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ABSTRACT

This paper is concerned with predicting the impact on the probability of failure of adding hydrogen to the natural gas distribution network. Hydrogen has been demonstrated to change the behaviour of crack like defects which may affect the safety of pipeline or make it more expensive to operate. A tool has been developed based on a stochastic approach to assess the failure probability of the gas pipeline due to the existence of crack-lie defects including the operational aspects of the pipeline such as inspection and repair procedures. With various parameters such as crack sizes, material properties, internal pressure modelled as uncertainties, a reliability analysis based on failure assessment diagram is performed through direct Monte Carlo simulation. Inspection and repair procedures are included in the simulation to enable realistic pipeline maintenance scenarios to be simulated. In the data preparation process, the accuracy of the probabilistic definition of the uncertainties is crucial as the results are very sensitive to certain variables such as the crack depth, length and crack growth rate. The failure probabilities of each defect and the whole pipeline system can be obtained during simulation. Different inspection and repair criteria are available in the Monte Carlo simulation whereby an optimal maintenance strategy can be obtained by comparing different combinations of inspection and repair procedures. The simulation provides not only data on the probability of failure but also the predicted number of repairs required over the pipeline life thus providing data suitable for economic models of the pipeline management. This tool can be also used to satisfy certain target reliability requirement. An example is presented comparing a natural gas pipeline with a pipeline containing hydrogen.

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