High Energy Piping Case Study
hrl: provides consistent, accurate and safe way to check piping hangers
Operators of a large power station suspected that some of their pipe hangers were topping and bottoming, causing stress in their piping. They were experiencing difficulty inspecting their hanger assets within their plant. Key issues in identifying poorly functioning hangers included:
- The hangers were hard to reach
- It was hard to identify topped or bottom out hangers,
- Reading the data from the name plates on the hanger was challenging,
- Each time they wanted to inspect the hanger they had to install expensive scaffolding.
Operators of plants containing high energy piping such us those used in power stations need to keep the piping in optimum condition as a failure can result in
- Creep damage due to primary and secondary stress
- Primary stress due to mechanical loads
- Primary stress due to impaired design or operation of pipe hangers
hrl: personnel collected data from design drawings, then undertook on-site hot and cold hanger walk-downs and surveys. The team used a video imaging device on an extendable pole to survey the many difficult-to-reach hangers avoiding OH&S issues and the cost of scaffolding.
hrl: developed an imaging device that could capture still and moving pictures of difficult to reach objects. The device can be used on a telescopic arm to overcome inspection challenges by:
- enabling surveys to be undertaken using a standard method
- providing an inspection system that is safe to use
- eliminating the need for scaffolding
- providing video imaging to give visual records of hanger position in hot and/or cold conditions.
The hot and cold hanger surveys showed many hangers topping and bottoming out, causing stresses to the high-energy piping. The survey results led to the decision to undertake a piping flexibility analysis.
hrl: provides a range of expert services to help plant operators determine the condition of the high-energy piping within their plant and, as required, comply with AS/NZS 3788. Services include:
- reviewing drawings and documentation
- undertaking hot and cold hanger surveys
- undertaking computer-modelled stress analysis
- assessing pipe life
- preparing reports and recommendations
- developing inspection programs.
By using the imaging device hrl: solved the power stations issues by:
- identifying hangers that are operating outside their travel limits
- increasing their confidence that their plant's high-energy piping-support system is operating within specification or that out-of-specification hangers are being identified for follow-up action
- reducing the risks of unplanned outages due to pipe failures
- providing greater inspection access to equipment without the need for scaffolding that can be costly and time-consuming to erect, and can restrict plant access while in place
- increasing inspection operator safety by enabling indicator readings to be from walkways enabling readings to be taken at close range and so improving the accuracy of those readings.
- improve the reliability of the plant
- optimise inspection period without compromising plant performance