Gas is an essential energy source consumers use worldwide for various purposes, from heating homes to powering appliances. However, consumers often face limitations imposed by gas providers when it comes to gas pressure. A popular solution that many propose is installing a gas booster. But is this really a viable solution, and why should you consider buying a gas booster?
Gas supply is regulated for various safety reasons. However, gas pressure requirements also escalate as the population (and its needs) increase. Getting gas providers to increase capacity is tedious and often futile, so gas boosters are often the best way to increase gas pressure locally.
Having a gas supply as part of your infrastructure is essential for some people, and it’s the standard in some regions, like London. But having fixed infrastructure also means there are limitations in the gas pressure available to you. Let’s look at gas boosters and the problems that make them a necessity rather than a luxury.
Why Are Gas Pressures So Strictly Regulated?
Gas providers are responsible for setting and regulating gas pressure to ensure the safe and efficient distribution of gas to consumers. They carefully determine the appropriate pressure levels to maintain the integrity of the gas infrastructure and prevent safety hazards.
By restricting gas pressure, providers can control gas flow, avoid excessive strain on pipelines, and minimise the risk of leaks or accidents.
They do this for several reasons:
- Safety Considerations. Safety is the first priority when it comes to gas distribution. Restricting gas pressure helps prevent accidents, leaks, and potential hazards. By maintaining a controlled and moderate pressure level, gas providers can minimise the risk of pipeline ruptures, explosions, and other incidents that could harm people and property.
High-pressure gas systems require more stringent safety measures, and restricting pressure ensures the infrastructure can operate safely.
- Pipeline Integrity. Gas pipelines are designed to withstand specific pressure levels, and excessive pressure can strain the pipeline’s integrity, leading to leaks or structural failures. By restricting gas pressure within the recommended limits, gas providers can extend the lifespan of the pipeline infrastructure and reduce the likelihood of costly repairs or replacements.
- System Efficiency. Gas providers aim to optimise the efficiency of the gas distribution system. By carefully controlling pressure levels, providers can maintain a balance between supply and demand. Excessive pressure can lead to inefficiencies, such as excessive gas usage or waste, while low pressure may result in inadequate heating or appliance performance.
- Resource Conservation. Gas is a valuable and finite resource. Restricting gas pressure helps conserve this resource by minimising wasteful consumption. By regulating the pressure, gas providers can ensure that consumers receive the necessary amount of gas for their needs without excessive waste.
- Infrastructure Compatibility. Gas distribution systems comprise an intricate network of pipelines, valves, and other components. Different parts of the system may have varying pressure tolerance levels. By restricting gas pressure, providers can ensure compatibility with the existing infrastructure.
The Challenging Process Of Increasing Gas Pressure
According to the United Kingdom’s Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, domestic gas consumption increased by 7.4% in 2021 over 2020, while the industrial sector saw an increase of 7.2%. There is a general upward trend in gas demand due to the rising population and the increasing number of appliances and systems that use gas.
This could lead to gas pressures being inadequate in many cases.
For consumers who require higher gas pressure at their location, obtaining an increase in pressure from the gas provider is not a simple task. It involves a complex process, often requiring applications, studies, and assessments. Consumers must communicate their specific needs to the gas provider and provide justifications for the desired pressure increase.
The gas provider then evaluates the feasibility of the request, considering factors such as the existing infrastructure and the potential costs associated with upgrading pipework to accommodate higher pressure. If the infrastructure costs are deemed excessive, the gas provider may reject the application, leaving the consumer with limited options to address their gas pressure requirements.
Throughout this process, the above safety concerns must also be considered. Higher gas pressure requires significant infrastructure changes to ensure it is done safely and without waste or injury.
London’s Costly And Time-Consuming Application Process
One notable example of the challenging process of increasing gas pressure can be found in the city of London. Due to the capital’s extensive and complex gas network, applications for increased gas pressure can be both costly and time-consuming.
The high-density urban environment of London presents unique challenges for gas providers in terms of infrastructure upgrades and ensuring the safety and reliability of the gas supply, mainly for the following reasons:
- London has an extensive gas network serving many residential, industrial, and commercial properties. The network consists of numerous interconnected pipelines, valves, and distribution points spread across the city. Managing such a large and intricate system poses significant logistical and operational challenges for gas providers.
- London is a densely populated city with a high concentration of buildings and infrastructure, which presents additional complexities. The proximity of buildings, underground utilities, and transportation infrastructure makes it challenging to upgrade or modify the gas infrastructure without disrupting other essential services.
- London’s gas network has evolved over many decades, incorporating infrastructure from different eras. Some parts of the network may be pretty old and may not be compatible with higher gas pressure requirements. Upgrading or retrofitting these older sections of the infrastructure to accommodate increased pressure can be costly and technically challenging.
- As a highly regulated industry, the gas sector in London operates under strict safety standards and regulatory frameworks. Any modifications to the gas infrastructure, including pressure increases, must adhere to these regulations and undergo rigorous safety assessments. These processes ensure that any changes to the system do not compromise safety or pose risks.
- Increasing gas pressure in a complex urban environment like London often involves substantial infrastructure costs. Upgrading pipelines, valves, and other components to handle higher pressure levels can require significant investments.
The costs associated with conducting feasibility studies, engineering assessments, and implementing the necessary upgrades can be considerable, making the application process expensive for consumers.
- Coordinating with multiple stakeholders is crucial in the process of increasing gas pressure in London. Gas providers must collaborate with local authorities, planning departments, engineering consultants, and other parties to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and mitigate any potential impacts on the surrounding infrastructure or environment.
In many cases, applications for increased gas pressure in London involve comprehensive studies and assessments, often necessitating the involvement of specialised engineers and consultants. These studies aim to determine the feasibility and potential impact of the pressure increase on the existing gas infrastructure.
The costs associated with these studies, combined with any necessary infrastructure upgrades, can be substantial, making the application process burdensome for consumers, and that’s a real-life example of how difficult it could be to get government approval for improved gas supply infrastructure.
Possible Solutions To The Gas Pressure Problem
Apart from applying to the gas providers to improve infrastructure, there are a few ways in which people and corporations are trying to address these issues, but not all solutions are equally viable. These are large-scale attempts to resolve low gas pressure problems, but they still have individual shortcomings and limitations.
In recent years, district heating technology has gained momentum as a sustainable and efficient solution for heating multiple buildings or an entire neighbourhood. District heating systems involve centralised heat generation, which is then distributed to individual buildings through a network of insulated pipes.
These systems can utilise various energy sources, including gas, biomass, or waste heat from industrial processes.
With the increasing adoption of district heating technology, consumers may find their gas pressure requirements addressed at a broader level. District heating schemes often involve careful planning and consideration of the gas pressure needs of the entire network, ensuring that sufficient pressure is available to meet the demand of all connected buildings.
This approach reduces the need for individual consumers to seek pressure increases, streamlining the process and minimising the associated costs and complexities.
However, these systems could take many years to implement because developers tend to prioritise certain “high need” areas, which is understandable. Companies also have to go through feasibility studies and tests before implementing district heating to ensure that it is viable for the region.
In most cases, district heating is also implemented by the people living in the region, not by the government, increasing costs and making it more of a niche solution.
Improved Gas Pressure In New Build Projects
When undertaking a new build project, developers and architects typically conduct thorough analyses of gas pressure availability before construction begins. This step is crucial to ensure that the gas supply meets the requirements of the building’s heating and appliance systems.
By considering gas pressure availability early in the planning stages, developers can make informed decisions and avoid potential issues or delays associated with insufficient pressure. Unfortunately, this still poses two problems:
- What about users in older buildings that don’t have access to these improved systems? This does not solve their problem.
- For how long will these improved implementations be sufficient? After all, when the current buildings were planned and built, the gas infrastructure was adequate for the needs and requirements of the time.
So, even though proper gas infrastructure planning is a good step forward, it’s not a perfect (or necessarily long-term) solution.
Why A Gas Booster Is A Perfect Solution
The alternative option for consumers needing increased gas pressure is to utilise a gas booster system, such as Secomak’s. A gas booster is a device specifically designed to raise the existing gas pressure at a particular location, providing an effective solution without the need for extensive infrastructure upgrades. These devices offer the following advantages:
Gas boosters work by taking the existing gas pressure and increasing it to the desired level. They are designed to deliver a precise and controlled pressure boost, allowing consumers to achieve the specific pressure required for their heating systems or appliances. By boosting the pressure locally, consumers can overcome the limitations imposed by the gas provider’s restricted pressure levels.
Compact And Easy To Install
Gas boosters are typically compact and easy to install, making them suitable for various applications. They can be installed directly at the point of use, such as residential properties, commercial buildings, or industrial facilities. The compact nature of gas boosters enables them to be integrated into existing gas systems without requiring significant modifications or disruptions.
Gas boosters offer a cost-effective alternative to infrastructure upgrades for consumers in need of increased gas pressure. As mentioned earlier, the process of increasing gas pressure through the gas provider can be time-consuming and expensive. In contrast, gas boosters provide a more economical solution, as they eliminate the need for extensive modifications to the gas distribution system.
Flexibility And Customisation
Gas boosters can be customised to meet specific pressure requirements. Different models and configurations are available to accommodate varying gas flow rates and pressure levels. This flexibility allows consumers to tailor the gas booster system to their unique needs, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency.
By locally boosting the gas pressure, consumers can enhance the reliability of their gas supply. Gas boosters ensure a consistent and adequate pressure level, reducing the likelihood of performance issues, such as inadequate heating or appliance malfunctions.
This reliability is particularly crucial for commercial and industrial operations that depend on a reliable gas supply for their processes and equipment.
Complementary To Existing Infrastructure
Gas boosters work in conjunction with the existing gas infrastructure. They do not replace or interfere with the gas provider’s network but rather increase the pressure at the specific location where they are installed with no detrimental effects on the rest of the gas supply.
This compatibility allows consumers to overcome the limitations imposed by the gas provider’s pressure restrictions while maintaining the integrity and functionality of the overall gas distribution system.
Gas boosters provide consumers with a practical, compact, and cost-efficient solution for increasing gas pressure at specific locations. They offer pressure boosting, easy installation, customisation options, enhanced reliability, and compatibility with the existing infrastructure, solving most of the problems commonly faced by people who need higher gas pressures.
By utilising Secomak’s gas boosters, consumers can meet their increased gas pressure requirements without the need for extensive infrastructure upgrades or reliance on the gas provider’s approval process. There are no regulatory processes or bureaucratic red tape to navigate. All it takes is one quick installation, and a simple but effective gas booster will meet all your gas pressure needs.