PG&E to test gas detection over Solano, Yolo

August 11, 2011 12:30:05 PM PDT
PG&E is conducting tests in Solano and Yolo counties today to determine the reliability and accuracy of aerial gas leak detection technologies.

The exercise will simulate gas leaks, and will include decoys and false positives.

The technology being tested was developed by three companies who are competing to provide the service to PG&E. If one of the models proves reliable, PG&E could start using it to test for gas leaks.

The new technology uses lasers mounted on helicopters to detect methane gas in the air, PG&E spokesman Brian Swanson said.

"If this laser technology proves reliable, it will make our operations better and hopefully make our (system) safer for our customers," Swanson said.

Three helicopters, one from each company, will run the course. The companies are Pergam Technical Services, Lasen and Synodon.

The tests were scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to noon. PG&E also ran tests on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The evaluation of the study will be concluded in mid-September. If the technology proves a viable option for PG&E, it would be implemented by the end of the year.


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