Sep 2017
Gas Distribution
Alternative gas pinpointing
Sep 2017
Dec 2017
Northern Gas Networks
Sarah Wilkinson
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Network Innovation Allowance
Gas Distribution Networks
Phase 1

The first phase of work would involve a Requirements and Optioneering study containing:

  • Detailed requirement capture

  • Optioneering study

  • Down selection Workshop

  • Cost-benefit analysis

At this stage it is thought that, given the range of possible approaches to the problem, a phased approach would be the best way to resolve the problem. The first part of work would be to complete a requirements study in order to fully capture the boundaries of the design space. Through generating a thorough understanding of the problem a number of concepts will be developed as an output of the Optioneering study. The various concepts will be evaluated individually before utilising a weighted multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) tool to select a final solution.

The benefits of a requirements capture before the design phase of the project starts is best described using the Pareto Principle. This recognises that from a design perspective “80% of the important design decisions are made during the first 20% of a project”. Therefore it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of the project and an appreciation of the design space in order to make the correct decisions. The Optioneering study will give an opportunity for the design team to work in collaboration with the end user. This blend of experience and expertise should result in the final chosen concept meeting the agreed requirements.

Should this initial optioneering study prove successful and identify a suitable alternative route subsequent phases would cover:

Phase 2 -Concept Design

Where the chosen design is further developed and proven to a point where it is ready to enter the detailed design phase. This would include:

  • High level concept design

  • Basic design analysis and calculations


Phase 3 - Detailed Design

The main output being the development of a fully working prototype ready for field trials:

  • Production of detailed design documentation including manufacture drawings

  • Equipment/material selection and definition

  • Detailed modelling and analysis


The exact nature of phases 2 and 3 are dependent on the output of phase 1 and would require a separate project submission.

There are two main objectives of this project. The first is to capture fully all of the information required to solve the problem. This is to ensure that all subsequent decisions made are as informed as possible. This will be achieved through a detailed requirement capture and workshops with the operators.

The second objective is to select a final concept through a Down selection workshop. This will be done through an Optioneering study where up to five concept solutions will be generated which fulfil the requirements. The Down selection pack will contain all of the proposed concepts and communicate the rationale behind them. A weighted multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) tool will be used through collaboration with the design team and the customer in order to come to a collective decision on the final chosen concept. The key points from the workshop will be recorded and developed as part of an Optioneering report. 

Requirements – The design space has been fully captured and all requirements have been agreed upon.

Down selection workshop – A single solution has been agreed upon to take forward to Phase 2 of the project.

Optioneering Report – All key design decisions have been recorded. There is a clear and structured approach to the problem. The final chosen solution is innovative and provides an obvious improvement to the current method.