Gas detection vehicle

Thursday, November 23, 2023

A Powerco branded vehicle with gas detection with 40 intake pipes on the front bumper and a lazer sensor on the roof

A high-tech vehicle is taking to the roads above Powerco’s gas network in an effort to detect potential gas leaks hiding underground.

More than 40 specially designed intake pipes are connected to the front bumper of the Powerco vehicle, which will be patrolling the local streets of Wellington, Porirua, Hutt Valley, Horowhenua, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatū and Taranaki.

Added to the sensors on the vehicle’s front, is a sensor on the roof which uses laser technology to detect the direction of potential leaks in gas pipes the vehicle drives in close proximity to.

“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 tech in this vehicle will enable the operator to instantaneously detect signs of a gas leak from our gas pipes under the road, prioritise any work that may be needed and, if a leak is present, organise an urgent fix.”

Until now, it took about five years for Powerco’s 6,100km of gas mains to be surveyed with a handheld gas monitor checking for leaks. 

“This vehicle will be able to cover the same distance in a year. This means we’ll be able to detect any leaks and fix them quicker, which is not only good for the safety of the public, but the environment. Being able to promptly locate and fix any leaks helps lower carbon emissions,” Brett Wolfsbauer says.

Although the vehicle is designed to detect potential leaks in gas pipes under the road, it’s still important that people contact Powerco on 0800 111 848 if they think they smell gas around their homes or on the streets, he says.

“We want people to report any suspicious gas odours to us so we can investigate them and help keep them safe. Whether they turn out to be gas leaks or not, it’s better that people let us know if they think they smell gas, rather than ignoring it.” 

Click here to find out more about keeping safe around the home with gas.

Plastic pipes mounted on a bumper of a car

Above: More than 40 specially designed intake pipes are connected to the front bumper of the Powerco vehicle

 Laser sensor on the top of the gas detection vehicle car

Above: The laser sensor on the vehicle's roof.

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