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- PublicationA novel approach to model a gas networkThe continuous uninterrupted supply of Natural Gas (NG) is crucial to today's economy, with issues in key infrastructure, e.g., Baumgarten hub in Austria in 2017, highlighting the importance of the NG infrastructure for the supply of primary energy. The balancing of gas supply from a wide range of sources with various end users can be challenging due to the unique and different behaviours of the end users, which in some cases span across a continent. Further complicating the management of the NG network is its role in supporting the electrical network. The fast response times of NG power plants and the potential to store energy in the network play a key role in adding flexibility across other energy systems. Traditionally, modelling the NG network relies on nonlinear pipe flow equations that incorporate the demand (load), flow rate, and physical network parameters including topography and NG properties. It is crucial that the simulations produce accurate results quickly. This paper seeks to provide a novel method to solve gas flow equations through a network under steady-state conditions. Firstly, the model is reformulated into non-linear matrix equations, then the equations separated into their linear and nonlinear components, and thirdly, the non-linear system is solved approximately by providing a linear system with similar solutions to the non-linear one. The non-linear equations of the NG transport system include the main variables and characteristics of a gas network, focusing on pressure drop in the gas network. Two simplified models, both of the Irish gas network (1. A gas network with 13 nodes, 2. A gas network with 109 nodes) are used as a case study for comparison of the solutions. Results are generated by using the novel method, and they are compared to the outputs of two numerical methods, the Newton-Raphson solution using MATLAB and SAINT, a commercial software that is used for the simulation of the gas network and electrical grids.
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