Speaking at the PSIG Annual Meeting of the Pipeline simulation interest group in Baltimore, MD last month, Energy Solutions International’s Jennifer Worthen, used parametric studies to identify the best operating scenario for a given pipeline configuration. Traditional liquid pipeline optimization software seeks to find the pumping rates that minimize operating costs while fulfilling flow rate and other requirements. But in general, only a subset of all possible parameters is investigated in the simulation leading to uncertainty as to whether the solution is a true global minimum in the overall solution space (similar problems crop up across many other optimization fields from seismic imaging to reservoir simulation).
The study looked into combinations of pump station location and drag reducing agent usage to minimizing operating costs at the target flow rate. 2D and 3D plots (made with GNU Octave) of the ‘rich’ data set provide a ‘unique view’ into subsets of the objective function that are typically unseen. These provide users with ‘a broader knowledge than regular optimization software provides - without significant manual work.’ The study was performed with a pre-release version ESI’s PipelineOptimizer tool. More from ESI.
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