Walking Under Gas Pipes
CGL Corporate Logo.png

In-Pipe Fibre Optics for Sensing & Communications

Elige tu sector industrial

CRALEY Fibre

What is involved with a CRALEY Fibre install?


The work requires the excavation of two small holes, typically 600mm square, one at the water stopcock in the footway or front easement, and one at the property wall, to expose the existing water delivery pipe, which is generally 500mm to 1,000mm deep. A small section (c. 60mm) of the water pipe is removed at each end, and a special ‘Y’ shaped fitting is attached which allows a 5mm messenger pipe to the introduced connecting the two locations.




What is the advantage of using CRALEY Fibre?


Utilising the water supply pipe reduces the install work to two small excavated pits. This minimises installation time and cost, and mitigates the risks of encountering/disrupting existing services and poor ground conditions. Also importantly it minimises the risk of damage and high re-instatement liability to expensive or specialist driveway surfaces, or ornate/elaborate gardens.

Water supply pipes (both trunk main and domestic service lines) are existing in-ground ‘conduits’, water supplies are run where people are, and so this forms the perfect opportunity to re-purpose the infrastructure to deliver two key utilities in one go – water and high-speed Next Generation communications. Water pipes provide a deeply located and highly protected environment for communications cables, compared to much shallower and less well protected traditional trench or bore techniques.




How does the water company repair a pipe when there is fibre inside?


This would depend on the scale of the leak. If CRALEY Sensing is used in a pipeline a minor leak can be detected and repaired with very little disruption. A repair saddle would be installed around the existing pipe at the leak location and bolted together to stop any further leak. A tag is attached during the installation to the stopcock/isolation valve at the footway end, identifying that a fibre optic cable is present. There will be a pre-agreed 24/7 hotline number on this tag which can be called prior to commencement of plumbing works and arrangements as necessary can be made to replace the micro-duct and fibre after the urgent repairs are completed.

What about a major leak?
If CRALEY Sensing was installed this would not happen but if CRALEY Fibre is installed for communications into the pipe and a major burst has occurred then replacing the pipe and protecting the asset takes priority.




How long does it take to install CRALEY Fibre?


A typical installation should take between one and two hours to complete, for a team of two (varying mainly on the time to dig and re-instate the two small pits). The timescales however are broadly independent on the intervening terrain, surface finishes or distance of run, which is a significant difference to traditional techniques where costs increase rapidly with either run length or difficulty of terrain.




What do the letters FTTH, FTTP mean?


FTTH means 'fibre to the home' or FTTP, Fibre to the premises. This basically means that the fibre is run all the way to the property. The most common fibre run would be FTTC, 'fibre to the cabinet. or curb'. This means that the fibre is run upto the cabinet which could be 100ms or more away from a property.




How is CRALEY Fibre environmentally friendly?


Through re-purposing the existing in-ground water pipe network to transport communications fibres this dramatically reduces the excavation work required (it is essentially a ‘trenchless technology’). Excavated material disposal and imported re-instatement material is reduced to a bare minimum. This results in reductions in transportation and landfill/quarrying costs. There is no requirement for heavy plant or equipment, and civic disruption, civil works and associated road traffic issues are all very minimal with the CRALEY Fibre system.
CRALEY Fibre then is a significant contributor to minimising waste, environmental pollution and associated CO2 emissions. Additionally, all component parts are fully recyclable. The CRALEY Fibre system therefore is a very green technology.




How does the ‘pipe-in-a-pipe’ work?


The concept of a pipe-in-a-pipe is elegant in its simplicity. The messenger pipe that is run within the water pipe provides an end-to-end hollow port or conduit.

Once the messenger pipe has been placed within the water pipe a fibre optic communications cable may be inserted. The messenger pipe is a fully future proofed concept, since if the cable ever needs to be upgraded (eg for a higher capacity cable), then the existing cable is simply removed and a new one is re-inserted.

The messenger pipe has positive buoyancy and will naturally sit at the crown of the water pipe.




How is the CRALEY Fibre protected?


Traditional trenching techniques for fibre deployment usually involve the fibre being buried in a relatively shallow trench, typically 500mm deep. Being in shallow trenches, these buried fibres and their ducts are not very well protected, and it is not uncommon for other civil contractors to damage these cables and ducts, resulting in loss of service until repaired.

The protection afforded to a fibre cable installed within a water pipe is much greater, and statistically much less likely to incur damage than one installed within a shallow trench.




Will the installation of a messenger pipe affect the flow or pressure of a water supply?


No. The messenger pipe only occupies a very small percentage of pipe area and it presents a very smooth outer surface. In virtually all circumstances the effect on water pressure or delivered flow rate is negligible.




Who installs the CRALEY Fibre products?


The CRALEY Fibre system is only be installed by trained and approved technicians, following all of the necessary technical, disinfection and H&S procedures.


Noting here that the water trunk mains are the ‘public’ aspect, then technicians will need to be certified additionally to work on the water systems, typically this would be an approved Water Authority contractor.


For domestic installations, in most territories it is not a requirement that a registered plumber must be used for plumbing works, but install technicians must still be trained and approved for fitting the CRALEY Fibre products to ensure the quality of the work and installation.




What are the industry benefits of CRALEY Fibre?


CRALEY's core industries are Water, Communications, Mobile and Communities. There are many benefits to each of these industry sectors. For example, Water companies can connect to all the assets, sensors and actuators. More sector benefits can be found here




What happens when the fibre install process reaches a valve on the pipeline?


Very simply, the fibre has to be taken out of the pipe and looped over the valve and back into the pipe to continue along the line. At every hard corner the same thing has to happen and final fittings are used on both exit holes in pipe and the re-entry holes in the pipe.




What does it mean by a "live install"?


Live install means that the waterpipe is still under normal operating conditions during the installation process. We have developed a method to install the fibre without having the shut down the pipe network and drain the water.





CRALEY Sensing

How does CRALEY Sensing work?


In-pipe sensing for use in pre-existing or new buried pipelines as well as overground pipelines. The real benefit of CRALEY Sensing, in-pipe sensing fibre, as opposed to an external one, is that you can achieve a greatly improved acoustic coupling between the sensing fibre and the fluid in the pipe, which in turn provides better sensing capabilities. The in-pipe nature of our solution also makes it an obvious choice for buried pipelines.




Can CRALEY Sensing detect multiple leaks?


All events within and surrounding a pipe can be monitored and identified, and by utilising Sensor Result Profiling, alerts can be programmed to suit the requirements of the user.

Along the entire pipe run in which CRALEY Sensing solution is deployed, it is possible to fully customise the unit to ‘look’ for specific events (or multiple specific events), or indeed, to ignore specific events.

Leaks and bursts are an obvious target for identification, but the CRALEY Sensing solution can detect many other important events and is fully customisable; for example, it could be programmed to detect traffic movement between two specific points on the network, but to ignore it at other points. This particular scenario could be useful if there is a private road leading to a water company facility, an alert would be triggered if a vehicle is approaching a facility.




What do the letters CBRN mean


CBRN' is the abbreviation commonly used to describe the malicious use of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear materials. CRALEY Sensing has the ability to detect unwanted tampering on a pipeline or intrusion into water treatmant plant. Fibre could be layed around the paremeter of a plant and would detect vehicles approaching or even a person scaling a fence.




Why is CRALEY Sensing a better solution than other sensing technology


The CRALEY Sensing™ technology uses a single fibre from the installed fibre bundle as a Sensing Cable, and since it is deployed inside the water pipe it provides optimum acoustic coupling of sound and offers unrivalled sensitivity. CRALEY Sensing™ is fully passive, requiring just the Analyser system at one end and no other equipment or power along the pipe run. CRALEY Sensing™ can provide detection over up to 40km of pipe run and the system treats the Sensing Cable individual ‘virtual’ sensors, ( approx 1 sensor per metre) so the location accuracy is very precise. Most importantly the system monitors 24/7/365 and alerts are generated within seconds of an event happening, with a simple to use map based format detailing the time of the event and its exact geographical location (latitude & longitude). Some disadvantages of other systems
Fixed sensor systems (placed on valves, hydrants etc)​

Accuracy is poor due to long distances between sensors, also event notification may be highly variable, due to Pipe construction materials Flow & pressure changes Multiple leaks and service connections in a segment causing false or missed leak alerts Frequent battery replacement High cost for multiple sensors, and their installation Transiting sensor systems (floating ball and similar) Can only detect leak events that are present when they pass them Not real-time 24/7 365 leak detectors Can only provide a snap-shot of an event as they pass by Active service connections may cause false alerts High cost for consultancy time required High cost for install fittings needed




Can CRALEY Sensing be installed after CRALEY Fibre


It depends on if all the fibres in the pipe are being used. If the CRALEY fibre install has fibres that are not being used then Sensing equipment can be installed onto those fibres to be used for leak detection.




What is Lift & Shift?


The CRALEY Sensing leak detection equipment can detect the smallest of leaks along the fibre optic cable. The leaking water causes vibrations in the pipe, the cable then transmits this vibration to the monitoring equipment in the survey vehicle which converts into a visual displays on a screen.
If you want to learn more, please watch our 3 minute animation explaining the CRALEY Sensing Lift and Shift method.




How would CRALEY Sensing protect a premises


The fibre is put inside a waterpipe to detect the leak but it can also detect movement of people, vehicles. To achieve this the fibre, at an appropriate junction, would be taken out of the pipe and then layed around the premises, like a water treatment plant, then put back inside the pipe. This then can be calibrated to detect movement or people approaching the premises.