Selected Mathematical Models Describing Flow in Gas Pipelines

Andrzej J. Osiadacz, Marta Gburzyńska

The main aim of simulation programs is to study the behavior of gas pipe networks in certain conditions. Solving a specified set of differential equations describing transient (unsteady) flow in a gas pipeline for the adopted parameters of load and supply will help us find out the value of pressure or flow rate at selected points or along selected sections of the network. Transient gas flow may be described by a set of simple or partial differential equations classified as hyperbolic or parabolic. Derivation of the mathematical model of transient gas flow involves certain simplifications, of which one-dimensional flow is most important. It is very important to determine the conditions of pipeline/transmission network operation in which the hyperbolic model and the parabolic model, respectively, should be used. Parabolic models can be solved numerically in a much simpler way and can be used to design simulation programs which allow us to calculate the network of any structure and any number of non-pipe elements. In some conditions, however, they describe the changes occurring in the network less accurately than hyperbolic models do. The need for analysis, control, and optimization of gas flows in high-pressure gas pipelines with complex structure increases significantly. Very often, the time allowed for analysis and making operational decisions is limited. Therefore, efficient models of unsteady gas flows and high-speed algorithms are essential.

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