Sunday, June 16, 2013

REPOST: Natural Gas Grid Is Key Enabler For U.S. Energy Security, Says DoD Study

This article reports the reliability of natural gas supply system during electric grid failure.

Gas-Electric Interdependencies
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The natural gas distribution system can significantly enhance energy security at domestic military installations during electric grid failures, according to a new study by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). 

The study, performed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory, assessed the reliability of the natural gas supply system during electric power grid outages and concluded that it is highly resilient to the loss of electricity provided by the conventional power grid.

More specifically, natural gas supplies would continue to flow with minimal risk of interrupted deliveries during electric power grid outages of three months or longer. The study states:

The natural gas network has few single points of failure that can lead to a system-wide propagating failure. There are a large number of wells, storage is relatively widespread, the transmission system can continue to operate at high pressure even with the failure of half of the compressors, and the distribution network can run unattended and without power. This is in contrast to the electricity grid, which has, by comparison, few generating points, requires oversight to balance load and demand on a tight timescale, and has a transmission and distribution network that is vulnerable to single point, cascading failures.

The implications for the U.S. military’s energy security strategy is captured concisely in the study’s keynote recommendation: “DoD installations with large electricity loads should consider installation of natural gas generation or cogeneration plants to increase their energy security from the typical three days using diesel supplies to weeks-to-months using natural gas generation.”

Amen to that.

Dr. Ali Ghalambor’s highly acclaimed Natural Gas Engineering Handbook has been helping students and petroleum engeneers understand the intricacies and complexities of natural gas engineering. Follow this Twitter page for more updates.

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