Edit ModuleShow Tags

Reciprocating Compressor Performance and Safety Prediction for Control Panels


Published:

SECTION 1: Introduction

 

There are three general methods of modeling reciprocating compressor performance and safety prediction commonly used in unit control panel logic:

  • Fast and Easy
  • Covers 90% of Concerns
  • Covers Everything according to the Compressor Manufacturer (OEM)

 

When overseeing a compressor or compressor station, one needs to know which method is being implemented in each of your control panels (UCPs). If it’s not the OEM method, then there had better be a good reason why something inferior is being used, especially if the unit is damaged due to mechanical stresses.

 

Before discussing various modeling methods, it is important to note that real-time modeling of performance and safety is different than real-time variable measurement, such as actual discharge temperatures and internal cylinder pressures. Real-time modeling of performance and safety allows the PLC to predict unit performance and to identify ahead of time within its defined operating map where it is safe to run that unit, but it does assume that the unit is configured properly and that it is in reasonably good health. Real-time monitoring reviews unit performance based on actual unit configuration (healthy or damaged) and operating conditions, but provides no insight on how to get out of unsafe operations other than flag alarms and shut down.

 

OEM Performance and Safety Prediction is required as it provides useful predictions for achieving user goals, keeping units from overloading and out of unsafe areas. Adding optional real-time monitoring can help prevent continued operations in high mechanical stress (e.g. like high rod load forces due to valve breakages from slugs of liquids). Nevertheless, even if you choose to add real-time monitoring, you still must make sure that the real-time monitoring devices are modeling your equipment in accordance with OEM modeling specifications. Without this step, inappropriate shut downs or hardware damage can still occur.

Download the full PDF here or read the next article in the series:  Section 2: Evaluating The Methods

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Recent Articles

Opcon Selling Compressor, Waste Heat Business

Opcon AB, the energy and environmental technology group, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to sell part of its compressor technology and waste heat recovery business.

St. Clair Compressor Station Gets Upgrade

Consumers Energy is looking to improve the St. Clair Compressor Station, Ira Township, Michigan, with a US$165 million upgrade.

Capstone Microturbines To Power Two New Shale Compressor Stations

Capstone Turbine received orders from E-Finity Distributed Generation for microturbines to be used for oil and gas operations in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions.

DCL Nets PICA As New Distributor

DCL America Inc. has added a new distributor for its Northeastern United States - Power Ignition and Controls Appalachia (PICA).

Caterpillar Releases Valves, Seats For Pressure Pumping Customers

Caterpillar has released its Cat valves and seats for well stimulation pump fluid ends. Cat 4- and 5-series valves and seats are designed to maximize interchangeability across the Cat well stimulation fluid end line and be dimensionally compatible with industry standard fluid ends in the 2000 to 3000 hp (1491 to 2237 kW) range. Fluid end valves and seats are highly-consumed parts in well stimulation operations and, as a result, are frequently replaced. Historically, Caterpillar uses valves and seats obtained from alternate sources. Caterpillar’s new fluid end valves and seats provide decreased wear and extended life to pressure pumping customers, the company said. The material life of the fluid ends is extended by optimizing the geometry of the Cat valve and seat, increasing the contact area and improving the distribution of forces, resulting in reduced material fatigue, Cat said. The flow area is increased by balancing the pressure drop across the Cat valves, reducing flow restrictions and the potential for cavitation. Additionally, impact forces are reduced as the contact area between valve and seat has nearly doubled from previous designs. Caterpillar manufacturers a line of pressure pumps with maximum inputs ranging from 600 to 3000 bhp (447 to 2237 kW). The new valves and seats can be ordered from the global Cat dealer network.