Pietro FiorentiniTerranova and Reti Più are partners in the Life+ 2013 Project called “Life Green Gas Network” (Project n. LIFE13 ENV/IT/000536), EU financial instrument that supports environmental action projects aimed to preserve the nature and the climate throughout the European Union.

The project aims to demonstrate the possibility of implementing a new management and control system for the adjustment of pressure levels of the natural gas distribution network.

The main core of the project is the implementation a new remote communications management software between network and control center, together with a real time data processing, in order to optimize the pressure in each sector of the network. This system aims to reduce at least by 3% the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the gas leakages.


The natural gas distribution networks may experience gas leakages near old junction points between tubes and valves that are parts of the distribution system, or as a consequence of damages such as excavations or vehicle collisions: these losses are directly proportional to the pressure at which the gas is kept in order to ensure the proper quality of service standards.
How can we balance the two apparently opposed needs, minimizing the leakages caused by damages and maximizing the quality standards offered to the users?
The answer to this question lies in the development of new technologies that allowto reach the right balance between these needs, when  successfully implemented.
The "Life Green Gas Network" project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of a new management and control system for the pressure levels regulation in the natural gas distribution network. In order to reach this purpose, the project involves the development, the test and the actual implementation of a new software for the management of remote communications between network and control center. Furthermore, real time data processing allows the real time pressure optimization in each network’s sector.

Thanks to this system, our team forecasts that the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the abovementioned gas leakages should decrease by at least 3%.


With reference to the purposes that the project aims to reach once the system will be active and operating, these will be expected results of the project:

1.    Significantly lower pressure values during off-peak hours on the network test areas (Albiate and Cesate Municipalities), once the new automatic pressure regulation system will be online for low (BP) and medium pressure (MP) and for all types of pipes, steel or polyethylene (PE ), as shown below:

  • Albiate, MP, steel: 1 bar instead of 2 bar
  • Albiate, MP, PE: 0,5 bar instead of 0,9 bar
  • Albiate, MP, steel and PE: 20 mbar instead of 24 mbar
  • Cesate, MP, steel and PE: 1.5 bar instead of 2.5 bar
  • Cesate, LP, steel and PE: 25 mbar instead of 40 mbar

With these values a reduction of at least 3% of the gas leakages will be obtained, and, consequently, a reduction of the GHG emissions. The total amount of gas saved in the network’s section involved in the test phase will consist of 467 CO2 TEQ;

2.    In relation to the service levels, the goal is to maintain a pressure level for all the delivery points of the network section involved in the test of 18 mbar or higher. With reference to the network’s balancing, the goal is not recording significant variations of speed and/or flow inversions in any of the pipes belonging to the network’s test area;

3.    The new system must ensure the safety standards requested by the ATEX legislation, it has to be self-powered with no connections to the electric grid in case the latest is not already available and, from a performance point of view, it must be able to allow at least a pressure modulation procedure per minute on all the pressure regulators;

Dissemination activities have to reach the following purposes: publication of articles on at least 2 different publications about gas and participation in 4 events (exhibitions and seminars) in Europe and in Italy, involving at least 2.000 people.


Milestones of the Project Number of the associated action Deadline Status
a project kick-off meeting E1 30/09/14 Completed   
b Web site project D1 30/11/14 Completed   
c Conclusion of network modelling B1 31/05/15 Completed   
d Conclusion of device development and testing B2 31/08/15 Completed   
e Conclusion of software development B3 31/08/15 Completed   
f Conclusion of testing B4 31/08/16 Delayed 30/09/17
g After Life Communication Plan E4 28/02/17 Delayed 30/09/17
h Conclusion of measuring the enviromental impacts C1 28/02/17 Delayed 30/09/17
i Conclusion of reports on socio-economic impact C2 28/02/17 Delayed 30/09/17
j Internal monitoring Report format E2 28/02/17 Delayed 30/09/17
k Networking report E3 28/02/17 Delayed 30/09/17
l Project final conference D1 28/02/17 Delayed 30/09/17


Name of the Deliverables Number of the associated action Deadline Status
a Communication plan D1 30/11/14 completed on time
b Public web site report D1 30/11/14 completed on time
c Management and action plan E1 31/12/14 completed on time
d Historical data (12 months) on gas network operation B1 31/05/15 Completed on 31/12/2015
e Report on networking modelling B1 31/05/15 Completed on 31/12/2015
f Report on control and regulation device prototypes B2 31/08/15 Completed on 31/12/2015
g Report on network management and control software B3 31/08/15 Completed on 28/02/2016
h Final test reports B4 31/08/16 Delayed 31/12/17
i Report on the calculation of gas leaks reduction B4 31/08/16 Delayed 31/12/17
j After life Communication plan E4 28/02/17 Delayed 31/12/17
k Conferences and fairs report D1 28/02/17 Delayed 31/12/17
l Final reports on measuring the environmental impacts C1 28/02/17 Delayed 31/12/17
m Final reports on socio-economic impact C2 28/02/17 Delayed 31/12/17
n Internal Monitoring report format E2 28/02/17 Delayed 31/12/17
o Layman report D1 28/02/17 Delayed 31/12/17
p Networking report E3 28/02/17 Delayed 31/12/17
q Specialized publications and newsletter D1 28/02/17 Delayed 31/12/17






Action B1

Location of the network section where the test will be performed and installation of about 10 data loggers for data gathering



Availability of the effective required network pressure value, without direct measurement by an onsite technician



Development and implementation of network modeling software on GR server



Network data gathering



Action B2

Development and installation of pressure control and regulation devices on the network (FIO Smart Unit device prototypes)



Development of a prototype for electric power self-supply of the system



Installation of PV system for regulation devices independent power supply on the network



Action B3

Control algorithm development




Implementation of network management software




Graphic interface development




Integration with GR mapping software




System capacity to perform a minute modulation (from the central unit to all the regulation devices)



Action B4

Capability to monitor and regulate the network continuously in a reliable and precise way




More than 3.0% of gas leakage reduction (compared to actual status)



Automatic network balancing: the flow of gas must never go back into the network under any operating conditions