15 December 2009: Cambridge – The GeoInformation® Group, publishers of Cities Revealed and UKMap, has supplied Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) with Building Class data for improving the measurement of gas leakage and management of its network’s integrity.
Using Cities Revealed’s innovative Building Class solution, a unique database identifying all residential properties by age and structure, SGN has analysed around five million properties and 70 000 km of gas mains during a 12 month period as part of an initiative to improve the measurement of leakage.
Reducing leakage is critical for improving profits but more importantly lowering CO2 emissions and thus environmental impact. Every year, gas distribution companies pay a leakage cost to Ofgem based on the estimated leakage from their network. This is calculated according to the pipe material, integrity and operating pressure of their mains.
Historically, most of SGN’s metallic mains were wrongly classified as pit cast iron. In reality, a large portion is actually spun cast iron. This is significant as leakage from pit cast iron pipes is greater than that of spun cast iron and because records did not differentiate between the two materials, risk models considered them to be equal.
SGN, the UK’s second largest gas distribution company, realised that spun cast iron pipes were installed exclusively for post WW2 new housing. Using Building Class data, SGN could easily identify residential properties by age, providing a cost effective way of locating mains of a specific pipe material and therefore enable them to more proactively target repairs.
“Finding one company that could research and provide all the data we needed was perfect and gave us the impetus we needed to kick the project off”, comments Design Manager, Scotia Gas Networks.
The reclassification of spun cast iron pipes has improved the measurement of leakage, allowed refinement to current risk models and driven targeted integrity solutions.
“This is not only good for the environment but SGN’s profits too!” concludes SGN’s Design Manager.