Senet, Lorax team on gas utility, pipeline safety

By Keefe Borden13 April 2021

Senet Inc. and Lorax Systems Inc. have formed a partnership to develop and sell technology designed to allow gas utilities to monitor and mitigate gas leaks. The technology is available now, with additional units coming online in the third quarter.

Lorax Systems offers meter and service valves designed to stop leaks.

Several utilities are using products from the partnership, with most in pilots of varying sizes. The technology is capable of supporting any size pipeline, including interstate gas transmission lines, but the main effort, and the current product set, are targeting distribution and service lines, the companies said in a prepared release.

Senet Inc, based in Portsmouth, N.H., provides cloud-based software and services that enable global connectivity. The company launched its LoRaWAN network services in 2015 and operates one of the largest public, carrier-grade networks in the United States. Public gas and water utilities are its key clients. Lorax Systems is a safety and environmental solutions company.

Through a technical collaboration, the companies have certified Lorax’s meter and service shut-off valves on Senet’s network. The integration allows utilities to continuously monitor their distribution networks and to shut off the gas remotely when a hazardous condition has been detected.

When a gas leak happens today, utility providers typically become aware of it only after a customer reports it. By that point, a significant amount of gas has already leaked, creating a potential danger for local residents and employees who arrive to fix the leak, the companies said. The combination of the two technologies gives utilities complete awareness of their gas distribution systems and the ability to shut down a single or multiple valves before a leak becomes a safety issue.

Senet’s LoRaWAN network is designed to manage communications between the gas shutoff valves and to reduce operational costs. “Our utility customers need a solution that provides situational awareness without requiring constant maintenance or exorbitant costs,” said Mark Bishoff, president and CEO of Lorax Systems.

Lorax said its partnership with Senet provides a cost-effective solution for utilities that manage a large number of devices. “After researching internet of things (IoT) connectivity options, we found Senet’s carrier-grade LoRaWAN network provides the coverage and performance we need without compromising on our customers’ requirements,” Bishoff said.

Nova Scotia-based Lorax Systems offers meter and service valves designed to stop leaks when they happen. The Lorax Meter Valve is a cloud-enabled mechanical gas valve that provides automatic shutoff in the event of methane detection, over pressurization, fire or flood using IoT connectivity to provide insights and remote operation.

The Lorax Service Valve is an underground intelligent safety shutoff device that halts the flow of gas in the event of a breach in the service line. With operation certified by Senet, utilities can easily use Lorax gas valves in combination with gas metering and other infrastructure monitoring solutions on the same network.

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