Research Papers: Pipeline Systems

Optimal Design of Onshore Natural Gas Pipelines

[+] Author and Article Information
Wenxing Zhou1

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, N6A 5B9, Canadawzhou@eng.uwo.ca

Maher A. Nessim

 C-FER Technologies, Edmonton, AB, T6N 1H2, Canadam.nessim@cfertech.com

According to the stochastic dominance theory, an inefficient or suboptimal design need not be dominated by all the efficient designs. Instead, dominance by only one efficient design is sufficient to relegate a particular design to the inefficient set.


Correspondence author.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 133(3), 031702 (Apr 06, 2011) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002496 History: Received July 23, 2009; Revised August 17, 2010; Published April 06, 2011; Online April 06, 2011

The optimal design level for onshore natural gas pipelines was explored through a hypothetical example, whereby the pipe wall thickness was assumed to be the sole design parameter. The probability distributions of the life-cycle costs of various candidate designs for the example pipeline were obtained using Monte-Carlo simulation. The life-cycle cost included the cost of failure due to equipment impact and external corrosion, and the cost of periodic maintenance actions for external corrosion. The cost of failure included both the cost of fatality and injury as well as the cost of property damage and value of lost product. The minimum expected life-cycle cost criterion and stochastic dominance rules were employed to determine the optimal design level. The allowable societal risk level was considered as a constraint in the optimal design selection. It was found that the Canadian Standard Association design leads to the minimum expected life-cycle cost and satisfies the allowable societal risk constraint as well. A set of optimal designs for a risk-averse decision maker was identified using the stochastic dominance rules. Both the ASME and CSA designs belong to the optimal design set and meet the allowable societal risk constraint.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 2

Variation of the expected life-cycle cost with design factor

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Figure 5

Double integration of the CDFs of the normalized returns

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Figure 1

Heat intensity thresholds and human safety implications: (a) outdoor exposure and (b) indoor exposure

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Figure 3

CDFs of the normalized returns

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Figure 4

Integration of the CDFs of the normalized returns: (a) overall range and (b) close-up view of the upper end




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