Energy required to transport the fluid is an important parameter to be analyzed and minimized in pipeline applications. However, the pipeline system requirements and equipment could impose different constraints for operating pipelines in the best manner possible. One of the critical parameters that it is looked at closely, is the machines’ efficiency to avoid unfavorable operating conditions and to save energy costs. However, a compression-transport system includes more than one machine and more than one station working together at different conditions. Therefore, a detailed analysis of the entire compression system should be conducted to obtain a real power usage optimization. This paper presents a case study that is focused on analyzing natural gas transport system flow maximization while optimizing the usage of the available compression power. Various operating scenarios and machine spare philosophies are considered to identify the most suitable conditions for an optimum operation of the entire system. Modeling of pipeline networks has increased in the past decade due to the use of powerful computational tools that provide good quality representation of the real pipeline conditions. Therefore, a computational pipeline model was developed and used to simulate the gas transmission system. All the compressors’ performance maps and their driver data such as heat rate curves for the fuel consumption, site data, and running speed correction curves for the power were loaded in the model for each machine. The pipeline system covers 218 miles of hilly terrain with two looped pipelines of 38″ and 36″ in diameter. The entire system includes three compressor stations along its path with different configurations and equipment. For the optimization, various factors such as good efficiency over a wide range of operating conditions, maximum flexibility of configuration, fuel consumption and high power available were analyzed. The flow rate was maximized by using instantaneous maximum compression capacity at each station while maintaining fixed boundary conditions. This paper presents typical parameters that affect the energy usage in natural gas pipeline applications and discusses a case study that covers an entire pipeline. A modeling approach and basic considerations are presented as well as the results obtained for the optimization.

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