Pipeline Design & Construction: A Practical Approach, Third Edition
6 Transient Flow in Liquid and Gas Pipelines
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Traditionally, pipeline transmission systems have been designed using steady-state simulations, which are sufficient for optimizing a pipeline when supply∕demand scenarios are relatively stable. In the case of gas pipeline, it is also important that flows in and out of the system or storage are not highly variable. In general, steady-state simulations provide the designer with reasonable level of confidence when the system is not subject to radical changes in flow rates or operating conditions.
However, situations that require more than conventional steady-state analysis do arise. These situations include large load factors, surges in mass∕volume flow rates, and the loss of facilities and facility commissioning and operation (e.g., air purging and loading of pipelines; pigging operations). In these and other instances, the designer will want to perform dynamic (or transient) analysis to test the capability of the system, choose its components, and maintain the appropriate level of safety.
This chapter illustrates the importance of transient simulations when designing transmission systems subject to unstable conditions. Example scenarios, from some major projects undertaken by the authors, are used to depict diverse range of dynamic problems. The examples help identify the need for transient analysis, and exemplify the downfalls in system when the analysis is not employed during the optimization and design process.