Numerical simulation of a buried hot crude oil pipeline under normal operation

Bo Yu*, Chao Li, Zhengwei Zhang, Xin Liu, Jinjun Zhang, Jinjia Wei, Shuyu Sun, Jinping Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


A physical model is proposed to study the heat transfer and oil flow of a buried hot oil pipeline under normal operation. With certain physically reasonable assumptions, the governing equations for the thermal analyses are derived. An approach combining unstructured-finite-volume [1] and finite difference methods is applied to solve the governing equations, in which the soil domain was discretized by unstructured grids. Numerical simulations in a wide range of operating conditions are conducted. The operating conditions cover 5 months (April, May, June, October and November) with throughputs ranging from 15,007 tons per day to 27,451 tons per day and outlet temperatures varying from 40.6 °C to 64.8 °C. Measured data are provided for comparison. A good agreement between numerical simulations and field measurement suggests that the proposed numerical scheme is a suitable method to simulate the heat transfer and oil flow of buried hot crude oil pipelines. We also analyze a number of influential factors on the temperature distribution of oil along the pipeline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2670-2679
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Issue number17-18
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Crude oil pipeline
  • Finite volume method
  • Hydraulic loss
  • Oil inlet temperature
  • Relative error
  • Unstructured grid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical simulation of a buried hot crude oil pipeline under normal operation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this