Inspection of buried steel or cast iron pipe networks
HOW TO ENABLE PIPELINE HYDROGEN (H2) CONVERSION
WITH THE HELP OF CMI?
Ensuring Piggability and Compliance with EMPIT's CMI Piggability Assessment for a Buried Gas Pipeline while Saving 50 Million Euros
In-line inspection (ILI) tools are widely known as the best method for inspecting pipeline integrity, as they produce highly detailed results while running directly through the pipeline, just a few millimeters from the pipe wall. However, this high data resolution sets certain geometrical requirements for the pipeline, which must be met to classify the pipeline as "piggable." Many pipeline operators face challenges in determining their pipeline's piggability, mainly due to the lack of information regarding bend geometry. EMPIT offers a unique, highly accurate, and precise inspection method to assess the piggability of pipelines from the ground surface, avoiding any excavations.
One of our customers, transitioning to greener energies, planned to convert one of their major pipelines for hydrogen gas. To comply with government regulations, they needed to verify the pipeline's integrity state using ILI tools. However, the pipeline was initially unpiggable, requiring geometry adjustments and the removal of bends smaller than 3D. To minimize downtime, the customer needed a detailed geometry overview identifying areas requiring adjustments without any excavations.
EMPIT's Current Magnetometry Inspection (CMI) offers a cost-effective and reliable piggability assessment method that requires only a fraction of the time and effort needed for excavations. Equipped with high-resolution GPS, our drone assessment is an innovative method that delivers accurate and precise geometry verification. Our AI-based software performs high-quality data analysis, determining horizontal and vertical bend geometries. This data can then serve as the basis for future design and/or construction works.
One of the verified bends on the pipeline had an angle of 82.4 degrees and a radius of 1.8D. Upon excavation, our client confirmed that our results were highly accurate and precise, with minimal errors that did not exceed our specified bend angle and radius measurement uncertainties of 0.1 degrees and 0.5D, respectively. Consequently, they proceeded with the EMPIT-provided results and used them as the engineering basis for the pipeline's geometry redesign to accommodate ILI integrity inspection.
By focusing on the adjustments of only the unpiggable bends identified with CMI, the pipeline operator saved 50 million euros, as there was no need to rebuild the entire pipeline. This significant cost saving underscores the importance of leveraging accurate and precise inspection methods like CMI for efficient pipeline management.
- High precision and accuracy bend geometry data
- Bend tally for ILI provider considerations
- Good engineering basis for pipeline redesigns
- Elimination of any excavations for geometry assessments
- Significant cost savings of 50 million euros by addressing only the unpiggable bends
Gas DN400 Pipeline (1980s)
- Conversion to H2
- Compliance with government H2 regulations
- Determine pipeline's piggability for mandatory use of ILI tools
- Meet government requirements for ILI integrity assessment before hydrogen conversion
- Precise geometry assessment identified unpiggable sections for reconstruction during pipeline conversion
- Substantial cost savings compared to bend excavation for piggability assessment
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It’s for a reason that we are amongst Germany’s Top 100 innovators. Because our mission is to overcome these inspection challenges and, together with our clients, continuously improve the safety and reliability of all pipelines.