Simulation of transient flow in natural gas pipelines

Junyang Zhou, Michael A. Adewumi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

30 Scopus citations


For reasons that are either incidental and/or accidental to the operation of gas transmission pipelines, transients do commonly arise. In fact, steady state operation is a rarity in practice. The equations governing the behavior of these transients constitute a system of nonlinear conservative hyperbolic equations, which are difficult to solve. For numerical expediency, attempts are often made to linearize these equations by dropping the most troublesome terms in the momentum equation. Among these, the one that is most often neglected is the kinetic energy term. A robust numerical algorithm and a computer code have been developed without neglecting any term. In the present study, eight field examples of engineering interest are simulated to provide some understanding of the behavior of gas pipeline transients under operational scenarios. The first two examples are real field cases for which measured data are available. The first pertains to the propagation of a fast transient in a 24-inch, 300-ft. long pipe; the second involves the propagation of a slow transient, with 24-hour cycle, in a 45-mile long, 8-inch transmission pipeline. Comparisons between the predicted results and the measured data are very good and superior to the predictions reported in the literature. The last six examples are hypothetical field cases for the same long transmission pipeline subjected to different transient initiators. Two of these examples concern line packing while the last four relate to pipeline rupture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 1995
EventPipeline Simulation Interest Group Annual Meeting, PSIG 1995 - Albuquerque, United States
Duration: Oct 18 1995Oct 20 1995


OtherPipeline Simulation Interest Group Annual Meeting, PSIG 1995
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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