Development of a Virtual Pipeline System Testbed Using Non-isothermal Transient Simulation (DOE Research Review)
Natural gas systems are becoming more and more complex as the use of this energy source increases. 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 an 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. The goal of this work is to develop a Virtual Pipeline System Testbed for natural gas transmission systems. This testbed will simulate compressor stations, pipe that connects the compressor stations, the supply sources, and the end-user demand markets. In this work, the fully implicit finite difference method was used to solve the continuity, momentum and energy equations for flow within a gas pipeline. The results show that the effect of treating the gas in a non-isothermal manner is very important for pipeline flow calculation accuracies and is extremely important for rapid transient processes. The compressors within the compressor station are modeled using centrifugal and reciprocating compressor submodels. This modeling technique permits the designation of different models of compressors in the compressor station. Using real information, such as the compressor map for a centrifugal compressor and considering valve loss horsepower and valve pressure drop for reciprocating compressors are two of the advantages of this model to achieve realistic results. The paper demonstrates the impact of varying boundary conditions on compressor station components and shows how this detailed compressor station model can be used to determine compressor speed, power requirements, engine fuel consumption, pocket clearance for each reciprocating compressor and the head for each centrifugal compressor with respect to time. The paper concludes with a simulation of a compressor station and a comparison of t
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