Optimization of power utilization is becoming more important as energy costs increase and is ever more complicated as the power contracts adapt to a changing energy market. It is not realistic to expect schedulers and/or operators to do the complicated calculations to determent the current costs, much less, find the most optimum pump configuration for the optimal operating costs. There are several important challenges to address in determining the current and optimum costs:

  • First is creating the detailed thermal hydraulic calculation necessary to derive the proper flows, pressures and efficiencies necessary to calculate the proper KW for all the pumps. Adding to this calculation the effects of different products, Drag Reduction Agent ("DRA"), pump curves for head and efficiency, and the effects of pump performance degradation and you have a very complex mathematical process to calculate not once, but iteratively 24x7.

  • The second is the replication of the Utility Company's Rate Contracts to include all the critical aspects that impact cost determination such as energy brackets, demand rates, ratchets, peak time periods, etc. It is also important to keep an accurate history of demand usage for each pump in order to identify operating peaks of demand.

  • The final challenge is to integrate the power optimization system into the end user's environment. The system must connect to the user's SCADA system to get the current realtime information such as flows, pressures, and pump statuses. It must have a user friendly interface to configure the rate contracts and pipelines. And lastly, it needs to present the information back to the user in a clear and concise manner applicable to both operations and corporate users. This paper will show the results of a pipeline optimization system for two different pipelines. It will discuss how the challenges were overcome, it will compare the results verses actual power company data, and it will discuss how the system is used to lower energy costs.


Energy Consumption is typically a large pipeline system's highest operating expenditure. This is because processes are typically driven by large pumps and/or compressors requiring substantial power for product displacement and flow requirements. In order to maximize profitability, operators must focus their efforts on increasing efficiency while managing rising energy costs. It is important to first develop a baseline measure on which improvements to equipment efficiency and operating procedures can be made. High-Efficiency equipment can easily cut operating costs on a site by site basis but the ability to reach maximum efficiency is limited without the ability to optimize an entire system. The SimSuite Energy Management - Pipeline Power Optimization ("EM-PPO") provides users with a means to measure energy consumption and pumping cost for a pipeline system in a real time manner via its integration with the SCADA system. As operating conditions are fed to the EM-PPO model, power calculations are cross calculated with an energy tariff unique to each pump station whether it is a simple kWh charge, DRA costs or Time-Of-Use rate ("TOU").

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