Thursday, December 29, 2016

Utility employs Google mapping cars to sniff out gas leaks

Using the same cars that take pictures for Google Maps, Google and PSE&G are able to detect areas with the most intense methane gas leaks caused by aging, cast iron pipes and replace them with plastic pipes. 

It's a big job. The state has approved the utility's spending of $905 million for the replacements. PSE&G says even more is needed. Andrew Schmertz has the story for NJTV NEWS

Google Street View car equipped with methane detectors (Photo: PSE&G)

James M. O'Neil reports for The Record:

To prioritize which aging gas mains to replace, the utility used a Google Street View car equipped with methane sensors.

PSE&G collaborated on the leak detection effort with the Environmental Defense Fund, Google and Colorado State University. The utility learned about work EDF and Google had done mapping gas leaks in Boston and Indianapolis, and asked to work together to do the same in North Jersey.
The EDF collaborators have since mapped gas leaks in Dallas, Syracuse, Los Angeles, Chicago, Pittsburgh and elsewhere. This was the first project in which the EDF group worked directly with a utility to map out leaks.
The PSE&G gas main replacement project is designed to improve safety, waste less gas and reduce emissions of methane -- the main component of natural gas -- that contribute to climate change.

“Reducing methane emissions is one of the quickest ways we have to protect the climate,” said EDF President Fred Krupp.
“It takes courage to invite an environmental group to come sniffing around for leaks in their system. By tackling these leaks faster, PSE&G will achieve a lot more environmental benefit for their infrastructure dollars.”

Read the full story here

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