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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_NGN_228
Title Internal Live Service Insertion (ILSI)
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research 30%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Oil and Gas, Refining, transport and storage of oil and gas) 70%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 100%
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 June 2018
End Date 01 March 2022
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £191,580
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Northern Gas Networks (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Northern Gas Networks (0.000%)
Web Site https://smarter.energynetworks.org/projects/NIA_NGN_228
Objectives Steve Vick working in partnership with Northern Gas Networks will design, develop and demonstrate a suitable method for live inserting polyethylene (PE) pipes into an existing metallic service from within a customers property. It is hoped that this development will remove the need for an excavation in a customers private property and therefore increase customer satisfaction levels in the NGN GD area.It is hoped that the established SVI GIS:LC14 approved sealants will be transferable to the new system without the need for redesign. Should it be necessary to redesign a sealant, the GIS:LC14 technical specification criteria will need to be met. However, with increased service insertion lengths, there is a requirement to redesign the application hardware. Design & Development of sealant applicator systems and pipe pushing equipment will be covered in this proposal but due to the cost and the complexity of testing required for GIS:LC14 approval, design changes to any sealant will require discussion between NGN and SVI before being considered. The Internal LSI system will be designed and developed by SVI and will require rigorous in-house laboratory testing on pipe diameters and lengths to be agreed upon with NGN. An SVI Project Manager will be responsible for the entirety of the project and will report to a representative from NGN. All testing will be reported in the form of a written report and verbal communication which will include photographic evidence of testing and development. As and when required, an NGN representative will witness testing at the SVI depot in Bradford on Avon and will also be present during any field trial activity.The developed system will require G23 status and enter a period of field trials whereupon a set number of installations will be carried out on a range of pipe diameters and lengths. The project team will monitor progress throughout this period and undertake feedback from all interested parties. This stage will be trailed in the Newcastle Upon Tyne area, with the capability of rolling out to the wider networkThere will be agreed acceptance criteria for the completion of stage one. This will focus on ease of use, and improved quality of working practicesPipe diameters between 1” and 1.5” to be used in length no greater than 20mReason for extending the projectThe project has experienced significant timeline delays. These have been due to impact of Covid 19 situation; restricting work in our operational areas and prioritising essential only jobs for the safety of our customers and colleagues. It was envisaged with the easing of restrictions that this work could be picked up again but the overall lifecycle of the project has been impacted.The project faced difficulties relating to identification of optimal sites to undertake testing in the most suitable environment initially, this was then compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic where access wasstrictly prohibited. When mains replacement and planned work activity resumed, this was under controlled conditions and with social distancing rules negatively impacting the resumption of pre-enabling surveys to identify sites. Non-essential activity taking place in customer premises was restricted creating an impact on the project timescale.The project end date has therefore been extended to enable the remaining field trials to be completed and deliver through to completion what has been, and is expected to be upon completion, a successful NIA foundered innovation project. The project will be complete within CNIA governance arrangements and completion achieved before 31st March 2022.Please see the 2021 progress report for further details The agreed sealing length will have an impact upon the final design for the Nosecone used in the system as well as all other tooling including sealant injection and pipe pushing systems. SVI will use their extensive knowledge of sealants and injection techniques to help determine the best possible solution.Sealant ApplicationThe standard sealant application systems will not be suitable for use inside a customers property. They are inherently bulky and are not clean enough to be transferred from an external scenario to an interior one. A new applicator system will be able to inject sealant via the service head adapter port with a steady flow. SVI will aim to incorporate a self-mixing system into the applicator gun, this will remove the potential risk of spillages inside a customers property when mixing a two-part sealant by hand in buckets or within a sealed sachet. Powering the applicator will require discussion between NGN and SVI to establish an acceptable power source. It is thought that the agreed power source may also be used to power the PE pipe pushing system.Alternative Mixing - OptionsIn order for a clean and simple injection of LC14 sealant to be carried out, it will be necessary to investigate and produce a system with the capabilities to mix the LC14 sealant as it is injected. This will reduce the risk of spillage within a customers property.Nosecone A redesigned nosecone will be required in order for the new system to negotiate an increased number of bends and increased length of service. It will be necessary to carry out gas flow testing on the new Nosecone to assess its performance when compared to the original Nosecone design. A redesigned Nosecone should outperform the original Nosecone design in all aspects with minimum pressure loss once installed. It may be decided that the Nosecone design will incorporate a lead in or extended nose portion to allow the easy insertion of PE into the metallic service. Design consideration will be made to allow the easy reconnection to the new PE parent main.PE Insertion DeviceIt is expected that the increase in service length and the increased number of bends will have a detrimental effect on the ability to insert a Nosecone and PE pipe. There is also the distinct possibility that the area in which a skilled service layer is required to work in will be dramatically reduced. It is therefore necessary to investigate a new method/machine that will enable the insertion of the new service from a confined space within a customers property and be able to overcome the requirement for additional force to be applied during insertion.
Abstract The Internal Live Service Insertion (ILSI) project seeks to extend the completion date of the project following complications during initial field trials. Currently, service renewals to properties are carried out using several techniques, one of which is the Live Service Insertion (LSI) method. The standard LSI technique requires a small excavation in the customers private land or garden. The relining of the service is carried out from this excavation towards the parent main and back towards the customers property to the existing meter position. Internal LSI has been designed for use from within a customers property, permanently abandoning the annular space between the existing metallic service and the new PE liner, allowing the undertaking of excavations within the customers land boundaries to be avoided. Reason for extending the projectFollowing the first project extension in September 2019, in which the project was extended on the basis that further field trials were required:“Field trials were undertaken to assess the newly designed ILSI system against the project success criteria. Field trials are the last phase of the ILSI project and carried out under G23 documentation.Selected field trial sites were found to be unsuitable. The services selected had a substantial amount of Dupont service pipe connecting the existing service to the parent main. This prevented the passage of the Nosecone system. CCTV inspection revealed that all the remaining field trial sites were of the same design and therefore not suitable for ILSI”Since then, the project has identified a further issue with identifying trial sites. The identification of suitable network services applicable for use with the ILSI technique is somewhat reliant on local knowledge, making it extremely difficult to identify the necessary volume of field trials and impractical for everyday deployment. The issue subsequently requires addressing, before the technique can be implemented into business as usual.To resolve the outstanding issue, the project will carry out an additional work activity, identifying all suitable services for the use of the ILSI technique across the network. Once identified, the remaining field trials will be undertaken. To continue with the project, the project timeline requires extending. There will be no impact to the project cost. RecommendationThe projects original drivers and anticipated forecasted benefits remain current. Although delays to the original project timeline have occurred, it will not attract any additional Capex costs. However, internal overhead cost will be impacted, but are expected to be minimal. Continuing with the project is deemed a credible option, therefore It is recommended the project completion date is extended to 30th July 2020.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 09/11/22