Hydrocarbon pipeline operators are jumping aboard the Smart Grid Train!
Similar to electric energy transmission and distribution network operators, they are using readily available data about the status of their networks to improve operations efficiency, safety and security, regulatory compliance, and delivery reliability. And, of late, the continually rising cost of the energy required to operate hydrocarbon pipelines is giving cause to expand the meaning of ‘smart pipeline.’
Now, smart pipeline operators are also optimizing pipeline energy consumption – which targets close control of the cost of energy consumed during pumping operations, rather than just focusing on reducing energy consumption. They are putting advanced pipeline solutions to work, using real-time pipeline information to determine the energy (KW) and cost ($) of a pipeline’s operation at a specific moment in time. The software then uses that information for automation and control of pipeline pump configuration and drag reducing agent (DRA) injection rates to minimize that cost.
This energy management system approach not only reduces electricity costs but also reduces associated emissions and generates carbon credits that can be sold or traded on the open market per industry and/or government regulations or applied to help meet overall carbon footprint limits. It becomes a process that can help accomplish other operational and business goals – which confirms that being smart can have many benefits!