Heating pipe work

The confidence in district heating technology could be dented if more attention isn’t given to a potential threat to network ability to function.

A manufacturer of district heating pipe systems has highlighted its serious concern at the growing sector’s apparent lack of awareness in the effects that thermal expansion has on pre-insulated pipe networks.

District heating
Managing director of CPV Mark Whettall told H & V News that if ignored, systems will fail and this will risk damaging the faith placed in the resurgent technology by the British government’s heat strategy.

Although a pre-requisite in better-developed markets for district heating in Europe, the company believes that stress analysis is being overlooked – particularly at a site level.

“It’s all too common for civil works to commence on site and hit an unforeseen obstruction in the ground that requires a deviation from the planned route. These changes – which are often made on the hoof – can seriously affect the integrity of a system’s performance. Although they may not be apparent straight away, as soon as the system is operational and the temperature cycles commence, the stress levels increase dramatically and in the worst cases, stress fatigue can occur.”

Mr Whettall continued: “It’s not rocket science, it’s just sound engineering design and by using advanced stress analysis tools such as the industry-leading sisKMR software package, as a manufacturer we’re able to analyse and correct a client’s proposed design so that its performance and life expectancy are maximised.”

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