Operator splitting method for simulation of dynamic flows in natural gas pipeline networks

Sergey A. Dyachenko, Anatoly Zlotnik, Alexander O. Korotkevich, Michael Chertkov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We develop an operator splitting method to simulate flows of isothermal compressible natural gas over transmission pipelines. The method solves a system of nonlinear hyperbolic partial differential equations (PDEs) of hydrodynamic type for mass flow and pressure on a metric graph, where turbulent losses of momentum are modeled by phenomenological Darcy–Weisbach friction. Mass flow balance is maintained through the boundary conditions at the network nodes, where natural gas is injected or withdrawn from the system. Gas flow through the network is controlled by compressors boosting pressure at the inlet of the adjoint pipe. Our operator splitting numerical scheme is unconditionally stable and it is second order accurate in space and time. The scheme is explicit, and it is formulated to work with general networks with loops. We test the scheme over range of regimes and network configurations, also comparing its performance with performance of two other state of the art implicit schemes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
StatePublished - Dec 15 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Gas dynamics
  • Operator splitting
  • Pipeline simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics


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