Computer-modeling technology has developed over a number or years and is now widely used to verify the performance of cathodic protection (CP) systems used in combination with coatings to manage the corrosion risk to underground assets.

Modeling can be used to verify the protection provided by the CP system and optimize its design. For retrofit designs, modeling can be used to firstly gain a quantitative understanding of the statc ofthc structures, the remaining life of existing anodes and estimated date at which loss of protection will occur. Modeling can also be used as part of the integrity management of underground assets by correlating the survey data with the model.

This has the benefit that predictions can be based on the actual degradation rates of the coatings and other structural changes. Updated model predictions can be used to plan any remedial activities required, thereby providing a more accurate understanding of the condition of the asset and its future protection levels than that based on the design assumptions.

For underground assets such as pipelines, buried tanks and other structures, interference can significantly affect the performance of CP systems designed to protect structures from corrosion. There are many forms of interference that the CP engineer has to consider and mitigate, if the design is to perform as required over the life of the structure.

For example, anode interference can significantly degrade the ability of the anodes to supply the required current, interference can occur between structures protected by CP systems and external electrical sources (AC/DC) can also cause interference.

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