The hydrocarbon pipeline operator who manages pumps or compressors simply to perform the transport needed to complete the schedule of batches in front of those units is probably wasting energy. This lack of ‘network awareness’ contributes to energy costs being the leading expense for most operators, ranging from 40 to 65 per cent, or more, of total operational costs.
A system-wide power optimization solution applying simulation technology gives the pipeline operator valuable insights into energy spending. This solution creates a steady-state model of the pipeline and accurate simulation of the real-time operating state. Integrated with the model is a calculation component that uses the energy provider’s rate contracts to provide accurate, up-to-the-minute energy costs of the current configuration, based on energy brackets; demand, energy, fuel rates, and spot pricing; and ratchets and time of use (peak, off-peak, holidays, weekends). Similarly, the solution identifies the cost of proposed, or ‘what if’ configurations for the real-time state.
With this calculation support, control room operators can evaluate a different pump configuration before actually implementing it and use their expertise to implement the safest, most cost-effective processes. They can make configuration decisions that lower energy consumption by as much as 20 per cent and be in a good position to document the carbon credits earned that can be sold, traded, or applied to reduce the operator’s carbon footprint – all to help optimize the operator’s energy management and sustainability strategy.