Gas utilities need to understand the dynamics of gas distribution through their pipeline network, from the intermediate pressure entry point at the district governor (regulator) to the low pressure connections to domestic/industrial consumers. Measurement of the pressure of gas at different points in the network therefore provides critical information.
Operationally, pressure is the most important parameter in gas distribution. A minimum pressure (typically 21 mbar in the UK or 7” water column in the US) needs to be delivered to the consumer. If this is not met, there is a risk that gas supply can be lost and/or domestic appliances fail. The consequent disconnection and reconnection process is costly and disruptive – and is always bad for customer relations.
If complaints associated with pressure are received, it is important that these are investigated and resolved rapidly, as any delay increases the risk of problems occurring and also risks losing gas through escapes (“shrinkage”).