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Mathematical programming for stable control and safe operation of gas transport networks

  • The fight against climate change makes extreme but inevitable changes in the energy sector necessary. These in turn lead to novel and complex challenges for the transmission system operators (TSOs) of gas transport networks. In this thesis, we consider four different planning problems emerging from real-world operations and present mathematical programming models and solution approaches for all of them. Due to regulatory requirements and side effects of renewable energy production, controlling today's gas networks with their involved topologies is becoming increasingly difficult. Based on the network station modeling concept for approximating the technical capabilities of complex subnetworks, e.g., compressor stations, we introduce a tri-level MIP model to determine important global control decisions. Its goal is to avoid changes in the network elements' settings while deviations from future inflow pressures as well as supplies and demands are minimized. A sequential linear programming inspired post-processing routine is run to derive physically accurate solutions w.r.t. the transient gas flow in pipelines. Computational experiments based on real-world data show that meaningful solutions are quickly and reliably determined. Therefore, the algorithmic approach is used within KOMPASS, a decision support system for the transient network control that we developed together with the Open Grid Europe GmbH (OGE), one of Europe's largest natural gas TSOs. Anticipating future use cases, we adapt the aforementioned algorithmic approach for hydrogen transport. We investigate whether the natural gas infrastructure can be repurposed and how the network control changes when energy-equivalent amounts of hydrogen are transported. Besides proving the need for purpose-built compressors, we observe that, due to the reduced linepack, the network control becomes more dynamic, compression energy increases by 440% on average, and stricter regulatory rules regarding the balancing of supply and demand become necessary. Extreme load flows expose the technical limits of gas networks and are therefore of great importance to the TSOs. In this context, we introduce the Maximum Transportation Problem and the Maximum Potential Transport Moment Problem to determine severe transport scenarios. Both can be modeled as linear bilevel programs where the leader selects supplies and demands, maximizing the follower's transport effort. To solve them, we identify solution-equivalent instances with acyclic networks, provide variable bounds regarding their KKT reformulations, apply the big-M technique, and solve the resulting MIPs. A case study shows that the obtained scenarios exceed the maximum severity values of a provided test set by at least 23%. OGE's transmission system is 11,540km long. Monitoring it is crucial for safe operations. To this end, we discuss the idea of using uncrewed aerial vehicles and introduce the Length-Constrained Cycle Partition Problem to optimize their routing. Its goal is to find a smallest cycle partition satisfying vertex-induced length requirements. Besides a greedy-style heuristic, we propose two MIP models. Combining them with symmetry-breaking constraints as well as valid inequalities and lower bounds from conflict hypergraphs yields a highly performant solution algorithm for this class of problems.

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Author:Kai Hoppmann-BaumORCiD
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Publisher:TU Berlin
Granting Institution:Technische Universität Berlin
Advisor:Thorsten Koch
Year of first publication:2022
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International
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