Pipelines are believed to be the most secure and effective means for transportation of any liquid or natural gaseous products. These natural products are utilized for the ⅔ of the energy of our usage. Pipelines are constructed in such a way to transmit more than millions of cubic feet of gases and billions of tones of petroleum by-products ever year in the United States.
Types Of Pipelines
The entire system consists of three types of pipelines – transportation, delivery, and storage. Around 495 million or more of transportation pipelines are well connected to transmit these products across the United States all over and to the gathering facilities. Several pumping stations and compressor regulatory stations have been formed to operate the transmitting process smoothly. They also take care of the maintenance of these pipelines time to time for better service.
Universal pipelines are utilized to transmit water from a different mode of supplies to the enormous buildings and houses. An underground network system is constructed underneath the cities and towns through the streets. For better sewage, water pipelines are formed usually one meter approximately under the ground. In the modern era, copper tubes are used for indoor pipeline work whereas, for outdoor plumbing, other materials like steel or ductile iron pipes are used.
A plastic covering is fitted inside the metal tubes which carries water for rust-free service. The exterior design includes asphalt coated tapes. Every segment of a pipeline contains a valve which is located at least 10 miles within the distance. Any household drainage contains approximately 97% of water, and the rest are solid particles. These materials, along with the water, are transmitted through the robust pipelines at reduced pressure. Drainage pipes are usually made up of clay or iron.
Oil pipelines are mainly classified into two types based on the product supply- Crude oil supply pipelines and for refined products. Like the name suggest, crude oil pipelines only transmit the crude oil to various refinery stations. The refined products pipeline carries materials like jet fuel, kerosene, heating oil, or maybe gasoline. Carbon steel pipes are used with a diameter approximate range of 5 to 60 inches for oil pipelines.
Construction Of A Pipeline And Valve
In a broader sense, while preparing a design for a pipeline, there is step by step activities which are involved. For example: surveying the routes, demarcating for construction work, temporary fencing needs to be done, etc. Reputable industrial ball valve manufacturers take care of the valve fittings within the pipeline segments.
The technicians take care of the correct location of the valves according to the needs. If a part of the pipe needs a repair/replacement due to any breakage then (that particular part) needs to be detached from the rest of the network system so that fixing the broken pipe becomes easier.
There are various isolation set valves located in an isolation system inside the pipes. It is designed such a way that in any case if one part closes, then any of the isolation valves can obstruct the water flow by itself through the entire pipeline. The pipeline experts install the mainline obstructing valves at an average distance of every few kilometers along with the whole pipeline operating system.
- For manual valves, technicians have to travel onsite areas, especially in the urban areas, to check the valve and pipeline set.
- For automated valve, technicians can regulate the operation of closing and opening the valves remotely from their control room. Automated valves are better than the manual valves as no human activity or involvement is required to change the pressure or liquid flow rates.
For setting up liquid pipelines, there are separate standard guidelines for valve placement. They are as follows:
- Valves are placed at the ends of the suction pipe and releasing the end of a pumping station system.
- On every line at the entrance of the storage area and sometimes at the end too.
- At the sides of the trunk line
- On each parallel sides of the reservoir which holds the water for consumption.
- Segments where the water level can cross an average level of 100 feet wide.
In addition to this, few check valves are also constructed at the downriver side to gain more precaution from any backflow situation arising due to any contravention. Various block valves are designed with automatic closing down techniques or controls. All of these controls are positioned to shut down the valves during any changes in the pressure or water flow. There is the right amount of spacing line maintained in between these blocked valves to avoid any fluid or water leakage during any problematic situation.
Emergency shutting down (ESD) is also found installed in numerous pipeline valves which are mainly operated remotely. Block valves are situated above the ground area for quick and natural preservation. However, few of these are found buried. These days trunnion mounted valves with an additional anchoring facility are getting more popularity for transmitting natural gas.
The design of the valves and pipelines for undersea are a bit challenging because of the dynamic marine life. There is a unique underwater valve design prepared for the smooth operation underneath the sea. Pipelines with higher dimension and depth are mainly constructed to withstand the high pressure of the sea. Many testing and investigations are done on the holding time of the pipelines under the ocean because most of the pipeline setup is under 6 feet approximately under the earth.
For installing every valve there involves costing. It is not because of the valve location or fitting but also the pipeline longevity. Installing numerous valves can increase the chances of damage or leakage. Depending on fewer valves results in network disconnection in case any pipeline repair work takes place.
In this context, it should be noted all the valve service sites are constructed to encounter all national and federal safety. They also meet all types of environmental, emission needs and meet the fire safety rules. Unique fencing system with the properly locked entrance is also maintained in all the valve regulating sites.