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Proceedings Paper

TX model: a quantitative heat-loss analysis of district heating pipes by means of IR surface-temperature measurements
Author(s): Heimo Zinko; Bengt Perers
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Paper Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate the possibility of analyzing the temperature profile at the ground surface above buried district heating pipes in such a way that enables the quantitative determination of heat loss from the pair of pipes. In practical applications, it is supposed that this temperature profile is generated by means of thermography. For this purpose, the principle of the TX-model has been developed, implementing that the heat losses from pipes buried in the ground has a temperature signature on the ground surface. A qualitative analysis of this temperature signature is very well known and in practical use for detecting leaks from pipes. These techniques mostly makes use of relative changes of the temperature pattern along the pipe. In the quantitative heat loss analysis, however, it is presumed that the temperature profile across the pipes is related to the pipe heat loss in Watt/m. The basic idea is that the integral of the temperature variation across the pipe, called TX, is a function of the heat loss, but affected by some other parameters such as depth, heat diffusivity and so on. In order to analyze the parameters influencing the TX-factor, a simulation model for the energy balance at the ground surface has been developed. This model includes the heat flow from the pipe to the surface and the heat exchange at the surface with the environment due to convection, latent heat change, solar and long wave radiation. The simulation gives the surprising result that the TX factor is relatively unaffected during the course of a day even when the sun is shining, as long as other climate conditions are relatively stable (low wind, no rain, no shadows). The results from the simulations were verified at a testfield in Studsvik, Sweden, with electrically controlled pipe heat losses and long term monitoring of the surface temperature profile and TX factor with temperature sensors at the ground surface. The quantitative TX model for heat loss determination was also tested with IR thermography in a district heating network in Vasteras. The work was performed under the IEA District Heating Programme, Task III, and is continued under Task IV.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 March 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2473, Thermosense XVII: An International Conference on Thermal Sensing and Imaging Diagnostic Applications, (28 March 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.204851
Show Author Affiliations
Heimo Zinko, ZW Energiteknik AB (Sweden)
Bengt Perers, Vattenfall Utveckling AB (Sweden)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2473:
Thermosense XVII: An International Conference on Thermal Sensing and Imaging Diagnostic Applications
Sharon A. Semanovich, Editor(s)

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