proven and predictive approach is to use the precision of ultrasound technology in a more automated fashion, eliminating variables that may impact measurement accuracy.
Ultrasonic Testing (UT) is completely non-destructive. It consists of introducing a high-frequency sound wave into one side of a material and then reflecting the sound wave to produce a precise measurement of wall thickness. Not only does this technology assure the highest level of precision and accuracy, but ultrasound is also safe, provides immediate results, and is very cost effective.
Monitoring with ultrasound is mission critical. It enables you to work on long-term planning and maintenance vs. dealing with expensive repairs and potential emergencies.
In short, you are better able to protect, predict, and prevent.
SCOUT™ represents the heart of your monitoring network. Here, our customers are able to review all of the data that has been collected and utilize that data to gain deep insight into their operations through analytics.
Universally easy to access, SCOUT™ presents data in a clear way, and correlates process events with changes in asset integrity. Each of our customers can view an operating and inspection history and preliminary risk projections at any time.
BSI software collects, aggregates, cleanses and formats invaluable data for our customers every hour, 24 hours a day. With a rapid processing speed for collecting large data sets, SCOUT™ offers multiple interface options to support the most popular current databases and conventional data collection systems.
The SCOUT™ interface, accessible online, incorporates unique display features for easy user interpretation and subsequent decision-making. It works with Windows, iOS, and Android. All software and hardware updates are included in the cost of your system.
Cognizant that different customers have different needs, BSI developed SCOUT™ to be fully customizable based on customer preferences. For example, users can control whether they would like a real-time or scheduled Cloud upload, or they can choose to set text or email alerts. Modifications to the interface itself can be made to respond to unique requirements.
At BSI, we understand that not all applications are alike. Our UT Probes are designed for a variety of client-driven scenarios:
- Compatibility with local 110/240 VAC power
- Instrumentation DC power
- Solar power/battery
- Power over Ethernet (POE)
System users also have the option of taking measurements either manually or wirelessly. If done manually, data is captured and stored quickly in the field with BSI’s Universal Logger. There are no depth limitations or service interruptions for either option. Data can be accessed online through a secure interface at a later time.
Wireless technology has become the optimum method for transmission of asset management data in the petro chemical, energy generation, and mining industries. BSI partners with the leading communication carriers and wireless equipment providers to accommodate user response time expectations and data security requirements.
BSI excels in translating the precision and reliability of ultrasound, previously only found in a laboratory setting, into real-world field environments.
Our engineers and scientists are experts in the development of unique, rugged ultrasound sensors and “Smart” probes as well as the design of signal processing software that enhances and preserves data quality. Read More(800) 205-6145