Leakage detection is crucial for some valve solutions. Mainly in the industries where different liquids are not allowed to mix even with little amounts. A cabled leakage sensor which detects the leakage from acoustic emissions has been on market for years. Now it was time to make it wireless. A key target was to achieve at least 10 years lifespan with tight restrictions coming from Ex- environment regulations.


The FIMECC EFFIMA program concentrated with different available radio technologies. However none of them satisfied the tight energy consumption requirements. A new innovative approach with wake-up radio was designed to meet the challenge. This kind of radio architecture provided very low power consumption in the base station and extremely low power consumption in the sensor radio. As a result we got solution where base station can be powered with parasitic energy harvesting in mA signal without disturbing the positioner. The sensor part can be powered with one AA battery which must be replaced every ten years.


Currently available leakage sensors need cabled connection between the sensor and the positioner, which act as information hub. Typically the sensors are 1-3m away from the positioner and there is no easy way of make robust cabling between them. Cabling costs are also quite high due to the need of piping all cables. Wireless solution provides new approaches since the costly cabling is no more limiting the distance of the sensor from the positioner. Now one positioner can be a hub for several sensors, which may be located anywhere within 15m from the positioner.


New wireless approach for leakage sensors can shorten the assembly time of leakage sensor into minutes. This kind of add-on approach may increase the usage of leakage sensors also to valves where the sensing is not just crucial, but only good to know information. The same wireless approach can be extended in the future also for other sensors such as strain and temperature. In the last end this could lead to better process efficiency, better energy management or less spills into the environment.


Sami Hakulinen, Metso


Metso, VTT


Author missing

Joona Nikunen



Author missing

Sami Hakulinen