The Ability to Look Ahead is Key in Pipeline Energy Management

If demand charges didn’t continuously alter energy rates, it would be simpler to optimize hydrocarbon pipeline energy consumption.

But, demand charges are a fact of life, and they can significantly increase pipeline energy rates for prolonged periods of time. Knowing when a costly energy rate transition is imminent gives the operator the ability to minimize the impact.

We discussed in a previous post how hydrocarbon pipeline operators can evaluate their operational energy costs and improve energy management using simulation technology. This solution creates a steady-state model of the pipeline and accurately simulates the network’s real-time operating state – key in identifying present operating costs.

But a smart pipeline operator also needs to know how energy costs will change. Simulation technology does that. Along with automatically identifying present operating energy costs, it also creates cost control scenarios that look ahead.

Built-in early warning alerts for the real-time state identify the cost of the current pipeline configuration at the next energy rate boundary, letting the operator know what energy cost will be if no configuration change is made. Similarly, an early warning lets the operator know what an optimized configuration will cost at the next energy rate boundary, as well as what a future optimized configuration would cost at the current time.

This access to precise energy cost data helps the operator make confident decisions that lower energy consumption and improve the bottom line.

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