Apparatus and Method for Testing Thermal Performance of Pipelines (KSC-12205)

The KSC Thermal Insulation Performance Analyzer is fully developed and in use on site at the Cryogenics Testbed Facility. In operation a cooled cryogen is pumped through the upstream cold box into the pipe being tested. Both ends of the pipe are held at a constant temperature, so the heat transfer is eliminated in the axial direction and is limited to the radial direction.

A precise measurement of the rate of heat leak into the process fluid is needed in this process. The technology operates on the theory that the heat leak is equal to the boil-off rate multiplied by the latent heat of vaporization. A heat-leak rate is computed while maintaining the temperature of the cold boxes at the end of the pipe and measuring the boil-off rate.

Thermally isolated valves, plumbing, and safety devices within the cold boxes allow for convenient and efficient controls and a repeatable procedure. All test measurements are recorded on a field-portable data acquisition system with a laptop computer.

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