In the first article , we listed 5 differences between propane and natural gas systems.
We can add another 5 important differences to this:
- Possibility to work with smaller diameters
With propane gas the comparatively higher pressure (1.5 bar) makes it possible to work with smaller diameters for the pipe between the first and second stage releases. This is not the case with natural gas.
- Every consumer unit running on propane is preceded by a second stage pressure regulator and a stop-cock.
The second stage pressure regulator reduces the exit pressure from the first stage pressure regulator to the nominal operating pressure of the consumer unit as specified by the manufacturer (37 to 50 mbar). There are 2 options :
a. Individual second stage pressure regulator immediately before each consumer unit.
b. One shared second stage pressure regulator preceded by a dividing tap. This is placed outside the building in a protective cabinet intended for the purpose, as close to the outer wall as possible. This type of installation is obligatory for new installations and for major refurbishments.
Pressure release is not applicable to natural gas.
A consumer unit running on propane gas can be placed in an accessible space below ground level (e.g. in a cellar).
You must thereby comply with the following regulations:
- Place a propane gas detector in the installation space, with light signals (alarm, error report) in a monitored area
- Place a controlled electromagnetic gas valve ('normally closed' design) in the gas supply pipe to the consumer unit outside the installation space and above ground level
With natural gas, a consumer unit may be placed in an accessible space below ground level provided that there is an air vent at the top.
Mechanical connections to pipes
Mechanical connections to pipes (press, compression, screw and three-part couplings) are not permitted in the space below ground level for propane gas, but are permitted for natural gas.
For propane gas the pipe certificate for propane gas installations (in accordance with the standard NBN D51-006) must be used. The pipe certificate used for natural gas is not valid for propane gas.