How does geolocation work in heating networks?

Geotagging can locate and map all underground heat networks. Since a decree on the 15th of February 2012, it is now mandatory under law.

Thanks to the accuracy of information obtained via the GPS system, network operators can monitor sensitive points of the pipes and prevent any damage to them, for example, when performing work nearby.

The principle objective of this approach is to secure all networks.

How does it work?

The geolocation system meets specific needs as it allows us to:

identify the types of network parts (valves, joints …)
identify network characteristics (depth …)
identify hot spots and / or strategic network (sinking, fixed point, etc.)

There are two techniques used to geolocate underground networks. The first one is a “passive” technique, which uses RFID tags. The second form is an “active” technology: it is a surveyor who carries out the geotagging.

Option 1: geolocation using RFID tags


In this case, fixed markers are placed on the pre-insulated pipes with suitable accessories for their continued position after the pipes are filled. Inside these markers are RFID tags, each of which contains identification information.

When geolocation is taking place, a technician sends a wave into the ground with a detector to identify the markers. After being stimulated, the markers will transmit a signal to the detector; the data can then be read and the location of the markers may be used in the site plan.

Option 2: geolocation carried out by a surveyor

In this second case, it is a surveyor who undertakes the geolocation networks. To do this, the surveyor makes a statement of position in X-Y-Z (horizontal-vertical-depth). This statement is included in a document called a TQC, which is a mandatory in-built plan. All the data recorded is included in the work plans and can be operated and stored via various applications, such as Google Earth’s interactive maps or using Excel software.

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