By Peter Jorsal, Product & Academy Manager, LOGSTOR A/S
Asset management has become a popular concept within district heating in recent years. It deals with securing the value of your district heating network and production plant. In other words, it is about ensuring that as a minimum you obtain the expected service life with a minimum of operational stoppages and maintenance costs. Asset management often concerns the period after systems have been put into operation. This article will mainly address what you can do in the planning phase to secure the value of your district heating network, but also what you can do in the construction phase and operation period.
Weld joints require more installation equipment, but they also make it possible for the energy company to make person- independent requirements as regards weld data input, where data is scanned from a QR code on the casing joint, as well as requirements to the documentation of the welding process. A lot of development work is being done to make the tool part of weld joints more accessible to a major number of contractors, which will obviously increase the part of weld joints in future district heating networks. See below example of a press tool with an air pressure, which can be used for all dimensions in range ø 225-800 mm as well as the example of the vital weld process documentation.
NEW DISTRICT HEATNG SYSTEMS: PLANNING
Design The correct design, as regards the operational conditions (temperatures, pressures, variations etc.), that the system will be exposed to is decisive for the service life. Movements and stresses must be addressed, and the best solution is to use as few components as possible and avoid the use of operational compensators altogether in order to extend service life. The pipe supplier has great experience with the design of district heating (DH) systems and should be involved together with the consultant. Choice of casing joint History shows that system damages typically arise in casing joint systems, and the majority is due to faulty installations. In relation to asset management, the choice of casing joint system is essential to make sure the system will have the service life you expect, and that you do not incur unforeseen repair expenses. Thus, it is vital to choose a casing joint system with a documented service life like this for the rest of the pipe system. The casing joints must also be easy to install in order to minimize the risk of faults, and it must also be possible to test the installed casing joint to ascertain whether the installation is correct or not. History has taught us that the best choice is between the following casing joint types: • Shrinkable cross-linked PEX casing joints, sealed with mastic • Weld joints, fusion-welded to the outer casing of the pipe
CHOICE OF SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM Establishing a well-functioning surveillance system is decisive for due information about and localization of any damage, where moisture enters the PUR insulation. In this way it is possible to repair the damage before it spreads, and make sure that the damage does not affect the expected service life of the pre-insulated pipe system. So, the surveillance system is a crucial tool in the asset management. The surveillance system must ensure that the following faults are quickly reported: • Weld faults • Installation faults, casing joint installation • Product faults • Excavation damages • Steel fatigue • Any corrosion on the service pipe
Weld joints are considered by the market to be the best, but at the same time the most expensive joint solution.
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