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Impact of sustainable gases on joints used in gas distribution systems

What are the effects of sustainable gas on joints in the distribution system?

Paul Stens (Photo: EDGaR/Jan Buwalda)

Summary 

Within the Dutch gas distribution system, joints are crucial to connect the individual pipes to form a closed system. Furthermore joints form a vulnerable group regarding the increase of malfunctioning due to gas composition changes. Joints can be divided into welded joints and couplers (mechanical).

Although some research has been performed in the past, the effect of sustainable gas on the installed welds and couplers is not yet fully understood. The necessary level of knowledge needed for the safe distribution and transportation of sustainable gases has not by far been reached yet. For example the heat affected zone of steel welded joints might degrade differently compared to the pipe material, due to locally different material structures.

Couplers are often used to connect pipes made out of different pipe materials. However in the gas distribution system polyvinylchloride pipes are also installed using couplers. In gas distribution, these couplers make use of rubber sealant rings to tighten the coupler joints. The influence of sustainable gases on the long time behaviour of this kind of mechanical coupler is still unknown and is therefore subject for study in this project.

Besides the direct influence of sustainable gases on the different types of joints, it is crucial to realize that sustainable gases may also have impact on the presently used maintenance, repair and extension methods for existing pipe networks. Components in these gases might penetrate into the pipe material and change the material properties which might lead to a poor welded joint quality. These influences will be investigated in this project.

Theme: From monogas to multigas
Leader: René Hermkens (Kiwa)
Partners: Kiwa, Enexis, Liander, Stedin 
Budget: 0.7 million euro
Duration: July 2010 / April 2015

Participants

Johannes de Bruin (Kiwa)
Dirk Dijkstra (Rendo/NBN)
Wim van Erp (Stedin)
René Hermkens (Kiwa)
Jan Heerings (Kiwa)
Douwe Koops (Enexis)
Ben Lambregts (Liander)
Albert van der Molen (Stedin)
Peter Postma (Kiwa)
Wouter Rittel (Kiwa)
Ernst van der Stok (Kiwa)
Frans Scholten (Kiwa)

Article

Bruin, J. de., R. Hermkens. “Testing the impact of new gases on distribution materials.” Gas for energy 4 (2014): 26–35.

Conference paper

Bruin, J. de., Hermkens, R. ‘A Challenging Experimental Set Up for Testing the Impact of  Sustainable Gases on Existing Piping Systems.’ IGRC 2014 , Copenhagen, September 2014.

Hermkens, René. "Experiments prove, the distribution grid is able to transport sustainable gas — provided that humidity is controlled." Enabling Sustainability with Gas: Closing Conference of the Energy Delta Gas Research, Amsterdam, March 2015.

Hermkens, R. “Onderzoek levensduurverwachting leidingen en componenten.” Themamiddag EDGaR, Apeldoorn, December 2014.

Hermkens, René. “De gevolgen van de veranderende gaskwaliteit op leidingmaterialen/verbindingen: stand van zaken.” Themamiddag EDGaR, Apeldoorn, April 2013.

Hermkens, René. ‘New gases in existing grids.’ Gas without Frontiers: DVGW-EDGaR First Joint Conference, Apeldoorn, February 2013.

Hermkens, R. ‘The impact of changing gas quality on materials used in gas distribution grids.’ Fourth Re-search Day of the Energy Delta Gas Research, Hilversum, April, 2012.

Postma, P., Hermkens, R. ‘Suitability of Non Destructive Techniques for Polyethylene Pipe  Joints. An in-vestigation into the suitability of current techniques.’ Plastic Pipes XVI Conference, Barcelona, September 2012.

Scholten, F., Wolters, M. ’Physical Ageing of uPVC Gas and Water Pipes’. PVC 2011, Brighton, April 2011.

Weller, J., Hermkens, R. ‘Plastic sheet material An excellent protection of PVC pipes against UV-degradation’. Plastic Pipes XVII Conference, Chicago, September 2014.

Weller, J., Stok, E.v.d. ’Tensile impact experiments of PVC-u at a wide range of temperatures.’ Plastic Pipes XVI Conference, Barcelona, September 2012.

Poster

Hermkens, René, Johannes de Bruijn. “The impact of new gases on distribution materials: experiments to analyse the effects of new gases on the current gas networks.” Fifth Research Day of the Energy Delta Gas Research, Nunspeet, April 2013.

Report

Bruin, J. de, P.J. Postma, W.J. Rittel, F.L. Scholten, E.J.W. van der Stok, R.J.M. Hermkens, J.H.A.M. Heerings. “Impact of sustainable gases on joints used in gas distribution networks: literature review.” Apeldoorn: Kiwa Technology (report GT-110207), 2012.

Bruin, J. de, W.J. Rittel, F.L. Scholten, E.J.W. van der Stok, J. Weller. “Impact of sustainable gases on joints used in gas distribution networks: final report.” Apeldoorn: Kiwa Technology (report GT-140283), 2015.

Bruin, J. de, J.H.A.M. Heerings, R.J.M. Hermkens, P.J. Postma, W.J. Rittel, F.L. Scholten, E.J.W. van der Stok. “EDGaR: experimental procedures.” Apeldoorn: Kiwa Technology (report GT-120085), 2012.

Bruin, J. de, J.H.A.M. Heerings, R.J.M. Hermkens, P.J. Postma, W.J. Rittel, F.L. Scholten, E.J.W. van der Stok. “EDGaR: experimental procedures: amendment.” Apeldoorn: Kiwa Technology (report GT-130116), 2013.

In the news

"Changing gas quality and security." Energy Delta Gas Research, 16 April 2013.