A capsule pipeline transports material or cargo in capsules propelled by fluid flowing through a pipeline. The cargo may either be contained in capsules (such as wheat enclosed inside sealed cylindrical containers), or may itself be the capsules (such as coal compressed into the shape of a cylinder or sphere). As the concept of capsule transportation is relatively new, the capsule pipelines need to be designed optimally for commercial viability. An optimal design of such a pipeline would have minimum pressure drop due to the presence of the solid medium in the pipeline, which corresponds to minimum head loss and hence minimum pumping power required to drive the capsules and the transporting fluid. The total cost for the manufacturing and maintenance of such pipelines is yet another important variable that needs to be considered for the widespread commercial acceptance of capsule transporting pipelines. To address this, the optimisation technique presented here is based on the least-cost principle. Pressure drop relationships have been incorporated to calculate the pumping requirements for the system. The maintenance and manufacturing costs have been computed separately to analyse their effects on the optimisation process. A design example has been included to show the usage of the model presented. The results indicate that for a specific throughput, there exists an optimum diameter of the pipeline for which the total cost for the piping system is at its minimum.
ASIM, T., MISHRA, R. and UBBI, K. 2012. Optimal design of capsule transporting pipeline carrying spherical capsules. Journal of physics: conference series [online], 364; proceedings of 25th Condition monitoring and diagnostic engineering international congress 2012 (COMADEM 2012), 18-20 June 2012, Huddersfield, UK, article 012070. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/364/1/012070