Page 5: Controlled all the way to the door
Transco’s national control centre at Hinckley, Leicestershire, monitors and controls the flow of gas through the network, operating compressor stations and flow control valves to ensure the optimum supply of gas to Transco’s local distribution zones, power stations, and other large gas users.
Every minute of every day, 44,000 telemetered items, such as pressures and flow rates, are scanned. The centre uses the demand forecasts produced by the areas, together with nominations from power stations and other large users, to determine the country’s total gas requirements. The centre also monitors the amount of gas which shippers plan to put into the system, and takes steps, including the buying and selling of gas, to ensure that supply and demand remain in balance throughout the day.
Four area control centres – at Killingworth, Hinckley, Dorking and Gloucester - operate the local gas transportation system in their area. Gas from the National Transmission System has to be reduced in pressure several times before it reaches the consumer’s meter. To achieve this, each area control centre monitors and controls up to 600 major pressure reduction stations, as well as local storage installations, which smooth out the variation in demand throughout the day.