Feb 2019
Gas Distribution
Alternative Gas pinpointing phase 2
Feb 2019
Oct 2019
Northern Gas Networks
Adam Madgett
Click here to send a question to the contact.
Network Innovation Allowance
GD - Safety and emergency
Gas Distribution Networks
he current technique used by Gas Distribution Networks for detecting the location of external gas escapes from buried assets is ‘Barholing’. The basic principle is to penetrate a small diameter hole into a footpath or carriageway, enabling gas samples to be taken from within the pavement structure. This is achieved using a pile driven pin, which has a barrel handle. Operatives carry out a number of penetrations in the general vicinity of the gas escape before subsequent gas samples are taken at subsurface level in order to pinpoint the source.

The current tooling has not been reviewed or updated for the past 40 years and it has been identified that a new method is required. It is hoped that this will contribute to:

• Reduce risk of injury to our engineers.
• Reduce risk to members of the public.
• Reduce time to pinpoint escaping gas.
• Reduce noise from barholing.
• Reduce risk of damaging third party equipment.
• Reduce weight of equipment.
The main objectives of Phase 2 of the project is to produce a prototype for testing and to initiate discussions with a commercial partner for final variant production. In order to complete this, there are a number of other related objectives which must be completed:

• Capture the requirements that the solution must meet. This will be achieved using the Product Specification Document. This document will be reviewed by key stakeholders to ensure that the performance criteria of the solution are agreed upon.

• Develop a commercialisation strategy and approach potential commercial partners.

• Understand the benefits of the new solution. This will be achieved using ‘before and after’ scenarios during field testing. Through collaboration with our specialist Noise & Vibrations team, we will be able to quantitatively capture the forces transferred to operators whilst through input from our Human Factors team, we will qualitatively understand the implications of the new solution for an FCO.

• Justify the prototype design. This will be achieved using the Design Justification Report. All key design decisions will be captured and justified using a combination of analysis and testing.