Private Gas Networks

Site Survey

Project Background

Breckland Utility Solutions was awarded a contract to produce mathematical gas network models that predict flow rates and pressures for a number of sites owned by the Ministry of Defence. This involved gathering data from desktop studies and site visits, as well as information gained from pipe camera surveys undertaken by other contractors. Pipe drawings were prepared which, when combined with each system’s demand and source data, created the basis of working network models.

Meter and Pressure Monitor

New Technique

The final stage was to quantitatively verify that each gas network was behaving as predicted; an exercise known as ‘network model validation’. An innovative technique for validating the models involved video recording the gas meters and pressure gauges under known demand conditions, using tripod-mounted cameras capable of producing high-quality video output. The recordings from each camera were then synchronised and processed to enable the direct comparison between actual pressures and flow rates against those predicted by the network models.

Mobile Phone on Tripod


This innovative network survey technique provided a greater degree of flow measurement accuracy than could be achieved through conventional methods, and has the added advantage of leaving a fully auditable data trail.

The validated network models provide the client with an ability to:

  • confirm the fitness-for-purpose of existing gas supply networks in compliance with their safety case
  • test the effects of various investment options for new and replacement gas pipes, before committing to a particular investment strategy
  • assess whether the gas networks can safely support the connection of additional equipment