Pietro Fiorentini has been actively researching and developing new solutions that can be used in smart grids for years now, especially the natural gas grids.
Current gas distribution networks have a significant limitation: they are subject to expected leakage, particularly at the junction points between pipes and valves, when accidental damage is caused by excavation work or vehicles that block a connection, or due to the corrosion of insufficiently cathodically protected pipes.
The leaks are directly proportional to the pressure at which the gas is maintained to ensure proper service standards at the delivery points and are particularly harmful from an environmental perspective. In fact, when burnt, natural gas is the fossil fuel with the lowest environmental impact among those that are currently available. However, if it is released into the atmosphere without being burnt, it is much more harmful than CO2.
Distributing natural gas through sustainable, smart grids therefore means designing systems which feature:
- flexibility in managing flows coming from different resources located at multiple injection points and with different properties;
- the ability to maintain balance within decentralised grids with bidirectional flows;