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In Situ Corrosion and Heat Loss Assessment of Two Nonstandard Underground Heat Distribution System Piping Designs
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER CHAMPAIGN IL CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING RESEARCH LAB
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The objective of this project was to assess the performance of nonstandard underground heat distribution system UHDS designs being implemented at various Department of Defense DoD installations. These systems incorporate nonmetallic cladding and alternative insulation materials that are advertised to improve energy conservation and corrosion resistance, but they deviate from established guide specifications for UHDS. The ongoing reliable operation of UHDS on military installations is mission-critical, and service interruptions can have adverse and extended negative mission impacts. This report documents the assessment of two similar nonstandard UHDS piping system designs one at Fort Carson, CO, and one at Fort Stewart, GA. The study consisted of environmental corrosivity tests, air pressure tests, visible inspection of excavated sections, and heat loss evaluation using two methods. Deficiencies in design, installation, and accessibility for maintenance were recorded, and significantly degraded sections were documented. Recommendations for addressing site-specific deficiencies are offered, and supporting technical discussions are provided. Overall, it is advised that these systems not be recommended or al-lowed in guide specifications and criteria. When more in-service experience is amassed, a second assessment may be merited
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE