Accuracy and Sensitivity Evaluation of TFR Method for Leak Detection in Multiple-Pipeline Water Supply Systems

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The transient frequency response (TFR) based pipe leak detection method has been developed and applied to water pipeline systems with different connection complexities such as branched and looped pipe networks. Previous development and preliminary applications have demonstrated the advantages of high efficiency and non-intrusion for this TFR method. Despite of the successful validations through extensive numerical applications in the literature, this type of method has not yet been examined systematically for its inherent characteristics and application accuracy under different system and flow conditions. This paper investigates the influences of the analytical approximations and assumptions originated from the method development process and the impacts of different uncertainty factors in practical application systems on the accuracy and applicability of the TFR method. The influence factors considered for the analysis contain system properties, derivation approximations and data measurement, and the pipeline systems used for the investigation include simple branched and looped multi-pipe networks. The methods of analytical analysis and numerical simulations are adopted for the investigation. The accuracy and sensitivity of the TFR method is evaluated for different factors and system conditions in this study. The results and findings are useful to understand the validity range and sensitivity of the TFR-based method, so as to better apply this efficient and non-intrusive method in practical pipeline systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2147-2164
Number of pages18
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Leak detection
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Transient frequency response (TFR)
  • Water pipeline system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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