The ability of a soil temperature gradient-based methodology to detect leaks from pipelines in buried district heating channels
ID Perpar, Matjaž (Author), ID Rek, Zlatko (Author)

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We carried out several numerical experiments to analyze how different boundary conditions affect the ability to detect small pipeline leaks. Our method is based on determining the soil temperature gradient above a buried district heating channel. The equivalent thermal conductivity of a wet insulation (leq) value of 0.5 W/(m(middot)K) was used to mimic a small water leakage. To evaluate the heat loss through the channel cross section, the heat conduction model was used for the pipe insulation, the concrete, and the soil, while the convection model was considered within the channel. The following effects were used to simulate different operating conditions: heat convection at the soil surface, leakage only from the supply or return pipe, soil height above the channel, soil thermal conductivity, and pipe diameter. With the exception of leakage only from the return pipe and low soil thermal conductivity 0.4 W/(m(middot)K), the results showed a doubling of the soil temperature gradient when compared with the no-leakage case. This fact undoubtedly confirms the potential of the method, which is particularly suitable for leak detection in old pipelines that have priority for renovation. A key added value of this research is that the soil temperature gradient-based leak detection technique was found useful in most foreseeable DH operating situations.

Keywords:district heating network, heat losses, numerical experiment, soil temperature gradient, water leak, detection method robustness
Work type:Article
Typology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:FS - Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Publication status:Published
Publication version:Version of Record
Number of pages:Str. 1-12
Numbering:Vol. 14, iss. 18, art. 5712
PID:20.500.12556/RUL-130538 This link opens in a new window
ISSN on article:1996-1073
DOI:10.3390/en14185712 This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:76561155 This link opens in a new window
Publication date in RUL:16.09.2021
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Record is a part of a journal

Shortened title:Energies
Publisher:Molecular Diversity Preservation International
COBISS.SI-ID:518046745 This link opens in a new window


License:CC BY 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Description:This is the standard Creative Commons license that gives others maximum freedom to do what they want with the work as long as they credit the author.
Licensing start date:10.09.2021

Secondary language

Keywords:omrežje daljinskega ogrevanja, toplotne izgube, numerični eksperiment, temperaturni gradient v zemljini, puščanje vode, robustnost detekcijske metode


Funder:ARRS - Slovenian Research Agency
Project number:P2-0162
Name:Tranzientni dvofazni tokovi

Funder:Other - Other funder or multiple funders
Funding programme:JP Energetika Ljubljana, d. o. o.
Project number:JPE-SCV-49/11
Name:Izdelava fizikalnega modela za določanje toplotnih izgub na vročevodnem omrežju sistema daljinskega ogrevanja v Ljubljani

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