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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_NGN_140
Title Subline Structural
Status Completed
Energy Categories Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Oil and Gas, Refining, transport and storage of oil and gas) 100%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Civil Engineering) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
Northern Gas Networks
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 March 2016
End Date 01 June 2017
Duration 15 months
Total Grant Value £417,515
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Northern Gas Networks (100.000%)
Web Site http://www.smarternetworks.org/project/NIA_NGN_140


  • Successful development of factory based, subline pipe
  • Successful development of a fully automated electronic reversion pump with data capture capability
  • Measured savings in costs using this method
  • Procedures created and documented via standards
  • Reduced excavation’s avoiding customer disruption
  • Successful development of an application to link the electronic reversion pump for data capture purposes
  • Reduced duration of works improving customer service
  • Successful delivery of the Subline Structural insertion and reversion technique via field trials
  • Define logistical constraints of factory based subline pipe variants. I.e. sunlight, temperature, timescales etc
Expected Benefits:
  • The availability of pipe that is modified at the factory and is available to procure via Subterra
  • Successful creation of a fully automated reversion pump unit that simplifies the reversion process
  • Development of a traceability app based on mobile phone technology to capture site data and integration into NGN systems
  • Successful creation of a pump device that removes the need for water standpipe licences and usage in certain conditions dependant of volumes and is compatible with water recycling post-reversion
  • Successful creation of a self-contained transportable water tank that removes the need for water disposal on site in certain conditions dependant of volumes and is compatible with water recycling post-reversion.
  • Competence training matrix and assessment portfolio creation

Abstract As part of the gas mains replacement program, where iron mains are to be removed from risk are required to be replaced size for size there are a limited number of options the GDNs other than open cut which is highly disruptive and also extremely expensive. There has recently been a new product made available the to the gas networks in the form of Subline Structural technique. The technique is a valuable tool in enabling the use of the existing gas mains network for insertion, to avoid the excessive financial costs and stakeholder impact where size for size pipe replacement is identified during network analysis investigations. The current problem with this method is that the process of reducing the pipe diameter is required to be undertaken on the NGN site, this is an issue as it limits the scope for use for a number of reasons: Size of operation - The site conditions and available space to allow the operation to be undertaken mean that this method is only practical on a reduced number of sites. Customer disruption -When the operation is used on sites it increases the engineering work required resulting in traffic delays and even road closures. Cost of operation - this is currently only available as a bought in service so costs considerably more and our site operatives must wait on site for the pipe diameter to be reduced before work can take place. Working with Subterra we will look to develop a factory based system that can replicate the pipe diameter reduction process at the time the pipe is constructed. In addition to this we would also look to develop the technology to facilitate reversion of the pipe once this is in situ. Therefore we will look to develop a reversion pump with intelligent technology for data capture. Also due to the large volumes of water used in the reversion process we will also need to develop a trailer unit with at least a 1700l capacity to allow water to be transported to and from site to reduce the need for water stand pipe licenses under certain conditions. We will also look to incorporate Bluetooth technology so that every process is automatically recorded.Note : Project Documents may be available via the ENA Smarter Networks Portal using the Website link above
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 14/12/18