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Trying Not to Interfere

Charlie Poore, SAE Inc., USA, recalls how a team of experts applied innovative technology to solve an AC interference and mitigation issue in a harsh environment.

Alternating current (AC) interference is one of the major issues facing the pipeline industry today, and this issue has become more prevalent and widely recognised in the past 10 – 15 years. The increasing congestion of the pipeline right-of-ways (ROWs) with collocated high voltage power lines has brought this issue to the forefront. Induced AC current from crossing or parallel power lines can result in AC corrosion on the pipelines when the induced AC current is discharged to the soil through coating imperfections on the pipe, known as holidays. New pipeline coatings and application techniques have improved significantly over the past decades. This, in turn, results in accelerated corrosion due to higher current discharge at these less frequent and typically smaller holidays, causing significant metal loss on pipe walls. AC interference can also result in dangerously high levels of AC voltages on the pipeline; a health and safety issue for personnel who might come in contact with the pipeline, this voltage must also be mitigated.ue to the forefront.

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