To deliver a meaningful reduction in fugitive emissions these need to be detected and measured in a robust and traceable manner by a well characterised measurement protocol, which is cost effective to implement.
Develop a robust methodology to monitor fugitive emissions and to use it as a reference system for classifying the performance of new low-cost distributed sensor schemes to be developed under this project.
As the project is only just being initiated, there are no outcomes to report yet.
Engineering solutions to reduce installation costs of the fugitive emission detection system (FEDS) have been reviewed and alternative suppliers found which will reduce installation costs. As part of this assessment the materials used were also assessed to see if lower cost materials could be used without impacting the quality of the output of the FEDS, however it was found the material currently in use was most suitable. Improvements have also been made to the reverse dispersion model in use including consideration of alternatives; work package one and two are therefore complete. The remaining work packages are ongoing and remain on track.
By undertaking the MoRFE project NGG has a better understanding of the FEDS technology and what a long-term methane monitoring approach would look like. Improvements to materials, equipment and methods have been reviewed and implemented where appropriate. The FEDS itself cannot replace traditional walk over leak detection and repair surveys as it does not identify the individual leaking asset or component but can be used to identifying potential source areas which should improve speed of leak detection. The FEDS also has the capability of providing a more comprehensive view of the total fugitive emission or leakage inventory from an installation because it is operating continuously.
The use of optical gas imaging cameras has been investigated for fugitive leak detection and these show the most promise in the identification of fugitive gas leaks at height for which currently there is no other option. For gas escapes at ground level where traditional sniffing methods are still an option OGI has significant challenges. During the trials in MoRFE OGI was able to identify 30-70% of the leaks identified by sniffing. A test rig was built in MoRFE for future testing of OGI camera technology and personnel proficiency testing.
No lessons for future projects have been learnt yet.
Approval for modification and installation of new equipment on a Gas Transmission asset is subject to a change control process which assesses the safety and environmental aspects of the change to ensure the ongoing integrity of the NTS. Although the time for this approval had been planned for this took longer than expected resulting in a delay to the start of the first field trial. Future change controls for subsequent field trials has been started earlier to expedite approval.
The National Grid G/35 approval process to allow the installation of the MoRFE sensors took much longer than originally anticipated. Further time should be allowed for in future projects to prevent any cumulative delays from this process.