Optimising the renewal of natural gas reticulation pipes using GIS

Hobson, Alan George Cawood (2002-04)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A major concern for Energex, Australia's largest energy utility in South East Queensland, is the escape of natural gas out of their reticulation systems. Within many of the older areas in Brisbane, these networks operate primarily at low and medium pressure with a significant percentage of mains being cast iron or steel. Over many years pipes in these networks have been replaced, yet reports show that unaccounted for gas from the same networks remain high. Furthermore, operation and maintenance budgets for these networks are high with many of these pipes close to the end of their economic life. When operation and maintenance costs exceed the costs of replacement, the Energex gas utility initiates projects to renew reticulation networks with polyethylene pipes. Making decisions about pipe renewal requires an evaluation of historical records from a number of sources, namely: • gas consumption figures, • history of leaks, • maintenance and other related cost, and • the loss of revenue contributed by unaccounted for gas. Financial justification of capital expenditure has always been a requirement for renewal projects at the Energex gas utility, however the impact of a deregulation in the energy utility market has necessitated a review of their financial assessment for capital projects. The Energex gas utility has developed an application that evaluates the financial viability of renewal projects. This research will demonstrate the role of GIS integration with the Energex financial application. The results of this study showed that a GIS integrated renewal planning approach incorporates significant benefits including: • Efficient selection of a sub-network based on pipe connectivity, • Discovery of hidden relationships between spatially enabled alphanumeric data and environmental information that improves decision making, and • Enhanced testing of proposed renewal design options by scrutinizing the attributes of spatial data.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Groot bron van kommer vir Energex, Australië se grootste energieverskaffer in Suidoos- Queensland, is die verlies van natuurlike gas uit hul gasdistribusie netwerke. In 'n groot deel van ouer Brisbane opereer hierdie netwerke hoofsaaklik teen lae en medium druk, met 'n aansienlike persentasie van hoofpyplyne wat uit gietyster of staal bestaan. Al is sommige pyplyne in hierdie netwerke met verloop van tyd vervang, maak verslae dit duidelik dat 'n groot deel van die gas in hierdie netwerke steeds langs die pad verlore gaan. Die operasionele - en onderhoudsbegrotings vir hierdie netwerke is boonop hoog, met 'n groot persentasie van die pyplyne wat binnekort aan die einde van hulle ekonomiese leeftyd kom. Wanneer operasionele- en onderhoudsonkostes die koste van vervanging oorskry, beplan Energex se gasvoorsienings-afdeling projekte om verspreidingsnetwerke te hernu met poli-etileen pype. Om sinvolle besluite te neem tydens pyplynhernuwings, word verskeie historiese verslae geraadpleeg, insluitend: gasverbruikvlakke, lekplek geskiedenis rekords, onderhoud- en ander verwante onkostes, asook die verlies van inkomste weens verlore gas. Alhoewel finansiële stawing van kapitale uitgawes nog altyd 'n voorvereiste was tydens hernuwingsprojekte by Energex, het die impak van privatisering op die energieverskaffingsmark dit noodsaaklik gemaak om hulle finansiële goedkeuringsproses vir kapitaalprojekte te hersien. Energex het dus 'n sagteware toepassing ontwikkel wat die finansiële gangbaarheid van hernuwingsprojekte evalueer. Hierdie navorsing sal die moontlike integrasie van geografiese inligtingstelsels (GIS) met dié van Energex se finansiële evalueringspakket demonstreer. Die resultate van hierdie studie toon dat die integrasie van GIS in die hernuwingsproses aansienlike voordele inhou, insluitende: • die effektiewe seleksie van sub-netwerke, gebaseer op pyp konnektiwiteit, • die ontdekking van verskuilde verwantskappe tussen geografies-ruimtelike alfanumeriese data en omgewingsinligting, wat besluitneming vergemaklik, en • verbeterde toetsing van voorgestelde hernuwingsopsies deur die indiepte-nagaan van geografiesruimtelike elemente.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52980
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