Abstract

This paper will discuss and demonstrate technology developed by PG&E and GTS to address the unprecedented increase in safety work occurring at PG&E. The new technology, called Batch Analysis Tool (BAT) enables the planning engineer to analyze systems under a multitude of demand and operating conditions as a "batch" of simulations. User-defined scenarios are performed and cataloged in an automated, sequential manner rather than manually, one run at a time. This approach allows for the performance of hundreds or thousands of scenarios accurately and rapidly. This process also aids in optimizing operations and uncovering non-intuitive solutions. The benefit of this technology extends beyond companies with large amounts of safety work to include any study that requires a range of inputs to be hydraulically analyzed.

The significant benefits Business justification and strategic technology are the primary emphases of this presentation. Representative use cases of the new technology are presented by PG&E in PSIG papers 1614 and 1615.

Introduction and Background

A planning engineer's job is to perform hydraulic analysis studies of pipeline networks. Hydraulic studies rarely only require 1 or 2 simulation runs to provide a complete study. Instead, a range of runs or scenarios must be performed to provide a sufficiently thorough study. Because of this, planning engineers run many simulations over the course of month, year, or career. Given the large number of runs performed significant benefits can be gained my making the task of performing simulation runs more time efficient. This can not only result in labor savings but also allow for more runs to be performed, increasing the thoroughness and accuracy of the study.

The pace of safety work on PG&E's gas system has greatly increased the amount of hydraulic analysis and simulation runs required by planning engineers in the Gas System Planning department. Under this pressure of workload PG&E began developing new technology that would allow hundreds to thousands of pipeline simulation runs to be performed automatically as a group or "Batch".[1] PG&E now uses the Batch Analysis Tool or BAT extensively to meet workload demands, provide more thorough and accurate analysis, and provide critical system intelligence about a gas system operated frequently operating with reduced capacity due to pipeline outages to accommodate safety work.

Overview of PG&E Gas System

PG&E owns and operates a pipeline network that extends from both the northern California/Oregon and southern California/Arizona borders. This network of 6,750 miles of transmission and 32,000 miles of distribution pipe serves 4.4 million end use gas customers, covering two thirds of California. Pressures range from over 2000 psig on transmission to 7 inches of water column on low pressure distribution systems. Annual sendout is approximately 1 Tcf. Figure 1 provides an overview of the PG&E gas transmission system.

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