April 2021, Vol. 248, No. 4

Features

Improving Natural Gas Distribution Systems to Ease Pressure Risks

By C. David Slavin, P.E, Burns McDonnell  Natural gas is an essential commodity used for generating electricity, fueling vehicles, cooking and more. In the United States alone, it is supplied through networks of pipelines spread across millions of miles.   Protecting these pipelines and the public from both internal and external damage is crucial because natural gas can be hazardous, and a break in the distribution network can threaten public safety and cause serious economic losses. One such challenge faced by utilities is overpressure events in their pipelines and how to properly protect against them.   Figure 1: Scope diagram. (Source: AS

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