by Jiri Zaworka
SIMONE is a project for studying the properties, behavior and control of large-scale networks consisting of a great number (thousands) of dynamic elements and of hundreds of non-linear elements described by characteristics and constraints. The elements are concatenated in intricate structures.
Dealing with such structures requires solution of tenth of thousands of non-linear partial differential equations together with hundreds of non-equation of the type of constraints. The solution must be safe against parametric oscillations, quick, and not exigent on memory.
The outlined problems are treated since 1975 by a group consisting of the researchers of Institute of Information Theory and Automation - Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic, and of the specialists of the Czech gas transporting company TRANSGAZ. September 1995, the group has founded a spin-off company "SIMONE Research Group s.r.o.".
The cornerstone of the Project SIMONE is the deep theoretical background: SIMONE is based on its own integration method which makes the solution safe against parametric oscillations and numeric instability, on its own decomposition method which uses the sparsity of matrices in a way which speeds up the calculation very effectively and reduces the memory demands essentially, and on a set of another theoretical achievements.
The group of SIMONE authors cooperates with several European Universities on the Project "Economic and Operational Objectives for a Pan European Gas Network Model" granted by the European Community, Brussels. Another cooperation with the Santa Clara University in USA is granted by NATO.
Who is the user of the system SIMONE?
The world's energy demands are increasing at an ever faster rate. The share of natural gas in the energy market is rising as it is an environmentally friendly, inexpensive energy source. Therefore, more and more complex pipeline systems are required to ensure a reliable and economic supply. Planners and operators of gas pipeline systems are faced with a challenging task. The answer to dealing with this task is SIMONE pipeline simulation and optimization. SIMONE is used by major part of big European gas transporters.
Another fields of SIMONE use is the description of water flow in open channels (rivers) and the water and heat distribution by pipeline systems.
What is the future of the Project?
The past of SIMONE is, roughly spoken, the development of simulation system with a broad functionality and a wide set of features. Actual and future effort of SIMONE Research Group is directed to a wide program of both steady state optimization and real-time optimum control of gas transport and distribution. Actually, new theoretical tools are studied and developed for the field of steady state and transient optimization which will make the solution reliable and effective.
One of SIMONE activities is organizing the Congress on Simulation and Optimization of Networks. A SIMONE Congress is held regularly in different countries (1991 - Rotenburg, FRG; 1993 - Prague, Czech Republic; 1995 - Helsinki, Finland) with guest speakers and workshops. The SIMONE Congress is European counterpart to the Pan-American Congress PSIG.