Improving Cathodic Protection for Pipelines

Project ID: 748
Principal Investigator: Tom Johnson
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2004
Keywords: None

Research Question

Can automatic controllers of cathodic protection systems be improved so that they provide reliable protection to our pipelines?

Reclamation pipelines commonly share easments with power lines that adversely impact automatic controllers of cathodic protection systems.

Need and Benefit

Reclamation has several buried pipelines under impressed current cathodic protection, which utilize automatic, IR-free potential controlled rectifiers. The rectifier controller measures the pipe-to-soil potential and automatically adjusts the rectifier output to maintain a preset pipe-to-soil potential.

Buried metallic pipelines often pick up extraneous electrical signals. Above ground power lines are a major source of these signals. These signals can effect the operation of the rectifier controller such that the benefits of the automatic controller are no longer realized.

This ongoing program identified two methods, which could potentially reduce effects of the signal on the rectifier controller. To date, one method has been ruled out and the other method is promising. The program currently is positioned to initiate indepth investigations of the promising method. This will require field trials and potential modifications to the rectifier controller.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 4/4/17