Nonintrusive Load Monitor for Water Oil and Gas


Steven Leeb, EECS, MIT; Sami Habib, CE, Kuwait University
We have developed new circuits and signal processing algorithms for evaluating flow in both utilities and also process flow components in refineries that deliver water, oil, and possibly natural gas. These techniques exploit new tunneling magneto-resistive materials (TMR) for detecting very small magnetic fields, and also exploit MEMS vibration sensors to create a combined set of sensor data streams that provide fine-grain information about liquid flow in pipes, and potentially gas flow as well. The sensors are nonintrusive, requiring no new or not-already-existing physical interruption or access to the flow stream. In our preliminary work, we are able to differentiate the operation of different loads based on their fine grain flow signature. We propose to develop and demonstrate a low-cost monitoring solution that, among other possibilities, will:
  • Identify leaks that waste water
  • Recognize sudden physical damage to gas pipes that could lead to explosions
  • Provide fine-grain reporting of fluid consumption by load or appliance to a facilities manager or residence