Presently one of the methods of increasing pipeline capacity is using the drag reducing agents (DRA). DRA are typically high molecular mass polymers that are added at very low concentrations to reduce the pressure drop necessary to generate a given flow rate in a turbulent flow. They can be used in case if building of extra loops or pumping stations is impossible or the need to increase pipeline capacity is seasonal. Scheduling pumping regimes and calculating the amount of drag reducing additive necessary to achieve the specified pumping parameters, requires a mathematical model. This paper proposes a method that allows to integrate DRA into a mathematical model of viscous fluid motion in a pipeline. The model takes into account the degradation of DRA as the agents travel forward the pipeline.
This article focuses on the question of theoretical model adjustment to the characteristics of a certain pipeline. Using the nominal information about DRA (provided by manufacturers) generally leads to a strong error and some information needed for the modeling might not be provided at all.
Thus, the model needs to be tuned to the real DRA characteristics and the main source of data are real measurements of flow parameters (pressures, flow rates, etc.). Methods of using operational pipeline data for identifying DRA characteristics are considered. The issues of data collection and further data processing are discussed.
The results of comparing modeling computations with real data from operating pipelines are presented. The characteristics of these pipelines are very diverse: internal diameters vary from 0.4 m to 1 m, different DRAs are used, and different types of liquid (oils, oil products and gas-condensates) are pumped.