Energy Harvesting
Internet of Things
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Project OfficeATTRACT
Short TitlePiPe4.0
StakeholdersCNR – Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies, InanoEnergy, Inrete Distribuzione Energia S.p.A., Greenway Group, Pietro Fiorentini S.p.A., University of Padova – Centre “Giorgio Levi Cases” for Energy Economics and Technology
IndustryRemote sensing / Energy harvesting
FundingThis project has received funding from the ATTRACT project PiPe4.0
PiPe4.0 aims to establish a new measurement paradigm in the field of fuel gas distribution and sensing

Innovative Nano and Laser Pipe Sensors for In Situ Gas Monitoring

PiPe4.0 project will address two main issues related to in-situ monitoring in the distribution gas network by realizing a system consisting of two interconnected units:

  1. Main unit (Gas Monitoring Unit, GMU) able to perform a complete measurement of the gas parameters in injection cabins or gas distribution cabins.
  2. Network of distributed self-powered secondary sensors (Distributed Sensing Unit, DSU) that measure hydrogen content and/or pressure in different points enabling the detection of local leakages.



1) Gas Monitoring Unit (GMU):

  • integrated system able to measure in-situ the main parameters of fuel gases in the distribution network;
  • composition and heating value of fuel gases measured according to BS EN ISO 6976:2016;
  • system suitable for a broad set of gas mixtures within an extremely variable range of compositions;
  • compact, low-cost and low-power instrument, fully automated operation.

2) Distributed Sensing Unit (DSU):

  • distributed gas parameters (pressure and/or hydrogen content) measured and transmitted to the monitor unit to characterize the gas injection process;
  • full monitoring of gas leakages all along the line;
  • self-powered sensors;
  • tribo/thermoelectric combination for energy harvesting which takes advantage of the continuous gas flow in the pipes and generates a constant electrical energy production;
  • suitability for harsh environments.

Local Sensing

The units can locally monitor gas parameters even in remote places and harsh environments.

Self-powered sensors

Tribo/thermoelectric combination for energy harvesting will take advantage of the continuous gas flow in the pipes and generate a constant electrical energy production to feed the local units.

Remote control

The units are designed to work in a wide range of environmental conditions found on gas pipelines, including remote locations.

Gas distribution and sensing in remote locations

Two interconnected units will be developed for gas pipeline monitoring and sensing enabling faster leak detection even in remote locations and harsh environments.