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Controlling transient gas flow in real-world pipeline intersection areas

Hennings, Felix; Anderson, Lovis; Hoppmann-Baum, Kai; Turner, Mark; Koch, Thorsten

Compressor stations are the heart of every high-pressure gas transport network. Located at intersection areas of the network, they are contained in huge complex plants, where they are in combination with valves and regulators responsible for routing and pushing the gas through the network. Due to their complexity and lack of data compressor stations are usually dealt with in the scientific literature in a highly simplified and idealized manner. As part of an ongoing project with one of Germany’s largest transmission system operators to develop a decision support system for their dispatching center, we investigated how to automatize the control of compressor stations. Each station has to be in a particular configuration, leading in combination with the other nearby elements to a discrete set of up to 2000 possible feasible operation modes in the intersection area. Since the desired performance of the station changes over time, the configuration of the station has to adapt. Our goal is to minimize the necessary changes in the overall operation modes and related elements over time while fulfilling a preset performance envelope or demand scenario. This article describes the chosen model and the implemented mixed-integer programming based algorithms to tackle this challenge. By presenting extensive computational results on real-world data, we demonstrate the performance of our approach.
Published in: Optimization and Engineering, 10.1007/s11081-020-09559-y, SpringerNature