This post comes to you from David Stobb, Principal Pipeline Engineer in our Consulting organization in Digital Solutions at DNV. He has many years of experience in implementing Synergi Pipeline Simulator solutions for a wide variety of our gas and liquid transmission clients. Take it away David!
It’s summer! Neighborhood lemonade stands are popping up through-out the US as enterprising kids are turning face-puckering lemon juice into sweet tasty lemonade. This yearly occurrence brings neighborhoods and families together and helps expose children to a wide range of tasks from juicing lemons to interacting with customers. It’s a learning experience disguised as fun!
SPS Trainer - turning lemons into lemonade
Pipeline operators may not have a lemon tree growing in the control room, but they do have plenty of events that leave sour looks on their faces. A careless digger, late-afternoon thunderstorm, or an old corroded pipe can lead to unexpected leak and power-loss events that challenge pipeline operators and may end up with a very expensive response. These ‘lemons’ need to be sweetened. That’s where DNV’s Synergi Pipeline Simulator comes to help.
Synergi Pipeline Simulator has multiple roles in the control room management sphere. It can perform real time leak detection, provide predictive results, and be the centerpiece of a realistic pipeline operations training simulator. It’s this training simulator that provides the base for turning disruptive pipeline operation events into a tool for learning and growth for the control room personnel.
Utilizing recorded monitoring data from an existing SCADA system and details about the pipeline facilities, a realistic transient hydraulic pipeline model can be configured and tuned to match the abnormal event. As a stand-alone modeling system, results can then be used to demonstrate the hydraulic impact of the event. Such results include:
- Determination of the highest pressure resulting from a sudden pump stoppage
- Total lost volume from a leak event
- Impact on customer delivery pressures resulting from the sudden isolation of large sections of a gas transmission system.
If the pipeline model is coupled with a copy of the control room SCADA system or a realistic mimic of the SCADA system, then the recreated event can be used to:
- Replay the event through the control room screens that an operator is familiar with – and demonstrate what was done right and/or wrong in responding to the event
- Relive the event and respond differently to the event and see how an alternate response impacts the system
- Utilize the event as a training event for Operator Qualification
In recent history, an existing user of Synergi Pipeline Simulator’s Trainer system took advantage of such a situation. A leak occurred on a batched refined products pipeline . The pipeline was pumping batches of gas, diesel, and jet fuel and a release occurred at the end of the pipeline near the tank farm. Luckily, this occurred in a controlled area and losses and damage was minimal, and there also happened to be a Synergi Pipeline Simulator Trainer configured and operational for this pipeline. The user (with a little assistance from DNV) configured that Trainer model with the recorded conditions, and used it to calculate the lost volume of product, show the pressure/flow trends of the event, and to show a replay of the event through a copy of their SCADA system.
Through the presentation of the results and the interaction of reliving the event, the pipeline operators gained a deeper understanding of their pipeline system, and better prepared them for future abnormal events. Greater competence and confidence in the control room operators will directly translate to more efficient operation of the pipeline, and that usually translates to reduced costs. In the end, everyone enjoys drinking that kind of lemonade!
Author: David Stobb