Modeling and Simulation of Gas Distribution Networks in a Multienergy System Environment

Andrzej J. Osiadacz , Maciej Chaczykowski

The role of modeling and simulation in development and operational planning of gas distribution networks is crucially important for system designers and operators, since it allows to get a detailed knowledge of the hydraulic properties of the network. The challenges in simulation of gas distribution networks are usually that of computational efficiency of the methods due to large dimensionality of the simulated networks, though it can also be related to flexible incorporation of the peripheral equipment (e.g., valves, compressors, pressure, and flow regulators) into the network model. Today, however, new challenges emerge as a consequence of market changes facing the gas industry in a multienergy system environment. These changes are expected to bring about significant fluctuations and uncertainty in distributed gas supply and demand as a consequence of increased gas-to-power activities, and a number of decentralized entry points, where deliveries of both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable gases, such as hydrogen and synthetic methane, can be achieved. In this article, technical challenges related to problems with maintaining a stable overall gas distribution system with growing diversification of gas quality combined with gas trading activities (nominations and allocations) in units of energy rather than volume are addressed. Models and selected methods of steady state and transient analysis of gas networks relevant to the ongoing discussion in the field of multienergy systems are considered. The simulation problems of a real large-scale gas distribution network are presented and discussed.

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