Compressor Station Optimization Using Simulation-Based Optimization
Mathematical modeling is one of the most cost-effective tools that can be used to aid in design, operation and optimization studies. The systems under consideration actually operate in a unsteady nature, and although much effort has been and continues to be spent on unsteady mathematical models, many over-simplifications are introduced that bring into question the simulation results. One of the primary concerns in the operation of a compressor station is minimization of fuel consumption while maintaining the desired throughput of natural gas. In practice, the station operator tries to achieve this by shutting down units or controlling individual unit speeds based on experience. This is generally a train-and-error process without any guarantee of optimality. In this paper, we present a robust structured solution process for tackling this problem using simulation-based optimization.