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51318-10971-Cathodic Protection System Simulation for Life Extension and Inspection Optimization

The cathodic protection (CP) system of an offshore complex was modeled using boundary element analysis. Results of the simulation were validated against existing inspection data and used to optimize the established CP inspection program.

Product Number: 51318-10971-SG
Author: Justin Gossard / Shane Finneran, P.E. / Alex Castellanos
Publication Date: 2018
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Evaluation of the performance of cathodic protection (CP) systems used on subsea structures once in service can be costly due the need for specialized personnel and ROV monitoring equipment. Often areas of a subsea structure can go unassessed in terms of CP coverage when the ability to assess the entire structure is not feasible. Improperly protected areas can lead to premature corrosion or structural integrity issues, or costly maintenance and retrofits. The use of computer software can aid in identifying improperly protected areas. Boundary element analysis (BEA) of a CP system, validated with past inspection data, can produce a computer model that will allow for predictive assessments of the present and future states of the CP system and subsea structure. Identification of under/over protection ‘hot spots’ by using a BEA model can guide the focus of the next inspection for a more thorough assessment of critical locations.

In this study, the CP system of an offshore complex consisting of Al-Zn-In galvanic anodes was modeled using BEA. The offshore complex consists of concrete and steel jackets, risers and pipework. Time-stepping, anode degradation and coating breakdown are incorporated to estimate system performance with time since installation. The results of the CP system simulation were validated against existing inspection data and used to optimize the established CP inspection program.

Keywords: Cathodic Protection, Boundary Element Modeling, Simulation

 

Evaluation of the performance of cathodic protection (CP) systems used on subsea structures once in service can be costly due the need for specialized personnel and ROV monitoring equipment. Often areas of a subsea structure can go unassessed in terms of CP coverage when the ability to assess the entire structure is not feasible. Improperly protected areas can lead to premature corrosion or structural integrity issues, or costly maintenance and retrofits. The use of computer software can aid in identifying improperly protected areas. Boundary element analysis (BEA) of a CP system, validated with past inspection data, can produce a computer model that will allow for predictive assessments of the present and future states of the CP system and subsea structure. Identification of under/over protection ‘hot spots’ by using a BEA model can guide the focus of the next inspection for a more thorough assessment of critical locations.

In this study, the CP system of an offshore complex consisting of Al-Zn-In galvanic anodes was modeled using BEA. The offshore complex consists of concrete and steel jackets, risers and pipework. Time-stepping, anode degradation and coating breakdown are incorporated to estimate system performance with time since installation. The results of the CP system simulation were validated against existing inspection data and used to optimize the established CP inspection program.

Keywords: Cathodic Protection, Boundary Element Modeling, Simulation

 

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