Utilities around the world are facing the challenge of water losses in their distribution networks. It is estimated that around 80 billion litres of treated water is lost each day in Asia alone. This not only leads to the loss of a precious resource, but also is a root cause of revenue losses for utilities.
Teredo Analytics has developed an event-based leak detection solution for monitoring pipelines using acoustic sensors. The system uses a powerful machine learning based algorithm to analyse sensor data and detects leaks with high sensitivity while minimizing false positives.
Q. How did you two meet and come up with your startup idea?
Liang Jie: I met Rajat while working as a Research Engineer at NUS, Acoustic Research Laboratory. At the time, I was working on a research project on underwater acoustic data analysis, while Rajat was doing his PhD research on autonomous underwater robotics for environmental monitoring. Teredo Analytics was born out of many interesting discussions that we had on how our research could be applied in the real world. After some brainstorming, the problem of health monitoring of oil pipelines caught our attention. The Oil and Gas industry needed a solution that could detect abnormalities in the oil pipeline without disrupting operations. We entered the NUS GRIP program with our idea of a low-cost device for smart data collection and analytics which could be easily deployed for monitoring oil pipeline health. However, due to the high barriers to entry for Oil and Gas, we decided to start off with water pipelines instead and incorporated the company with NUS GRIP funding. PUB was using a similar device for pipeline leak detection around that time, and they inquired if we would be interested in developing a solution for pipeline valve leak detection. We decided to undertake this R&D work and developed our pipeline leak detection solution.
Q. You won a Proof of Concept (POC) project with PUB Singapore at the Digital Water Hackathon (DWH) 2021 organized by Ripple2wave Incubator and Singapore Institute of Social Sciences (SUSS). How has the hackathon opened doors for you?
Rajat: The hackathon was an enriching experience for Teredo Analytics. As a young startup, it is super important to find the market fit from various end users in the market. Throughout the DWH 2021, we heard confirmative comments from judges that leakage is a pressing issue that is faced by public utilities and industries. For example, PUB has put in a lot of efforts over the last decade to reduce the number of leaks from 100 to 3.8 per 100 km of pipelines per year which is among the lowest in the world. Conversations with these end users definitely boosted our confidence in the path that we have taken. After developing our acoustic leak detection system, we are now exploring a more comprehensive method of pipeline inspection with our specially designed remotely operated vehicle (ROV), which can maneuver inside pipelines and assess their health using both, visual and acoustic methods. We are also happy to secure a POC with PUB, which presented an opportunity to test and validate our pipeline leak detection solutions in a real environment. We hope to use Singapore as a test-bedding site for our solutions and demonstrate our capabilities to end users from other regions. We plan to enter the ASEAN and Australasia markets after successful deployments in Singapore.
Q. You recently exhibited and pitched at SIWW 2022 which was the first large water event in Asia after the pandemic. What are your key take aways from the event?
Liang Jie: The event has a special meaning this year, being the first physical event after the pandemic. It was nice to showcase our solutions to water industry professionals and potential customers. Some overseas companies, including a major European utility, expressed interest in our solutions during the event. It is clear that many large companies are providing similar solutions in the market. As an early-stage startup, our strength lies in conceptualizing and implementing a tailored solution for the pressing problems of our customers. We believe that this will help us gain a starting foothold into the industry. We hope to iterate and standardize our products based on the experiences from these initial projects and gain a stronger traction during the scale-up stage.
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