Enbridge is in the forefront of development and application of computer simulation based training systems for Pipeline Controllers. Since 1985, the Pipeline Dynamics section of Enbridge Engineering has been building ever more sophisticated models of the 16 pipelines that Enbridge owns and operates. Enbridge has also utilized its staffs expertise to develop simulation trainer applications for clients in other international pipeline companies. Enbridge uses this simulation trainer with a formalized, module based, training course for Pipeline Controllers.

To develop a useful simulation trainer it must be possible to mimic the operational characteristics of a pipeline through use of software, or put otherwise, to build a pipeline in a computer. This type of modeling requires a highly skilled engineer and close cooperation with the most experienced Pipeline Controller and with the SCADA system developers. The simulation software must also allow the application of control logic which is different for each pipeline and it must be tunable so the nuances of each pipeline can be incorporated. Running this type of application requires a high capacity computer and the ability to interface with the pipeline company’s SCADA. In simple applications, it is possible to develop a generic pipeline and thus provide a more economical trainer.

The simulation trainer’s primary application is Pipeline Controller training, however it is Enbridge’s experience that a simulation can also be used to test changes to a SCADA system before they are implemented and to operate a new pipeline before it goes into operation. The information gained from the pipeline operation prior to its construction can benefit the engineering design.

This paper outlines the Enbridge experience with development and use of pipeline simulation trainers. The paper also discusses how the simulation trainer fits with formal training, testing and retraining of Pipeline Controllers, how it has been used for SCADA system testing and for operating a new pipeline before it’s construction. The paper outlines what is required for the development of generic and specific simulations that are interfaced to SCADA, the use of modeling standards in the development, and the process of tuning a model so it ‘looks and feels’ like a real pipeline.

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