Software for the simulation of the transient behavior of natural gas pipelines commercially available, however, due to their high computational demands, they do not allow real time simulations. Further, they are difficult to set up if the goal is to match measurement data from SCADA systems or compressor stations for existing pipelines. To overcome this difficulty, a state space approach is used to capture the transient behavior of the pipeline. The general approach takes a published method from the literature that derives transfer functions and state space equations from one-dimensional Navier-Stokes and extends the method to reduce uncertainty in modeling parameters. The present method is validated against results in the literature. Then, a pipeline is modeled with commercially available, well established software, and the transient behavior is simulated and the results are compared with the present method. The main contribution of the paper is the extension of the stat-space formulation to remove uncertainty in pipe-roughness assumptions through systematic estimation of friction factors.


Natural Gas Pipelines are an efficient method to transport energy over large distances. The transportation of natural gas and/or blends of natural gas and hydrogen over large geographic areas requires efficient operation of compressors and other related facilities. The scheduling of flows throughout a piping network is a great challenge to control theory. Many gas pipelines are operated under unsteady operating conditions, which in turn causes significant fluctuations in the operating conditions for the compressor stations in these pipelines. These fluctuations are the result of varying demand, as well as varying gas supply. For a given pipeline segment, the gas supply pressure and flow into the pipe are subject to change as are the pressure and flow demand on the delivery side of the pipe. These conditions, as well as their timing are only predictable to a degree.

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