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Gas Properties

The Table below lists some of the more useful properties in building services for natural gas and liquid petroleum gas (LPG).

Properties

Natural Gas

Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) Propane


100% C3H8

Composition & Chemical symbol

92.6% Methane CH4 3.6% Ethane C2H6 0.8% Propane C3H8 0.2% Butane C4H10

Gross Calorific Value (GCV) (MJ/m3)(kJ/litre) Gross Calorific Value (GCV) (MJ/litre) Gross Calorific Value (GCV) (MJ/kg) Net Calorific Value (NCV) (MJ/m3) Density of gas at 15oC (kg/m3) Density of liquid under pressure (kg/litre) or (kg/m3) Ignition temperature (oC) Operating pressure (millibars) Volume of gas per volume of liquid (m3/m3) or (m3/litre) Volume of gas per kg mass of liquid (m3/kg)

41.6 0.0416 53.3 38.7 0.78 650 20 -

95 as gas 25.5 as liquid 50 86 1.85 0.512 kg/litre or 512 kg/m3 510 37 274 m3gas /m3 liquid or 0.274 m3 gas / litre liquid 0.54

LPG (Gas) Pipe Sizing Notes


Allowable pressure drops Medium pressure lines 450 Pa per m run ( 2 P.S.I. per 100 foot ) Low pressure lines 4.1 Pa per m run ( w.g. /100 ft) Maximum 1300 Pa total pressure drop in any run.

Gas Pressures First stage regulation at tank pressure is reduced from 6 bar to 0.7 bar. Second stage regulation at building pressure is reduced to 50 mbar (0.05 bar) At equipment and appliances 37 millibar (0.037 bar)

Natural Gas Pipe Sizing


Allowable pressure drops The allowable pressure drop between the outlet of the meter and appliances must not exceed 1 mbar or 0.001 bar or 100 Pa. Pressure loss is generally limited to between 75 Pa and 125 Pa from the meter to the point of use. Gas Pressures At equipment and appliances 20 millibar (0.020 bar)

SIMPLE METHOD OF NATURAL GAS PIPE SIZING


A simple method of sizing Natural Gas pipes is to use the tables below. The three tables are for Steel, thin wall copper and thick wall copper. An allowance may be made for fittings. This allowance is to add to the measured pipe lengths, 0.3 metres for 90 o bends and 0.6 metres for an elbow or tee.

Procedure
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Measure the length of pipe in each section. Add equivalent lengths for fittings. Determine heat output of appliance or heat to be carried in pipe in MW Divide this by Gross Calorific Value (GCV) of gas i.e. 38.7 MJ/m3 to give gas flow rate in m3/s. Determine pipe size from relevant Table.

Example 1 Determine the steel pipe size for a gas boiler if the boiler rating is 28 kW and the measured pipe run is 10.2 metres with 3 elbows. Procedure 1. Measure the length of pipe in each section answer 10.2 m 2. Add equivalent lengths for fittings answer 3 x 0.6 = 1.8 m. Add to 10.2 m gives 12.0 metres. 3. Determine heat output of appliance or heat to be carried in pipe in MW. answer 28 / 1000 = 0.028 MW 4. Divide this by Gross Calorific Value (GCV) of gas i.e. 38.7 MJ/m3 to give gas flow rate in m3/s answer 0.025 / 38.7 = 0.0007235 m3/s 5. Determine pipe size from relevant Table answer from Table 1 gives 20mm pipe because the flow rate lies between two values on the table and the larger pipe size is chosen. Table 1 below is used for Mild Steel pipe, BS 1387: medium grade. Table 1 Gas Pipe Sizing for Steel Pipe Nominal Pipe size (mm) 15 20 25 32 40 Pipe length (m) 3.0 6.0 9.0 12.0 15.0 18.0 21.0 24.0 Gas Flow Rate (m3/s)
0.00104 0.00219 0.00409 0.00826 0.01258 0.00072 0.00149 0.00275 0.00574 0.00865 0.00057 0.00120 0.00224 0.00464 0.00700 0.00050 0.00102 0.00193 0.00393 0.00598 0.00044 0.00090 0.00169 0.00346 0.00527 0.00039 0.00083 0.00153 0.00315 0.00480 0.00036 0.00076 0.00142 0.00291 0.00440 0.00034 0.00071 0.00134 0.00275 0.00417

Table 2 below is used for Copper Tube Table X or EN 1057 thin wall, half hard temper. Table 2 Gas Pipe Sizing for Copper Tube Table X Nominal Pipe size (mm) 15 22 28 Pipe length (m) 3.0 6.0 9.0 12.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 Gas Flow Rate (m3/s)
0.00079 0.00244 0.00495 0.00054 0.00165 0.00330 0.00043 0.00126 0.00260 0.00035 0.00102 0.00220 0.00032 0.00110 0.00197 0.00027 0.00079 0.00165 0.00025 0.00070 0.00142 0.00024 0.00063 0.00134

Table 3 below is used for Copper Tube Table Y or EN 1057 thick wall, half hard temper. Table 1 Gas Pipe Sizing for Copper Tube Table Y Nominal Pipe size (mm) 15 22 28 Pipe length (m) 3.0 6.0 9.0 12.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 Gas Flow Rate (m3/s)
0.00071 0.00220 0.00456 0.00047 0.00149 0.00307 0.00037 0.00118 0.00244 0.00032 0.00094 0.00205 0.00028 0.00087 0.00181 0.00027 0.00072 0.00149 0.00024 0.00064 0.00134 0.00020 0.00057 0.00118

It must be remembered that the above method of pipe sizing is not as accurate as using the CIBSE guide method as detailed in page 3, but can be useful for checking pipe sizes quickly.

CIBSE method of Gas Pipe Sizing


Use CIBSE guide Table C4.45 (steel) and C4.46 (copper) for natural and LPG pipe sizing. If LPG is used then refer to correction factors on page C4.76 of the CIBSE guide. Most domestic natural gas appliances operate at a pressure of 20 millibar (0.020 bar) Domestic LPG appliances operate at a gas pressure of 37 mbar (0.037 bar). For natural gas it is usual to limit the pressure loss to 75 Pa to 125 Pa from the gas meter to the point of use. A maximum pressure drop from meter to appliance of 1millibar (100 Pa) can be used.

Natural Gas Pipe Sizing Example


Size the gas supply pipe shown below. Copper pipework is used. Appliance pressure is 20 mbar. Use the maximum pressure drop given above of 100 Pa from meter to appliance.

Section

Length (metres) 8 4 13 5 4

1 2 3 4 5

Example 1 Gas Pipe System

To calculate the gas flow rates use the following formula:

H / GCV
Gas flow rate in pipe section (m3/s) Heat output in pipe section (convert to MW) Gross Calorific Value of gas (MJ/m3) given in Pipe Sizing Table.

Where; Q = H = GCV =

For example, in Pipe section 1 the Heat output to all appliances is 25 + 12 + 4 kW = 41 kW. Flow rate Q = H / GCV Q = 41 x 10-3 (MW) / 38.7 (MJ/m3) from Pipe Sizing Table. Q = 1.05943 x 10-3 m3/s Q = 0.00105943 m3/s Q = approximately 0.00106 m3/s

GAS Natural gas L.P.G. ( Commercial propane)

GROSS CALORIFIC VALUE MJ/m3 38.7 96

Gas Pipe Sizing Table


1 Heat Secti Outpu on t Ref. in sectio n kW Zeta factor for Tee = 0.5 + 1.0 + 0.25 = 1.75 T.E.L. = x le = 1.75 x 0.7 = 1. 23 m Tee 0.5 + 1.0 = 1.5 T.E.L. = x le = 1.5 x 0.4 = 0.6 m 3 bends @ 1.0 = 3.0 1 plug valve = 1.0 Total = 4.0 T.E.L = 4.0 x 0.2 = 0.8 m 2 bends @ 1.0 = 2.0 1 plug valve = 1.0 T.E.L. = x le T.E.L = 3.0 x 0.5 = 1.5 m 1 plug valve = 1.0 T.E.L. = x le T.E.L = 1.0 x 0.4 = 0.4 m 8 + 1.23 = 9.23 2.2 2 Flow rate m3/s 3

Pipe Size mm dia

4 Lengt h of pipe

5
Total Equivalent length of Fittings

m m

6 Total Pipe Length Col. 4+5 m

9 1 7 8 Pressure Pressure at Pressure TOTAL atstartof end drop PRESSU section of section per RE Pa Pa metre DROP Col. 6 x Pa/m 7 Pa

41

0.00106

28

20.31

4 + 0.6 = 4.6 8.3

16

0.000413

15

38.18

13 + 0.8 = 13.8 1.3

0.000103

15

13

17.94

5 + 1.5 = 6.5 3.0

25

0.00065

22

19.5

4 + 0.4 = 4.4 4.0

12

0.00031

15

17.6

Gas pipe sizes and pressure drops can now be put on the drawing.

The pressure drops as shown in the following Table: Sections 1,4 1,2,5 1,2,3 Pressure drop (Pa) 20.31 + 19.50 20.31 + 38.18 + 17.60 20.31 + 38.18 + 17.94 Pressure drop (Pa) 39.81 76.09 76.43

The maximum pressure drop is in sections 1, 2 and 3 and amounts to 76.43 Pa. This is less than the recommended maximum of 100 Pa; therefore the pipe sizes are appropriate. If the pressure drop in sections 1, 2 and 3 and was too high then the pipe size in section 2 could have been increased to 22mm, and a second calculation of pressure drop carried out. GROSS CALORIFIC VALUE (MJ/m3) 41.6 96

GAS Natural gas L.P.G. ( Commercial propane)

Gas Pipe Sizing Table


1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 5 Heat Flow Pipe Length Total Pressure TOTAL Pressure Total Section Output rate Size of pipe Equivalent Pipe drop PRESSURE at start Ref. in m3/s per DROP of length of Length mm section m Col. metre Col. 6 x 7 section Fittings dia kW 4+5 Pa/m Pa Pa m m 10 Pressure at end of section Pa