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:
Under high-voltage power lines.
Pipelines located in highly resistant soil, such as sand
In buried piping inside plants.
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.
The Ultrasound Difference
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.