PipeTech has been extensively employed for the safety assessment of thousands of kilometers of pipelines across the globe spanning Canada, Europe, Brazil, and the USA, winning the Institution of Chemical Engineers the prestigious Safety and Environment Best Practice Award.
Pressurised pipelines are frequently used for transporting large quantities of hydrocarbons across the globe. A typical 150 km, 0.8 m i.d. pipeline transporting natural gas at 100 bar for example contains almost 637,000 kg of inventory. This represents an enormous source of energy release. Accordingly, in the event of a pipeline failure, all the major consequences such as fire, explosion, environmental pollution and atmospheric dispersion must be reliably determined.
Central to providing the above information with an acceptable certainty is the accurate prediction of the time variant discharge flow rate, temperature, pressure and the fluid phase following pipeline failure.
The above information lays the foundation for pipeline operators and safety authorities to determine the minimum safe distances to populate areas and formulate emergency response planning.
Given the complex nature of the interacting processes governing the discharge process, the use of a rigorous CFD model is an essential pre-requisite for producing reliable pipeline failure consequence data. Simplified approaches such as approximating the multi-component hydrocarbon mixture with a pseudo-fluid or ignoring heat transfer and frictional effects during the discharge process can result is significant errors.
Extensively validated against real data, PipeTech is the only commercially available pipeline failure software accounting for all the important phenomena governing the discharge process and capable of handling a full range of multi-component hydrocarbon mixtures without recourse to pseudo-fluid approximations which can result in significant errors.
Such capability is fundamentally given that the outflow data such as the discharge rate, fluid phase (i.e. liquid, gas or 2-phase flow) and temperature serve as the source term for determining all the consequences associated with pipeline failure, including fire, explosion, atmospheric dispersion, and ultimately the risk to the environment, people and property.
Awarded the Institution of Chemical Engineers Safety Prize, PipeTech is licenced by major corporations such as British Petroleum, Shell, ExxonMobil and the UK Health and Safety Executive.