Air compressor requirements in smart grid systems can be predicted using newly developed software, according to German scientists.

Experts at applied research institution Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have been working on a computer program that can help to overcome the difficulties encountered in energy grids during extreme winters.

For instance, gas distribution can be affected if pipelines become so cold that the gas begins to condense – and air compressors and pre-heaters are a means to overcome this.

Dr Tanja Clees, department head at the Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing, says common rules underline the distribution of gas and of other commodities.

“Regardless of dealing with transport systems for gas, power, water or electrical circuits, their simulation always traces back to the same numerical core,” she explains.

In addition to this common core, however, there are also specific features of the program for individual applications – allowing gas distributors to tailor their installations according to the particular demands of their commodity.

For example, the newly developed software, named Multiphysical Network Simulation Framework or MYNTS, allows users to investigate how additional air compressor stations and mixing chambers might help to improve their gas distribution.