Is the gas delivery system you’re looking at able to meet your power generation needs: a hydraulic engineer’s perspective

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The hydraulic characteristics, and system response to demands and supplies, of natural gas pipelines are substantially different from the flow characteristics of electric transmission systems. Pipelines must incorporate consideration of packing and drafting phenomena into their analyses. This is especially true for gas consumed in conjunction with electrical generation requirements, which typically exhibit sudden and substantial demands. These demands can cause pressure problems in the gas pipeline.

The pipeline controller must take this demand nature into account when planning pipeline operations, and should perform careful hydraulic analysis to determine the adequacy of his or her system to meet demands, the impact these demands have on both short- and long-term operations, and the environmental and safety issues involved.

This paper discusses the flow characteristics of natural gas pipelines, the phenomenon of line pack and subsequent draft, and related operational issues. Both steady-state and unsteady-state (transient) flow characteristics are covered, and some typical techniques for dealing with power generation demands are discussed.

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