Development of a Non-destructive Testing Method for Assessing Thermal Status of District Heating Pipes
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020
Pre-insulated district heating (DH) pipes have been in use for more than 40 years. The thermal performance of these pipes decreases over time as a result of thermal and mechanical aging, which leads to higher heat energy losses. A non-destructive method based on a cooling method is under development for assessing the thermal performance of a DH network. The method utilizes the copper wire, which is already embedded in the polyurethane insulation for detection of water leakage, as a sensor for measuring the temperature at the position of the copper wire. The method involves a shutdown of a selected part of a network for less than 2 h and evaluating the cooling process by measuring the supply pipe temperature and the temperature of the copper wire. The method was applied in a DH network during heating season. The thermal conductivity calculated by the method [0.027 W/(m K)] was in good agreement with the reference value [0.026 W/(m K)]. The cooling of the network can be measured at a valve or at other more easily accessible steel parts. It was also shown that the method is applicable for DH networks without a copper wire. However, a temperature measurement is needed on the casing pipe.
District heating network