Dynamic simulation of the operation of a compressor station requires mathematical modelling of the dynamic behaviour of the compressor unit and various piping elements. Such models consist of large systems of non-linear partial differential equations describing the pipe flow together with non-linear algebraic equations describing the quasi-steady flow through various valves, constrictions and compressors. In addition, the models also include mathematical descriptions of the control system which consists of mixed algebraic and ordinary differential (mad) equations with some inequalities representing controllers’ limits.

In this paper a numerical technique for the solution of the gas dynamics equations is described, which is based on the transfer matrix formulation relating the state vector time-difference at one side of an element to that on the other side. This approach facilitates incorporation of all elements transfer matrices into an overall transfer matrix according to the system geometrical connectivity. The paper also presents simulation results and comparison with actual field measurements of three case histories: 1) simulation of a compressor surge protection control process; 2) unit startup; and 3) slow transient of a compressor station responding to changes in the discharge pressure set point. Good agreement between simulation results and field measurements is demonstrated.

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