Introducing our first gas leak detection vehicle

Our parent business Powerco, is releasing a new high-tech vehicle to the streets - and it has one important job: To detect potential hidden gas leaks. 

The hybrid vehicle, has specialised gas leak sensor technology to ensure the ongoing reliability and safety of Powerco’s underground gas network, making The Gas Hub’s gas distribution that much safer for the future.

“It may look a bit out-there in appearance, but this vehicle and its sensors have a really important job to do,” Powerco Gas Operations Manager Brett Wolfsbauer says. 

The underground network The Gas Hub uses is approximately 6,100 kilometres long and this new technology will allow for more frequent checks. Prior to this technology, checks were done on foot, holding a detection wand, and could take up to five years to cover the entire network. This new vehicle will do the same job in less than a year.

Be sure to keep an eye out, as it patrols the streets of Wellington, Porirua, Hutt Valley, Horowhenua, Hawke’s Bay, ManawatÅ« and Taranaki. 

More than 40 specially designed intake pipes are connected to the front bumper.

Here’s how it works

In short, the vehicle is fitted with sensors and data-capturing technology. More than 40 specially designed intake pipes are connected to the front bumper. A sensor is also attached to the roof and uses laser technology to detect the direction of potential leaks.

With this technology, our operators will be able to detect signs of a gas leak under the road instantaneously. This means that work needed can be prioritised and, if a leak is present, an urgent fix can be arranged.

Being able to promptly locate and fix any underground leaks can also help to lower carbon emissions – great news for the environment! 

A sensor is attached to the roof and uses laser technology to detect the direction of potential leaks.

Community and environmental benefits

  • Improved asset management – Thanks to the new scanning technology, we’ll be able to produce technical data while out on the road, giving Powerco’s team the ability to plan and prioritise the gas work on the go.
  • Improved environmental impacts - The quicker we detect any gas leaks and fix them, the more we reduce carbon emissions. 
  • Improved public safety – we will be able to detect and fix gas leaks much quicker and more often.

Help us keep you safe - always report gas leaks

Although this is an incredible advancement in gas leak detection technology, it’s still important to remember: If you smell gas or notice a gas pipe is damaged or leaking, move yourself and others well away from the area, upwind, and call Powerco on 0800 111 848.

Working together for you

Powerco (on behalf of The Gas Hub), Vector and Firstgas have been sharing knowledge about this new technology as we work together towards a sustainable energy future. And with gas flowing well into the future, this investment into our gas leak detection vehicle will help make our network safe for years to come.

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