Benefits of system modelling
Accelerated developments and managed risk
System modelling is an essential technology for managing the interactions that occur across the CCS chain.
It allows not only detailed analysis of individual components such as capture plant operation, but quantification of the interactions that occur up and down the chain and – eventually – across networks.
The key benefit is the potential to reduce technology and commercial risk, and rapidly screen and rank options and trade-offs, thereby accelerating deployment.
What is systems modelling?
Systems modelling involves considering a set of inter-related operations as a whole system that interacts in many different ways, in order to take into account the impact that design and operational changes on one part of the system have on other parts.
In the CCS context, a typical example is the trade-off between purity specifications on CO2 and installed injection compression. Allowing a higher range of impurities at the power station – which affect the critical pressure of the CO2 stream – reduces costs, but can result in higher capital costs for the downstream compression.
Minimising the installed compressor capacity at the shore terminal would require higher purity streams from the power station, increasing capital costs and energy penalty for the power generator. There may be other cost factors (for example, pipeline diameter) to take into account.
In such as case it is no use each party minimising its own individual costs. The whole system needs to be considered simultaneously in the calculation, and accurate numbers used for quantifying the costs and benefits of any trade-offs between the different stakeholders. Future operational scenarios may also need to be considered.
What benefits does systems modelling bring to CCS?
Systems modelling brings many considerable benefits to CCS chain design and operation. These include the ability to:
- understand interactions between elements of the CCS chain – for example between power plant and post-combustion capture – and take these into account in component and system design
- understand trade-offs up and down the CCS chain or across the network and provide quantified information for negotiation
- screen and rank design alternatives rapidly and accurately
- design elements of the chain taking into account upstream and downstream operational scenarios
- analyse the performance of the CCS network under significant load changes and for different impurity levels
- analyse the effect of downstream trips on upstream operations
- investigate the impact of overdesign – in order to take into account future requirements – on current operability
- investigate future capacity scenarios.
This is just a sample of typical applications – there are many more areas where system modelling can bring advantages.
gCCS: Different stakeholders, different benefits
There will be a range of benefits from being part of the gCCS ecosystem. These will be different for different stakeholders along the chain:
Benefits for owner operators
Owner-operators can use gCCS to:
- understand new technology – for example, capture processes – and how it fits with current operations
- optimise design and operation for “within the fence” components – power generation and capture processes and compression
- understand the impact of operational scenarios on their own operations and grid obligations
- minimise technology risks and accelerate adoption of commercial-scale CCS
- quantify trade-offs with other stakeholders along the chain – for example, storage providers
- analyse investment options and in general de-risk investments
Benefits for process vendors
Process vendors can use gCCS:
- to develop and optimise their own processes using high-fidelity models
- to incorporate experimental data into models using model validation technology
- to analyse operation in conjunction with other elements of the CCS chain
- as a sales tool to demonstrate capabilities to prospective clients.
It is also possible for process vendors to provide models of their processes (under licence terms with secure access, if necessary) within the gCCS framework.
Benefits for engineering companies
Engineering companies can use gCCS to:
- design control systems
- perform safety analyses
Benefits for equipment vendors
Equipment vendors can use gCCS:
- to test their equipment under various performance scenarios
- as a sales tool to demonstrate the performance of their equipment to prospective clients.