Packet switching technology in pipeline networks

Short description

Modern data networks are difficult to imagine without the use of packet switching technology. Each packet contains the recipient address in the header and network infrastructure presented by switches and routers will deliver it exactly to the right destination.

We think it is high time for packet switching technology to be used in pipeline systems transporting oil, water and other products. Then the "body" of the packet is a portion of the transported product (substance), and the "header" of the packet is formed by a specific set of Micro RFID tags, which mark (by mixing or injection) a small portion of the transported material. These packets are transmitted through the pipeline network consisting of senders and recipients (hosts), pipes (links), pumps (repeaters) and Pipeline routers.

Pipeline routers have scanners for RFID tags. All incoming packets are scanned, the recipient address is determined, and in accordance with the routing table, packet is forwarded to one or another pipeline for further transportation to the recipient.

Consider applying this idea as an example for the public utilities networks:

In the traditional design 5 pipelines from service distributor to houses are installed, which provide heating, hot water, cold water. The new design will require only 2 pipelines (forward and reverse).
Packet switching technology in pipeline networks
Packet switching technology in pipeline networks

Pipeline Router A receives the service flows from the Distributor, segments them into packets, marks each packet (push tags) and consistently forwards them to the router B. Pipeline router B removes the tag from the received packet (pop tags) and in accordance with the routing table, sends them into a certain pipe.

This technology will significantly reduce the number of pipelines in all industries (especially oil extraction and processing industry) and will allow using existing pipelines more efficiently.

The technology has its limitations (and they should be taken into account) associated with the mutual influence of adjacent packets on each other. The problems are the longitudinal mixing and heat exchange between packets with different temperatures (hot water, cold water). "Cold" packets will be heated, and hot will get cold.

It is possible to handle these restrictions and reduce their impact to acceptable levels by the following measures:

  1. Ensuring that throughout the pipeline the flow inside it remains laminar. This will reduce the longitudinal mixing.
  2. Flow rate increase will reduce the contact time of packets with each other. And as a consequence mutual influence will be reduced.
  3. The packets' MTU can be maximally increased. One "long" packet is better than two "short" ones because one packet has just 2 contact points with adjacent packets.
  4. Another option is to insert a "separating" packet between the packets which can be of chemically inert substance with low thermal conductivity.
We think this trend is very promising. It can cover not only transportation but also the distribution (of oil, gasoline, water, and other products). Cisco would be able to use all the experience of processing and transmission of information in the implementation of this idea.

OSI model is not complete with the 7 layers; there is one more – the 8-th layer – the material one .

18 Comments
MAR
2010
26

 

Interesting idea, Anna. I would like to add a few remarks:
  1. Maybe even 2 pipelines are not required. What about "half-duplex" mode? Maybe that is suitable as well..
  2. Talking about routers you can check also this idea. I planned resource allocation leveraging MPLS in that case. Main advantage is that microRFIDs are not neccessary. Other advantages are some special MPLS features like fast reroute and traffic engineering.
  3. About multi-content per single pipe and mutual influences: Sounds great. Hopefully it is feasible.
selas selas
MAR
2010
26

 

Thank you for your comment. Your idea sounds also interesting. Our ideas have a lot in common. Good luck in the contest!
http://pesennik.de Anna Gossen Anna Gossen
MAR
2010
27

 

Great idea,

It looks like the difference of AC/DC current. I think you are on to something.
Dave C Dave C
MAR
2010
29

 

I try to think further what kind of liquids can be transfered through "multi-service" pipelines. Probably it is hard to imagine that it is feasible to transmit oil and water packets on the same piplines. But what about transmiting of same liquid with different quality. For example: There can be a need to transfer 98%, 95 and 90% clean water to other destinations. Longitudinal mixing can be solved with short break among packets or "clean" packet transfer. But what about mutual influence among dirtier water and piplines. I am not expert for biochemical implications of such issues, but I assume such cases can be overcome.
selas selas
MAR
2010
29

 

This technology can be deployed for various purposes:
  1. Collecting oil from several oil wells to the place of its preparation. The chemical composition of oil from different wells is different and requires separate transporting.
  2. (You gave a nice example) Transportation and distribution of water with different levels of quality to consumers.
  3. Transportation and distribution of fuel (e.g. gasoline with different octane number).
  4. In industry, at a chemical plant, the number of pipelines to transport different substances can be significantly reduced.
Of course the peculiarities of this technology for its application in a given area should be always taken into account.
http://pesennik.de Anna Gossen Anna Gossen
MAR
2010
29

 

Looking good, keep up the good work, good luck
jarredmyers jarredmyers
MAR
2010
30

 

Speaking of MicroRFID tags how do you see the potential influence on liquid quality when inserting tags? Do you see any serious price implications because of microRFID tags usage?
selas selas
MAR
2010
30

 

The price can be reduced for the following reasons:
  1. Reduced pipeline infrastructure
  2. Pipelines are used more efficiently
  3. MicroRFID Tags can be reused
http://pesennik.de Anna Gossen Anna Gossen
MAR
2010
30

 

It seems like traceability is one of the biggest issues in implementing your idea. Here are some of my view points concerning this matter.
  1. Since the transferable material is liquid, there is a high probability of leakage. What is your method to detect the leakage and pinpoint the source of leakage? For your information, there is another method which employs radioactive material for tracing purpose (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_tracer).
  2. Even if you decide to choose radioactive tracer instead of MicroRFID tag, you will need to define a complex SOP in order to implement your idea.
By the way, your idea is very interesting.
dvsspr dvsspr
FEB
2012
21

 

Woah this blog is meiigfncant i like reading your posts. Stay up the great work! You know, a lot of persons are searching around for this info, you can aid them greatly.
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