Companies dealing in power engineering, telecommunication or widely defined construction industry encounter many problems related to underground power cables or other utilities. Refineries, water and sewage management entities or repair companies need to know where their own or other cables are located, so as not to damage them during works. Sonel offers both widely used and renowned Sonel LKZ-1000 locators. Now we are introducing a new model of the cable and pipe locator – Sonel LKZ 2000. It is a more advanced and more powerful tool, which proves to be much more efficient in difficult cases, but remains easy to operate and assists the operator with hints on further actions.
Pic. 1. Sonel LKZ-2000 locator has a large, legible LCD display.
The locator’s receiver (LKO-2000) detects and tracks the routes of pipes, cables and other underground utilities conducting electricity. To guarantee a wide range of applications, it offers more than 70 frequencies and 4 operating modes (Power, Radio, Line, Probe). The central function is the noise measurement feature. The device scans the selected frequencies and indicates the ones which will be the most useful in the given location and rejects frequencies not recommended for the area. To increase localization efficiency, you should choose a frequency with the lowest noise possible. Visual and numerical noise level indications make it easier to select the right frequency. To allow for easier interpretation, the noise levels are displayed visually and numerically.
The locator transmitter (LKN-2000) is designed to generate signals in the target object. The generated signals are detected by the receiver (LKO-2000). What is important is the possibility of setting the device up in such a way that the signal is emitted at one of the 70 defined frequencies.
The high power output function is another usable solution. It allows a 12 W signal to be transmitted along an active line at a frequency of no more than 10 kHz. For example, this function is used to locate buried largediameter steel pipes and to perform long distance locates. For instance, it is estimated that if a Æ 300 mm iron pipe buried at a depth of 1.5 to 2 m, the device, with its transmitter/ receiver frequency set to 640 Hz, is able to efficiently identify the localization at a distance above 5 km. Increasing the frequency to 8 kHz will reduce the distance by more than 1 km, while further increase in the frequency to 33 kHz will enable the user to trace the pipe at a distance of approx. 1.5 km.
Line and Radio modes are based on active signals. It must be emphasized that active signals are placed on the target cable by the transmitter. The important features of the Line mode are: galvanic isolation, induction clamping and excitation induction. The line mode needs to be connected directly to the target line, and current is transmitted to the line in proximity of the transmitter. It should also be noted that in Radio mode, the signal is transmitted from an antenna located inside a non-metal tube.
The power mode uses passive signals and allows the receiver to trace live power cables with voltage of 50 Hz or 60 Hz. The radio mode is also based on passive signals and enables the receiver to trace cables both receiving and emitting very low frequency (VLF) radio waves.
Pic. 2. The complete locator LKZ-2000 kit consists of the transmitter (LKN-2000) and the receiver (LKO-2000).
The receiver operating in passive mode (Power) uses frequencies of 50 Hz, 100 Hz, 450Hz/60Hz, 120 Hz and 540 Hz. The passive mode (Radio) is based on frequencies from 15 kHz to 60 kHz. The active mode with a transmitter offering frequencies of 512 Hz, 3140 Hz, 8192 Hz, 32768 Hz and 83.1 kHz plays a key role. Antenna configuration is based on single peak value, double peak, null and full field.
In the Power mode, the measured depth range is up to 3 m, and in the Radio mode – up to 2 m. In the active mode with a transmitter, the depth measurement range is 4.6 m, and in probe mode – even 6 m.
It is also worth noting the accuracy of measurements. The measurement error does not exceed 5% of the depth in Line or Probe mode (from 0.2 m to 4.6 m) and 10% of the depth in Probe mode with a measurement at the depth of 4.6 m to 6 m. Due to the use of Bluetooth communication interface, the transmitter can be controlled remotely. An auto-turn off function has also been provided. The locator can work in temperatures from 20°C to 50°C. It can also operate at an angle, which allows detection to be performed under an obstacle such as parked car or a building.
The receiver is operated with keyboard buttons which perform a number of functions, depending on the selected operating mode.
Pic. 3. Sonel LKZ-2000 locator in operation.
The Sonel LKZ-2000 complete cable and pipe locator kit also includes a transmitter operating at frequencies of 512 Hz, 3140 Hz, 8192 Hz, 32768 Hz, 83.1 kHz and 20 kHz. The power output has 5 levels, and the maximum power in the induction mode is 3 W. With galvanic isolation, the power reaches 12 W, assuming the impedance of the connected object is 100 Ω.
The cable and pipe locator Sonel LKZ-2000 can also be equipped with 5” clamps, A-frame (to locate the current leakage from a damaged underground cable ), NAD-1 transmitter probe (8 kHz, 33kHz, “floating” version), transmitting cable\wound around a reel designed to locate non-metal installations, and the power supply unit with a transmitter battery pack. The use the BIK Probe allows for wireless cable identification.
Pic. 4. A-frame enables the location of the current leakage from a damaged underground cable.
Pic. 5. Sonel LKZ-2000 locator can be additionally equipped with 30-, 50- or 80 m-long transmitting cable.
When reviewing the Sonel LKZ-2000 locator, you should pay special attention to the possibility of selecting a suitable localization mode. The distinctive feature of this model distinguishing it among other devices available on the market, is the ability to analyze noises on the jobsite. As a result, the most effective frequency, adapted to ambient conditions on the jobsite, is selected. You can avoid ineffective frequencies, thus making the localization much quicker and more effective. The remote control of the transmitter from the receiver menu highly improves work comfort and makes the entire operation shorter.
It must be emphasized that lower frequencies have a longer range than the higher ones. In turn, high frequencies more easily interact with lines, but can also interact with lines other than the target one.