Industrial Sector

Continuous methane leak detection for a sustainable future

Together with Zühlke, Sensirion Connected Solutions AG developed Nubo Sphere – a continuous methane emissions monitoring solution. It detects, locates, and quantifies methane leaks in real time, enabling companies in the energy industry to minimise emissions efficiently and sustainably.

oil gas fracking rig nubo

Project at a glance:

  • Methane has a warming potential that is 84 times higher than CO2 and is a strong greenhouse gas and very harmful for the environment.
  • Sensirion Connected Solutions AG had the vision to realise a highly available end-to-end solution that monitors methane emissions 24/7.
  • The solution detects, localises, and quantifies methane leaks in real-time allowing operators to reduce emissions of this harmful greenhouse gas sustainably.

Outset situation: the vision to minimise emissions sustainably

While CO2 is considered to be the primary cause of global warming, methane has a warming potential that is 84 times higher than CO2 over a 20-year period. So, once in the Earth’s atmosphere, methane is a strong greenhouse gas and is very harmful for the environment.

New regulations, ESG (Environment, Society, Governance) standards and the pressure of stakeholders to reduce greenhouse gases pushes businesses to take swift action. Many industries such as the energy sector must act now. However, during gas extraction or storage, current methane detection technologies are not sufficient to solve the issue. They are expensive, limited, intermittent, and therefore inaccurate.

Sensirion Connected Solutions AG wanted to tackle the problem with a sensor-based, end-to-end solution to detect, localise, and quantify methane leaks continuously, alerting users reliably when a leak occurs. 
The goal of this initiative: enable operators to sustainably reduce emissions. Together with Zühlke, Sensirion Connected Solutions AG was able to build the highly available, compact end-to-end solution Nubo Sphere. By combining unique sensor technology with innovative data analysis and an intuitive emissions management dashboard, Nubo Sphere enables companies in the energy industry to continuously monitor their assets and localise leaks to reduce the emission of the harmful gas immediately.

Solution: end-to-end support to turn Sensirion's vision into reality

This very interdisciplinary project held a number of challenges for all project partners since it involved hardware and firmware for the sensors, as well as the models to determine if there is a leak and a database to collect the sensor data centrally. Zühlke supported Sensirion Connected Solutions AG from the very beginning in the Microsoft Azure Cloud and was the link between the sensors on the field and the data science team. With a collaborative approach, Zühlke co-innovated ways to improve data access and data quality assurance (via the Nubo App or an API interface) together with its partner Microsoft. Easy data access and integration gives the user actionable insights in real-time on an intuitive dashboard. The cloud-based data quality assurance saves time and effort.

As Zühlke shares the values and vision of contributing to an environmentally friendly solution with Nubo Sphere, it was a special project for the team to support Sensirion in implementing this vision.

Dominik Niederberger, Research & Development Director, Sensirion Connected Solutions AG
' Zühlke's software and cloud expertise was instrumental in helping us realise our vision of a more sustainable future. '
Dominik Niederberger
Research & Development Director, Sensirion Connected Solutions AG

Benefit: an innovative solution for a brighter and more sustainable future

Together, Sensirion Connected Solutions AG and Zühlke rapidly deployed a working solution based on the latest technologies and best current practices. The solution changes the state-of-the-art in continuous methane emissions monitoring. It enables users to reliably detect, localise and quantify fugitive methane emissions 24/7 in real-time. A future-proof design reduces the total cost of ownership, allows easy maintenance and sustainable upgrades to the latest sensor technology and makes it possible to access new market opportunities. Sensirion Connected Solutions AG benefits from Zühlke‘s broad know-how in the areas of software and cloud. Nubo Sphere is already distributed across the globe enabling a brighter and more sustainable future.