District heating (DH) is of utmost importance to achieve environmental and sustainable energy policies of the cities. Collective DH systems are a key element of the green transformation, as they provide high quality heat with lowest impact on the environment. Pipelines constitute an essential part of the DH system. To make pipes most durable and keep them longer in operation in the network systems, the status of the pipelines needs to be periodically evaluated to be maintained in the right way and in prompt time.
Innovation: EARTO Member RISE developed the PIPEOPSY, a predictive maintenance model for the assessment of status and usage age of district heating pipes. It is a resource-efficient preventive method that is performed by cutting a piece of the pipe in the field and taking it out for examination and estimation of its status and/or degree of ageing. PIPEOPSY consists of two examination parts: the instruments to measure the adhesion strength in the field as well as a quick chemical analysis to predict the status and the real age of the pipe.
Impact Expected: This innovation can reduce the reparation and maintenance cost for the DH-pipes’ owners by 60%. 15,000€ has been allocated for further development of PIPEOSY at a Swedish ongoing project and, in parallel, there is an increasing interest from several companies worldwide. PIPEOPSY is in the last steps of adjustment and verification. RISE expects it can be commercialised and reach the market in 2-3 years.