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Fluid Pipeline Modeling Services


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Flow and power usage maximization analysis of a natural gas looped pipeline system. (Click image to enlarge.)


Validation of centrifugal compressor surge simulations using experimental transient surge data taken at SwRI Metering Research Facility. (Click image to enlarge.)


Interconnected pipelines of forwarding systems for hydrocarbon liquids. (Click image to enlarge.)


Example of water hammer analysis of a liquid transmission line. (Click image to enlarge.)

For nearly 60 years, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has been involved in pipeline modeling. In the 1950s, SwRI developed a unique analog resistance simulator for the gas transmission and compression industry. Since that time SwRI has expanded its capabilities in this area using commercially available software while generating and validating its own computational tools as well, and now uses pipeline simulations to help clients all over the world with different needs and applications.

SwRI has used pipeline simulations as an optimization tool in many liquid and gas processes. New designs and equipment selections are usually validated through computational models due to their flexibility, time, and cost. Simulation of an entire pipeline's operating conditions and process before proceeding with the detailed engineering is a very common strategy used on new systems. Simulation analyses usually include detailed validation and tuning against real conditions.


Transient and steady-state flow modeling of pipeline systems and other fluid transient responses are performed at SwRI with a variety of one- and three-dimensional fluid dynamic codes.


Pipeline Modeling

  • SwRI modeling capabilities include:

  • Design or modification of new installations

  • Evaluation and optimization of transmission lines

  • Gathering systems

  • Pump and compressor stations

  • Pipeline networks

  • Valve manifolds

Pipeline Simulation

SwRI pipeline simulation services have been utilized for:

  • Transmission Pipeline/Facility Hydraulic Evaluation

    • Design and optimization of new installations

    • Modifications of existing facilities

    • Hydraulic operation issues

  • Transient Analyses

    • Centrifugal compressor surge control system design

    • Water hammer effects

    • 1-D/3-D flow pulsations

    • Leak detection

    • Startup and shutdown

    • Fluid batching

  • Root Cause Failure Analyses

    • Valve manifold transient pressure and flow predictions

    • Compressor failures related to fluid/structure vibrations

    • Pipeline ruptures

  • Liquid Drop-Outs in Gas Pipelines

    • Operating conditions to be avoided

    • Phase change prediction

    • Possible locations of liquid/corrosion accumulation

Transient Surge Simulation

SwRI dynamic modeling can be a valuable tool in the design of an anti-surge control system. Results from the transient analysis are used for:

  • Evaluation of the system piping design response time and operating performance

  • Placement of the downstream check valve and anti-surge valve

  • Valve/actuation system selection

  • Surge control system safety confirmation

For more information about our fluid pipeline modeling services capabilities, or how you can contract with SwRI, please contact Augusto Garcia-Hernandez at (210) 522-5693 or


Contact Information

Augusto Garcia-Hernandez

Fluid Pipeline Modeling Services

(210) 522-5693

Related Terminology

pipeline modeling

pipeline simulations

Related Web Sites




Gas/Electric Partnership

Related SwRI Links

Fluids and Machinery Engineering Department

Mechanical Engineering Division

| Fluids and Machinery Engineering Department | Mechanical Engineering Division | SwRI Home |

Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.

August 07, 2014