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02070 Improving Pipeline Integrity Using Computer Simulation

Product Number: 51300-02070-SG
ISBN: 02070 2002 CP
Author: Robert Adey and Ernesto Santana Diaz
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Recent advances in computer modeling have enabled the condition of pipelines to be predicted using computer models that simulate the environment and the electrochemical processes on the metallic surfaces. Computers have also played an important role in the active monitoring of pipelines where the important parameters can be monitored in real time and alarm conditions rapidly identified. In spite of these advances current systems still require a frequent survey and inspection program. Another major issue to confront the pipeline engineer is interference. In an increasingly complex underground infrastructure, stray currents from other sources (such as parallel or crossing pipelines, industrial plants, or electric rail transit facilities) can come into contact with the underground steel structures. These stray currents not only reduce the ability to inhibit corrosion, but in some cases, reverse the CP (cathodic protection) process and accelerate corrosion in sections of the structure. Given these factors it becomes imperative that corrosion engineers are able to predict the interaction of underground electrical fields as part of the design process. The difficulty in making reliable estimates for cases where there is a complex interaction of underground electric fields can be overcome by using corrosion simulation software as a design tool. Not only can corrosion simulation software help with understanding complex corrosion behavior but it can also provide a rapid and economic assessment of CP system designs. In this paper the background and capabilities of computer simulation is described and its role in pipeline integrity management discussed. Applications will be presented covering the following issues: • Automatic optimization of cathodic protection designs. For example given the basic layout of the pipeline system the optimum location and sizing of the anodes is predicted to achieve the required level of protection • Prediction of interference and assessment of proposed solutions.
Recent advances in computer modeling have enabled the condition of pipelines to be predicted using computer models that simulate the environment and the electrochemical processes on the metallic surfaces. Computers have also played an important role in the active monitoring of pipelines where the important parameters can be monitored in real time and alarm conditions rapidly identified. In spite of these advances current systems still require a frequent survey and inspection program. Another major issue to confront the pipeline engineer is interference. In an increasingly complex underground infrastructure, stray currents from other sources (such as parallel or crossing pipelines, industrial plants, or electric rail transit facilities) can come into contact with the underground steel structures. These stray currents not only reduce the ability to inhibit corrosion, but in some cases, reverse the CP (cathodic protection) process and accelerate corrosion in sections of the structure. Given these factors it becomes imperative that corrosion engineers are able to predict the interaction of underground electrical fields as part of the design process. The difficulty in making reliable estimates for cases where there is a complex interaction of underground electric fields can be overcome by using corrosion simulation software as a design tool. Not only can corrosion simulation software help with understanding complex corrosion behavior but it can also provide a rapid and economic assessment of CP system designs. In this paper the background and capabilities of computer simulation is described and its role in pipeline integrity management discussed. Applications will be presented covering the following issues: • Automatic optimization of cathodic protection designs. For example given the basic layout of the pipeline system the optimum location and sizing of the anodes is predicted to achieve the required level of protection • Prediction of interference and assessment of proposed solutions.
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