Localization of Gas Pipeline Rupture Using a Massive Parallelization on GPGPU

Mracka, Igor (Mathematical Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences) | Somora, Peter (Altova GmbH) | Hajossy, Rudolf (Mathematical Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences) | Žácik, Tibor (Mathematical Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences)



The article deals with a rupture localization system based on massive parallelized simulations on GPGPU (General-Purpose computing on Graphics Processing Units). The presented method is suitable for the localization of accidents on one pipeline and on a complex pipeline network as well. It can also be used in challenging situations where pressures at some inner network nodes are not available or in scenarios where emergency shutdown valves are closed and only one pressure sensor exists in a damaged pipeline section.

Main advantage of the suggested approach is the combination of highly precise simulation (to achieve localization accuracy) and a massive parallelization (to obtain the result fast enough). The described concept has been tested on both simulated rup-ture scenarios and data from a real rupture.


Fast and precise location of a rupture is important as it can prevent human casualties and environmental disasters after an accident. Prompt closing of shut-off valves minimizes the inevitable gas losses by stopping the delivery of gas to the rupture from the joined pipeline network.

There are many software-based leak detection and location methods but only a few for rupture location (Time-of-Flight Method based on the speed of rarefaction waves or a method based on a comparison of Real-Time Transient Model data with those from SCADA [4], [12]). A rupture location can be considered mathematically as an inverse problem to a pipeline simulation.

Highly nonlinear gas flow equations can be solved analytically but only approximately. When the first quick processes in a damaged pipeline just after a rupture disappears, the equations can be simplified to a heat transfer equation with known solutions. Using these solutions for pressure along damaged pipe-line in the rupture aftermath, the inverse problem can be solved analytically. It leads to four localization methods for specific cases (see [5]). As it was shown, only two methods for shut-off sections of a damaged pipeline are sufficiently precise and fast.

The aim of this article is to propose a solution of the inverse localization problem numerically. Presented approach is based on a comparison of real pressure measurements in the after-math of a real pipeline rupture with corresponding pressure outputs from simulations of ruptures at various positions. The location of the real rupture will be determined by the best agreement of the measured data and those data from simulations. The employed simulation has to be able precisely de-scribe high-dynamical pressure changes caused by a pipeline rupture.