REDUCING PRESSURE IN THE GAS NETWORK HAS A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON LEAKAGE

Active Grid Management minimises leakage and reduces costs while maintaining minimum service levels

Most towns and cities have a network of low-pressure gas distribution pipes
These are supplied from medium pressure networks via a large number of governors,
which typically drop the pressure to 30-100 mbar.

Today, the majority of governors are set manually
There are more than 26,000 governors in the UK network alone.

Downstream pressure

Lowest pressure point in the network

CURRENT PRESSURE MANAGEMENT

Pressures are set manually at the governor station. These are usually set at a high level to cover the worst case scenario, i.e. the coldest winter day experienced in 20 years.

 

99.9% of the time, network pressure is too high. As leakage is proportional to pressure, this leads to excess leakage from the thousands of small leaks that are undetectable or uneconomic to repair. That’s a high financial cost for the utility – and devastating for the environment.

Utilities are under increasing pressure from governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the UK, for example, there are significant incentives for reducing leakage.

Finding the settings for 50 or more governors
that give the lowest average pressure across the network.
at any given time is complex

Active Grid Management:
a more efficient way to run your network

The only way to reduce leakage without replacing pipes is by optimising the pressure. If the average pressure is lowered by 25%, there will be 25% less leakage. Some operators adjust their governors manually on a seasonal basis but it’s expensive and logistically difficult.

A method of automatically adjusting the governors
according to demand is required.

The Utonomy Active Grid Management system in detail

Utonomy’s unique Active Grid Management system consists of controllers retrofitted to existing governors and loggers in the network that communicate with centralised software via the cellular network. The controllers continuously adjust the governor set points to maintain optimum pressure levels across the whole network.

M

ACTUATOR

  • ATEX Zone 0 approved
  • Precise, continuous set point adjustment
  • Retrofitted in less than 1 hour
  • Suitable for all pilot-operated governors
  • Multiple mechanical fail-safes
  • Fail to safe high in the event of power or control signal loss

CONTROLLER

  • Communicates with the data platform via cellular network
  • Monitors health and operation of governor station
  • Maintains safe operation even after a loss of cellular signal
  • Powered by rechargeable batteries and solar panels

LOW POINT LOGGERS

  • Continuously monitor pressure at low points
  • Intelligent alarms alert operators
  • Communicate with data platform via cellular network

DATA AND APPLICATION PLATFORM

  • Manages network devices and stores data
  • Self-learning algorithms use data to optimise network performance
  • Intuitive user interface for network management
  • Displays governor and network performance
  • Manages network alarms

WEATHER DATA

  • Demand in the network varies with temperature and other weather data
  • Historic and forecast weather data is automatically uploaded every four hours
  • Self learning algorithms use the data to help make accurate predictions of optimum governor settings

Network and other relevant data is used to continuously update and download control models to the governor controllers. Once downloaded, the models are used to adjust the governor set points to the optimum levels via motorised actuators.

Benefits at a glance

Lower leakage – reduces greenhouse gas emissions and lowers costs
Enhanced condition monitoring – improved safety and reliability
Fewer site visits – reduced operating costs
Improved network monitoring – faster diagnosis of faults
Enables introduction of biogas to the network – meet regulatory requirements

Active Grid Management by Utonomy:
good for the environment, good for your business.