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 Completed 30/09/17
g After Life Communication Plan E4 28/02/17 Completed 30/09/17
h Conclusion of measuring the enviromental impacts C1 28/02/17 Completed 30/09/17
i Conclusion of reports on socio-economic impact C2 28/02/17 Completed 30/09/17
j Internal monitoring Report format E2 28/02/17 Completed 30/09/17
k Networking report E3 28/02/17 Completed 30/09/17
l Project final conference D1 28/02/17 Completed 30/09/17


Deliverable Name Output produced  Associated action Due date Status Annex
Communication plan Report D1  30/11/14 Completed on time See IR
Public web site report Report  D1  30/11/14 Completed on time See IR
Management and action plan Report  E1 31/12/14 Completed on time See IR
Historical data (12 months) on gas network operation Graphics B1 31/05/15 Completed on time See MR
Report on networking modelling Maps B1 30/09/17 Completed on time DLV e
Report on control and regulation device prototypes Reports, drawings B2 30/09/17 Completed on time DLV f
Report on network management and control software Report B3 30/09/17 Completed on time DLV g
Final test reports Report B4 30/09/17 Completed on time DLV h
Report on the calculation of gas leaks reduction Report B4 30/09/17 Completed on time DLV i
After life Communication plan Report E4 30/09/17 Completed on time DLV j
Conferences and fairs report Report D1 30/09/17 Completed on time DLV k
Final reports on measuring the environmental impacts Report C1 30/09/17 Completed on time DLV l
Final reports on socio-economic impact Report C2 30/09/17 Completed on time DLV m
Internal Monitoring report format Report E2 30/09/17 Completed on time DLV n
Layman report Report D1 30/09/17 Completed on time DLV o
Networking report Report E3 30/09/17 Completed on time DLV p
Specialized publications and newsletter Report D1 30/09/17 Completed on time DLV q


  Task Foreseen in the revised proposal Achieved Evaluation
ACTION B1 Definition of the network section on which to carry out testing and install approximately 10 data loggers to collect data Fluid dynamic simulation of the gas distribution networks in the districts of Cesate and Albiate. YES 5 critical points identified in the Cesate district network and 5 in the district of Albiate
 Availability of the effective network pressure value whenever needed, without direct measurement by on site technician.  Installation of 10 data loggers on the points of the networks identified as critical  YES  Configuration of devices with automatic data downloads implemented remotely (sampling every 15 minutes)
Development and implementation of the network modelling software on the server at GR The software model controls 100% of the planned area (Albiate and Cesate districts).  YES Remote data collection testing; simulations.
Network data collection Network data collection was completed for 12 months (sampling frequency: 15 minutes) YES Data stored in the GR data logger and subsequent statistical and numerical processing.
ACTION B2 Development and installation of the control and regulation devices on the network (FIO Smart Unit device prototypes). 20 control devices were replaced in full and for the others it was sufficient to carry out modifications and partially replace subsystems (head or FIO kit or pilot).  YES  The following measurements were taken: 
- measurement of gas flow rate with 4% full scale precision
- Automatic pressure regulation
- Pressure monitoring with 1,0 % precision
- Integrated GPRS communication with control and supervision centre.
verification that the aforementioned performance levels are also maintained under real operating conditions
Development of device prototypes independent power supply modules The development of the microturbine project has to be developed through to the prototype stage and functional testing (laboratory and field tests). YES  Step 1: Laboratory testing and definition of improvements to be implemented.
Step 2: field testing on modified prototypes with positive results.
Installation of photovoltaic system to independently power the control devices on the network.  The installation of 11 photovoltaic panels on the GRF units was planned.  Electricity from the grid is available for the remaining units. YES  The panels were installed and provided the energy required throughout testing.
ACTION B3 Development of control algorithms The algorithms were developed; implementation of planned functions, management and control functions 75% completed, they depend on the configuration of the devices installed on the network:  will therefore be completed in Action B4 YES  simulations to check functionality
Implementation of network management software implementation of planned functions 85% complete management and control functions not yet complete, they depend on the configuration of devices installed on the network:  will therefore be completed in Action B4 YES simulations to check functionality
Development of graphical user interfaces Development of management and control functions 90% complete, they depend on the configuration of devices installed on the network:  will therefore be completed in Action B4 YES simulations to check functionality
Integration with GR cartographic software Integration 100% complete YES simulations to check functionality
System capacity to perform a modulation operation every minute (from the central unit to all regulation devices). implementation of planned functions 100% complete YES simulations to check functionality
ACTIOM B4 - Possibility of monitoring and regulating the network continually in a reliable, precise manner  Management of the network for at least 12 months under the new control and regulation criteria   YES Collection of network data and subsequent processing for 12 months.
Reduction in gas leaks compared with the current situation: > 3.0 % Processing of test data using the numerical model to estimate losses  YES Based on the analysis of data measured in the field: Reduction in gas leaks
Automatic network balancing: gas flows must never reverse within the network under any operating conditions The management of the network under the new control and regulation criteria is planned in the coming months  YES Analysis of the data
ACTION C1 Calculation of the reduction in gas leaks and therefore the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions Reduction equivalent to at least 3% Yes  Comparison between the data collected during the 12 months and the data during the final 12 months with the new management system
ACTION C2 Collection of possible socio-economic effects of the new product /process  Compilation of socio-economic impact report  YES  The report was completed in time (see DLV m).
ACTION D Creation of the communication plan  Definition planned on 30/11/14 YES See annex IR 
Website development put online by 30/11/2014; gradual implementation of functions and information. YES 2770 sessions, average of 3.45 pages/session;
Average duration of 2.21 minutes; 
64.84% new sessions;
Bounce rate 59.35%
Attendance at trade fairs and events  Attendance at at least two industry trade fairs YES Attendance at
WGC 2015 Paris
EUW 2015 Wien
EUW 2016 Barcellona
Keyenergy 2016 Rimini
International Gas Professional Meeting Croazia 2017
Publications in specialist magazines At least 1-2 publications in specialist magazines (at month 36) YES Article in CH4 (May - November 2015; 700 copie)
Parliament Magazine (16/05/2016; 2500 copie + 23.500 followers)
Platinum 2017 (luglio 17; 140.000 copie + 3,5 M consultazioni /mese)
Canale Energia (12-19-26/10/15 e 5/11/15)
See DLV q
Final Project Conference 100 attendees are expected YES 65 attendees
ACTION E1 Implementation of an activity control and monitoring system  Management of activities and control of project progress   YES Regular coordination meetings
Technical reports on activities implemented.
The activity continued until the end of the project
Implementation of the financial control system to monitor costs v. project budget  Control of costs incurred for each individual beneficiary and joint budget  YES  Regular update until the end of the project on costs for each beneficiary; completion of lists of details and summary 
SC meeting  SC meeting at least every six months; The activity will continue until the end of the project   YES Eight SC meetings took place