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PipeCalc Software Manual

Pipework Pressure Drop Calculator


Important points concerning this software for Pipework sizing
PLEASE READ BEFORE USING THE SOFTWARE
The pipework pressure drop software is for calculating pressure drop and
velocities for low-pressure pipework operating up 100mbar and can be used for
steel, copper, stainless steel flexible and PE pipe materials.
The pressure loss formula used in this software is given in Appendix A2 of IGE
UP/2, the specific gravity of natural gas is taken as 0.6 and for LPG 1.5 (Taken as
commercial propane). User defined values can be added.
Maximum pipe velocities have been taken as 20 m/s for unfiltered gas as laid
down in IGE UP/2.
The maximum pressure drop normally allowable from the meter outlet to the ANY
appliance connection is 1 mbar. However this figure increases for LPG to a
maximum of 2.5 mbar. Where there is more than one leg of pipe the allowable
pressure drop will be for the worst leg.
The maximum pressure drop when using higher pressures or a gas booster
should not exceed 10 % of the line pressure.
It is a requirement that the pressure available at the appliance isolating valve for
natural gas is not less than 17.5 mbar. For propane the figure is 34 mbar and for
butane it is 26 mbar. These figures are given in all British and European
Standards for commercial appliances and burners.
To achieve this gas pressure using natural gas it will normally be necessary to
have about 25 mbar at the inlet to the Service governor. This will give 21 mbar at
the inlet to the meter, which is the normal metering pressure. For propane the
supply regulator will be set at 37 mbar and for butane at 28 mbar.
Where the pipework diameter is not known an estimated value must be used, a
good rule is to go up one size from the appliance valve size. Where the pressure
drop exceeds that allowed, re-calculate with the next pipe size.
It is necessary to know the pressure drops for some of the fittings, valves,
governors, meters, filters etc that you might fit into the pipework or make an
allowance for them. This program allows the choice of:
No fittings losses (straight pipe)
Allowing a 10% allowance if number of fittings are not known, care
should be taken in using this option, it should be for estimation
only and will not account for short lengths of pipe with multiple
fittings.
Entering the actual number of fittings in the pipework.
Pipework pressure drop and velocity calculations, Strength testing and purge time
calculations are separate stand alone programs.

Entering data
Items (headings) will appear in red in the sequence they are to be completed.
Where SELECT option is given click pull down menu and select (left click) the
appropriate choice.
After entering data press ENTER. The next applicable box title will be highlighted
in red.
Tabs are available to allow the calculation of the effects of height on the pressure
drop.
Various gas options are available on the drop down list and if the specific gravity
is known user defined gases can be entered.
Where PE pipe is selected a sub screen will request the pipe work grade required
and the SDR rating options listed for PE pipe materials, the manufacturers pipe
data should be consulted if there is any doubt.
Entries not part of the pull down list will not be accepted.
Press RESET to restart the calculation or alter values after ENTER has been
pressed,
failure to
do so
may give
an
erroneou
s result.

net heat input

NG
CV 36 MJ/m3
net

Gas Flow m3/h


Commercial
Propane
CV 87 MJ/m3 net

100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000

10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
200
300
400
500

4.1
8.3
12.4
16.6
20.7
17.1
20
22.8
25.7
41.4
83
124
166
207

kW

Commercial
Butane
CV 109 MJ/m3
net
3.3
6.6
9.9
13.2
16.5
19.8
23.1
26.4
30
33
66
99
132
165

Saving or printing data and results.


The data entered and results can be viewed, printed or saved by clicking the
appropriate button or tab and selecting the required option. The program allows
for the input of client details and printing of all the results on a data sheet.
Note: Data will be saved to the C drive as a text file.
Conversion Factors for gas flow
Other conversions: 1 kW
= 3412 Btu/h
1 kWh net
= 3.6 /net CV in MJ/m3
1000 Btu
= 1.055 MJ
Where calculated values exceed those used in this software from IGE UP/1 an
error message will advise the user to consult the IGE document for more
information.
When calculating the pressure drops for pipework systems with differing pipe
diameters or multiple legs, it is recommended that a table is produced of each of
the sections with their lengths and flows.
When calculating the pressure drops for a network with several branches or pipe
diameters it is recommended that a table is produced of each of the sections with
their lengths and flows and space to record pressure drops calculated by this
software, in this way the highest pressure drop leg can easily be ascertained.

Example of Pipework Layout

Pipework Layout Information


Pipe Section

Length
m

Size
mm

Flow Rate
cu m/h

Meter to A

150

130

A to B

35

150

110

B to Kitchen

35

80

30

Kitchen
Pipework

12
ring main

50

say 15

Total to
Kitchen

Pressure
Drop mbar

30

B to Boiler
House

20

100

80

Boiler House
Pipework

15

80

80

Total to Boiler
House

80

A to Annex

50

50

20

Riser to
Rooftop Boiler

40

40

20
less pressure
gain of 2

Total to
Rooftop

20

Gain/loss of

.
IMPORTANT NOTE.
In very tall structures there is with Natural Gas an increase in available gas
pressure as the pipe rises up through the building because gas is lighter than air.
LPG and LPG/air mixes being heavier than air would have a decrease in pressure
as the pipe rises up the building. This software does not calculate for the effect of
high pipe risers.
With natural gas the pressure increase is approximately 0.05 times the height in
metres. That is, for every 10 metres of pipe rising up the building, the natural gas
pressure in the pipe rises by 0.5 mbar. With LPG the reverse is true and the
pressure falls as you go up the building by about 0.6 mbar per 10 m.

Pipe Design
Before designing pipework, consideration must be given to the testing, purging
and commissioning of the pipework once installation is completed. Consideration
also must be given to maximum purge lengths of pipework (IGE/UP/1) and
isolation, sectional branch isolation and the need for spading, test points and
purge points. Remembering that good working practice will include adequate test
points for pressure diagnosis e.g. at lengths along pipework and either side of
each control or device.
Future loading and extension to the installation will also determine pipe sizing.
It is not recommended to install a gas booster on the outlet of the meter to boost
the outlet pressure in order to use smaller pipes.
It is not acceptable to fit a booster at the appliance end and to "suck" the gas to
the point of use through smaller pipes as the reduction in pressure can lead to
problems with the gas supply system or the ingress of air.

STRENGTH AND TIGHTNESS TESTING CALCULATOR


This is a separate stand alone calculator and does not rely on any data entered in
the pipework calculator
Full Strength and tightness testing procedures are to be found in IGE UP/1 Edition
2
Pipework pressure drop and velocity calculations, Strength testing and purge time
calculations are separate stand alone programs.
Introduction
The purpose of a Strength Test is to ensure that systems can withstand the
maximum pressures they could be subjected to under fault conditions. It is a test
of the mechanical integrity of the system and basically, is a test for major flaws in
construction. It is not a tightness test.
The purpose of a Tightness Test (this was referred to previously as a soundness
test) is to ensure that pipework has a leakage rate below that which could form a
hazard. For new pipework, it is to verify that within testing tolerances there is
zero leakage i.e. no gauge movement and for existing pipework, to verify that
within testing tolerances, any leakage is within acceptable limits.

Strength and tightness test calculations


THIS PROGRAM IS FOR PIPEWORK WITH OPERATING PRESSURES UP TO
2 BAR.
The strength and tightness testing procedures are valid for all pipe materials
subject to their design pressure.
Strength testing
Strength testing of ANY size of pipework is required in the following instances:
any new pipework or new extensions to existing pipework,
certain types of existing installations, for example, up-rating to a higher
pressure. (Reference should be made to UP/1)
Existing pipework not subject a change in pressure does NOT need to be strength
tested.
Tightness testing
Tightness testing is carried out at the Maximum Operating Pressure (MOP)
Tracing leaks and Permitted leak rates
There are four basic categories of installations:
(a)

inadequately ventilated areas (Type A)

(b)

adequately ventilated areas less than 60m3 (Type B)

(c)

adequately ventilated areas 60m 3 and above, and external exposed


areas (Type C)

(d)

underground (buried) areas (Type D)

Inadequately ventilated areas are where it would be hazardous or unacceptable to


have an escape of gas e.g. unoccupied rooms, poorly ventilated areas or ducts,
rooms or areas where there may be constant sources of ignition. This would only
apply to existing pipework as it is against GSIUR to install pipework in such areas.
Such areas may also require remedial work under the Gas Industry Unsafe
Situations Procedures.
Tracing Leaks
The permitted release rates given below (MPLR) are regardless of installation
volume, pipework diameter or system length. These release rates may be
released from a single leak or equally from 20 very, very small leaks, which
would be very difficult, if not impossible to trace.
Leaks may be traced by smell, leak detection fluid or a gas detector, therefore
acceptable and unacceptable leaks can be defined.
Acceptable Leak
Below the maximum permitted leak rate (MPLR), with no detection by leak
detection fluid, suitable gas detector or smell.
Every effort MUST be made to trace leaks before accepting any level of
leakage, the engineer accepting the leak is responsible

Unacceptable Leak
Below the maximum permitted leak rate (MPLR), but detected by leak
detection fluid, suitable gas detector or smell.
Greater than the maximum permitted leak rate (MPLR) whether or not it
can be detected by leak detection fluid, suitable gas detector or smell.
Maximum permitted release rates MPLR
New installations and extensions
Existing installations in Type A areas
Natural gas
0.0014 m/h
Propane
0.00057 m3/h
Butane
0.00044 m3/h
Existing installations in Type B areas
Natural gas
0.0005 m/h per m of room volume
Propane
0.0002 m3/h per m of room volume
Butane
0.00016 m3/h per m of room volume
Existing installations in Type C & D areas
Natural gas
0.03 m/h
Propane
0.0123 m3/h
Butane
0.0098 m3/h

Entering data
Items (headings) will appear in red in the sequence they are to be completed
Where SELECT option is given click pull down menu and select (left click) the
appropriate choice

After selecting or entering data press ENTER.


The next applicable box title will be highlighted in red
Entries not part of the pull down list will not be accepted
Press RESET to restart the calculation or alter values after ENTER has been
pressed, failure to do so may give an erroneous result.
The pipework pressure drop software is for low-pressure pipework operating up
100mbar and can be used for steel, copper, stainless steel flexible and PE pipe
materials.
The data entered and results can be viewed, printed or saved by clicking the
appropriate button or tab and selecting the required option. The program allows
for the input of client details and printing of all the results on a data sheet.
Note: the data will be saved to the C drive as a text file.

Screen Input
Pipe details

Screen Input
Installed Meter details

Gauge Details

Pipework Installation Details

Calculation of Leak Rate

The actual leakage rate will be shown on the results page


IGEM UP/1A Appendix 4 allows for a no perceptible gauge movement test under
certain conditions, the check box allows for calculations to meet this option.
If it is intended that a tightness test is to follow immediately after strength test
the overall test time can be reduced by taking into account a common gauge
stabilisation time. The check box allows this option to be calculated.

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Purge Time Calculator


This program calculates the purge time for the correct purge velocity, it is
important that the correct equipment and purging procedures are used. IGE UP/1
gives full details on purging procedures.
The purge time calculator is NOT independent from the strength/tightness test
calculator as the pipework volumes are taken from that program. (For multi
branched pipework systems see note below.)

Entering data
Items (headings) will appear in red in the sequence they are to be completed
Where SELECT option is given click pull down menu and select (left click) the
appropriate choice
After entering data press ENTER.
The next applicable box title will be highlighted in red
Entries not part of the pull down list will not be accepted
Press RESET to restart the calculation or alter values after ENTER has been
pressed, failure to do so may give an erroneous result.

Saving or printing data and results.


The data entered and results can be viewed, printed or saved by clicking the
appropriate button or tab and selecting the required option. The program allows
for the input of client details and printing of all the results on a data sheet.
Note: Data will be saved to the C drive as a text file

Important Notes.
Multi-branched pipework systems
The program uses the pipework volume data stored from the strength/tightness
calculation, this is NOT APPROPRIATE in multi branched systems, in which case to
determine this time for individual pipework branches, return to the
strength/tightness program and enter the pipework details for the branch under
consideration and then click the purge button to return to the purge time
program and enter details as instructed.
Decommissioning pipework systems.
When decommissioning a system or length of pipe to enable repair, modification
or maintenance to be carried out, it is good practice to carry out a tightness test
prior to purging to establish if there are any unknown leakage problems before
you start.
Where pipework is to be purged prior to its removal or building demolition and a
tightness test is not being carried out, pipe details can be entered in the
strength/tightness program and then click the purge button to return to the purge
time program and enter details as instructed.

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Screen Input

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IMPORTANT PIPEWORK REFERENCES


The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers
Publication UP/2 "Gas Installation Pipework, Booster and Compressors on
Industrial and Commercial Premises".
The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers
Publication UP/1 and 1A Edition 2 Tightness Testing and Purging of Industrial and
Commercial Gas Installations".
Publication UP/1B Tightness testing and purging of domestic sized natural gas
installations
Available from:
The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers
IGEM House
26 & 28 High Street
Kegworth
Derbyshire
DE 74 2DA
www.igem.org.uk
Important Notice.
Global Energy Associates Ltd accept no responsibility for any interpretations or
decisions based on any results derived from this software or any claims resulting
from the use, accidental misuse, or intentional misuse of the software by the
user.

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