135 views

Uploaded by Maruthiram

centrifugal compressor

- Catálogo-SOA-Compressores-Parafuso
- Danfoss 1 NL73FT_oc_r134a_220v_50hz_08-2004_ed400q102
- Compressor Troubleshooting Guide
- Influence of blade characteristics on axial flow compressor noise
- Performance Characteristics of Axial Fans
- 1856177939
- Petroleum Gas Compression workbook 4.pdf
- Air
- Case Study Pipelinestudio Beijing Huayou Gas Company Ltd
- Kobelco Knw L-series Water Cooled Compressor Datasheet
- CoreSenseProtectionForCopelandDiscusCompressors_presentation01092011
- L-39 Flight Manual
- CFturbo_WOST_2014
- Compressor
- Compressor Sizing
- Total Air Solutions Catalogue
- GPPF_2017_paper_132
- Air Separator for Gas Turbines (Patent Report)
- ABAC Aftermarket Catalogue
- Hercules 15 Marketing Brochure

You are on page 1of 8

As found in Norm Lieberman's book, "A Working Guide to Process Equipment", Chapter 35 Centrifugal Compressors and Surge. McGraw-Hill Books (Recommendation: BUY THIS BOOK!)

Have you ever heard a 12,000 hp, 9,000 rpm, multistage, centrifugal compressor go into

surge? The periodic, deep throated roar emitted by the surging compressor is just plain

scary. Machines, quite obviously, are not intended to make such sounds. But what

causes surge?

Another question: What happens to the amperage load on a motor-driven centrifugal

compressor when the molecular weight of the gas increases? I ask this question in the

following context:

The suction pressure P1 is constant;

The discharge pressure P2 is constant;

The number of moles of gas compressed or the standard cubic feet per hour (Scfh)

is constant;

The suction temperature is constant.

We ought to be able to answer this question with Robert Mayers equation - also called

the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that motor amperage (or electrical

work) is proportional to:

Page 1 of 8

Where

N = number of moles, a constant;

T1 = suction temperature, a constant;

P2 = discharge pressure, a constant;

P1 = suction pressure, a constant;

K = ratio of the specific heats, CP/CV

We will assume that over the ranges of molecular weights we are working with that the

ratio of the specific heats K is constant. This is not quite true, but this approximation will

not invalidate the following statement:

According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, as the molecular weight of the

gas compressed increases, the amperage (amp) load on the motor should remain

constant.

The only problem with this statement is that it contradicts reality. When we actually

increase the molecular weight of a gas, the amp load on the centrifugal wet gas

compressor shown in Figure1 does increase. This seems to contradict the Second Law of

Thermodynamics. But the Second Law has never been shown to be wrong. So we have

a conflict. Our experience tells us that the amp load on the motor must increase as the

molecular weight of the gas increases. But the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us

that the amp load on the motor must remain the same as the molecular weight of the gas

increases.

The resolution of this conflict between theory and practice, and the question What

causes surge? will require the rest of this chapter to answer.

What is actually happening inside a compressor when it begins to make that surging

sound? Let us refer to Figure 2. When a compressor starts to surge, the gas flows

backward through the rotating assembly (i.e., the rotor). This reversal of flow pushes the

rotor backward. The rotor slides backward along its radial bearings. The radial bearings

support the weight of the rotor.

The end of the rotors shaft now slams into the thrust bearing. The thrust bearing

constrains the axial (i.e., horizontal) movement of the rotor. Each time you hear the

compressor surge, the rotor is making one round trip across its radial bearings. Each time

the rotor surges, the force of the end of the shaft impacting the thrust bearing causes the

thrust bearing to deform. As the thrust bearing deforms, the axial movement of the rotor

increases. The spinning wheels of the rotor come closer and closer to the stationary

Page 2 of 8

elements (called the labyrinth seals) of the compressor, which are fixed inside the

compressor case.

When a spinning wheel (with a wheel tip velocity of perhaps 600 miles an hour) touches

a stationary element, the compressor internals are wrecked. Pieces of the wheel have

been known to tear through the compressor case and kill operators. Older (1960s), lower

speed compressors seem to withstand the destructive forces of surge better than do newer,

higher-speed models.

Centrifugal compressors and centrifugal pumps work on the same principle. If you have

neglected to read Chap. 29, Centrifugal Pumps: Fundamentals of Operation, this would

be a good time to read it. Both centrifugal compressors and centrifugal pumps are

dynamic machines, meaning that they convert velocity into feet of head.

The gas enters the compressors rotor through the large wheel shown in Figure 2. The

purpose of this wheel is to increase the velocity or kinetic energy of the gas. After the

high-velocity gas escapes from the vanes in the wheel, the gas enters the stationary

elements fixed to the inner wall of the compressor case. This is called the stator. Inside

the stator, the velocity or kinetic energy of the gas is converted to polytropic feet of head,

or potential energy.

Brave reader, do not be afraid of the term polytropic feet of head. It really has the same

simple meaning as explained before, except that the term polytropic feet of head means

feet of head for a compressible fluid that is changing temperature.

To convert from polytropic feet of head to P, which is really what process people are

interested in, we use the following very rough approximation:

Page 3 of 8

Where

P = discharge pressure minus the suction pressure;

DV = density of the vapor at the suction of the compressor;

HP = polytropic feet of head.

Centrifugal compressors operates on a performance curve, just like centrifugal pumps. A

typical performance curve is shown in Figure 3. The horizontal axis is actual cubic feet

per minute (Acfm). This is analogous to Gpm, used on the horizontal (x) axis of

centrifugal pump performance curves. The vertical axis is Hp (polytropic feet of head).

This is analogous to the feet of head used on the vertical ( y) axis of the centrifugal pump

performance curve.

The centrifugal compressor, unless it is dirty or mechanically defective, has to operate on

its performance curve. (this is factual because the curve was developed empirically)

As the compressor discharge pressure increases, then Hp, the feet of polytropic head

required, must also increase. Also, as can be seen from the compressor performance

curve, the volume of gas compressed (Acfm) must decrease. When the volume of gas

drops below a critical flow, the compressor will be backed up to its Surge Point.

Aerodynamic Stall

In my younger days, I used to try to meet good-looking women on airplanes. Finding

myself seated next to an interesting lady, I would ask, Have you ever wondered what

makes this plane fly? With this opening gambit, I would then explain:

This sketch (Figure 3) is a cross section of the wing. Because of the shape of the

wing, the air has to travel a longer distance across the top of the wing than

underneath the wing. This means that the velocity of the air as it travels across the

top of the wing is greater than the velocity of the air as it travels underneath the

wing. The energy to increase the velocity, or kinetic energy of the air as it flows

Page 4 of 8

across the top of the wing, does not come from the planes engine. This energy to

accelerate the air comes from the air itself; that is, the increase in the kinetic energy

of the air flowing across the top of the wing comes from the barometric pressure of

the air.

It follows, then, that the pressure on top of the wing (shown in Figure 4) is less

than the pressure underneath the wing. This difference in pressure, multiplied by

area of the wing, is called lift. As the planes air speed is reduced, its ability to

maintain a lift equal to its weight is reduced. At some reduced speed, the planes

lift then becomes insufficient to keep it flying. The aircraft undergoes

aerodynamic stall. The plane falls out of the sky, crashes, and all the passengers

are killed.

At this point, the young lady whom I was trying to impress would typically pick up a

magazine and thoroughly ignore me for the rest of the journey.

Surge is quite similar to aerodynamic stall. Of course, when a compressor surges, its

rotor does not stop spinning. The rotor is spun by the motor. But when the flow of gas

through the rotor falls below a certain rate, the forward velocity of the gas stops. With no

flow, there is no velocity to convert to feet of head. Then the P developed by the

compressor falls to zero.

The discharge pressure of the compressor shown in Figure 1 is 100 psig and its suction

pressure is 10 psig. The gas flow, when the compressor surges, travels backward. The

reverse gas flow pushes the rotor backward and slams it up against its thrust bearing. The

suction pressure of the compressor increases and its discharge pressure decreases.

Temporarily, the P required to push the gas from the wet-gas drum and into the absorber

shown in Figure 1 is reduced. The polytropic head requirement is thus also temporarily

reduced. The compressor may then run out on its performance curve, as it moves a

greater Acfm volume, and move away from surge. But in so doing, the compressor

lowers its own suction pressure, raises its own discharge pressure, and creates the

conditions for the next destructive surge.

Page 5 of 8

Required P

Movement of the gas from the wet-gas drum into the absorber requires a certain P.

According to the previous equation:

P (vapor density) (polytropic head)

We see that we can increase P by either of the following options:

raise the density of the vapor; or,

raise the feet of polytropic head, developed by the compressor.

To raise the density of the gas, we could:

Raise the compressors suction pressure;

Increase the molecular weight of the gas; or,

Decrease the temperature of the gas

We cannot change the density of the gas by altering the mechanical characteristics of the

compressor.

To raise Hp, the feet of polytropic head, we could

Increase the number of wheels on the rotor shown in Figure 2;

Increase the diameter of the wheels;

Increase the speed of the rotor.

We cannot change the feet of head developed by the compressor by altering the physical

properties of the gas compressed.

Vapor density and feet of head are not related. But if the product of the two numbers

does not result in sufficient P to push the gas from the drum into the absorber, then the

gas flow will stop. It will stop and then reverse its direction of flow. And that is surge.

You might conclude from my description of surge that the engineer needs to be cautious

when designing a new compressor so that it will not surge. For example, lets assume

that Jane has to issue the specifications for a new wet-gas centrifugal compressor. She

checks with John, the unit engineer, for the proper molecular weight of the gas. John tells

Jane that the molecular weight of the gas is normally 30, but it can be as low as 24 - that

is, the density of the gas can, on occasion, be 20 percent lower than normal.

Page 6 of 8

Jane concludes that the lower-density gas will require more feet of polytropic head to

develop the required P. To avoid the possibility of surge, she decides to increase the

number of wheels on the compressor from five to six. While Jane has used good

engineering judgment, she has made a serious error. It turns out that John should not

have been trusted. The actual molecular weight of the gas turns out not to be 24 or 30,

but 36. The gas is 50 percent more dense than Janes design specifications.

Poor Jane! The compressors motor driver now trips off on high amps! In her efforts to

avoid surge, she has run afoul of the real-world fact: that the motor amps required to

drive a centrifugal compressor are approximately proportional to the molecular weight of

the gas - in apparent contradiction to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. I hope that

you can now see the intimate relationship between surge in a centrifugal compressor and

the amperage load on the motor used to drive the compressor. Lets see if I can prove

that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is in harmony with our practical experience.

Let us refer again to Figure 1. Suddenly, there is an increase in the molecular weight of

the wet gas. This causes the density of the gas to increase. This results in an increase of

the compressor P. As the compressor P increases, the compressors suction pressure

decreases. Why? If the discharge pressure is kept constant by the absorber backpressure

control valve, then a bigger P must drag down the suction pressure. The reduced

suction pressure increases the suction volume (Acfm) of gas flowing to the compressor.

Why? Because a lower-pressure gas occupies a larger volume. As the Acfm increases,

we run out to the right on the compressor performance curve, shown in Figure 3. As we

move away from the surge point, the polytropic feet of head decreases. As the polytropic

feet of head is reduced, the compressor P comes partially back down to its initial value,

until a new equilibrium is established. But because the initial disturbance of the

equilibrium - the increased molecular weight - moved us away from surge, the new

equilibrium will be established farther away from surge than the initial equilibrium. Not

only will the new equilibrium be established farther away from surge, but the pressure in

the wet-gas drum will wind up lower than the initial pressure in the drum.

Lets now assume that there is a sudden decrease in the molecular weight of the wet gas.

This results in a decrease in the gas density. The P developed by the compressor goes

down. As a consequence, the compressors suction pressure rises. This reduces the Acfm

volume of gas flowing into the compressor. As the Acfm decreases, we back up on the

compressor curve toward the surge point. As we move closer to surge, the polytropic feet

of head developed increases. The compressor P comes partly back up to its initial

value, until a new equilibrium is established. But because the initial disturbance - the

decreased molecular weight - moved us toward surge, the new equilibrium will be

established closer to surge than the initial equilibrium. Also, the pressure in the wet-gas

drum will wind up higher than the initial equilibrium pressure in that drum.

Page 7 of 8

CENTRIFUGAL COMPRESSOR WORKS AND REACTS TO PROCESS

CHANGES, BUY THIS EXCELLENT BOOK FROM NORM LIEBERMAN.

Page 8 of 8

- Catálogo-SOA-Compressores-ParafusoUploaded bycecoelsac
- Danfoss 1 NL73FT_oc_r134a_220v_50hz_08-2004_ed400q102Uploaded byHikmat Ktk
- Compressor Troubleshooting GuideUploaded byDejan Kolarec
- Influence of blade characteristics on axial flow compressor noiseUploaded bynascosannascosan
- Performance Characteristics of Axial FansUploaded bykutts76
- 1856177939Uploaded byGanesan Krishnamoorthi
- Petroleum Gas Compression workbook 4.pdfUploaded byMahathir Che Ap
- AirUploaded bySanthosh Kumar
- Case Study Pipelinestudio Beijing Huayou Gas Company LtdUploaded byoverlord5555
- Kobelco Knw L-series Water Cooled Compressor DatasheetUploaded byelrajil
- CoreSenseProtectionForCopelandDiscusCompressors_presentation01092011Uploaded byYuvaraj Nithyanandam
- L-39 Flight ManualUploaded byCory Lovell
- CFturbo_WOST_2014Uploaded bymahyar tadayon
- CompressorUploaded byChandraSekaranBm
- Compressor SizingUploaded bywanto_sudar
- Total Air Solutions CatalogueUploaded byShanna Collins
- GPPF_2017_paper_132Uploaded byasdfag
- Air Separator for Gas Turbines (Patent Report)Uploaded byoquintero99
- ABAC Aftermarket CatalogueUploaded byAdis Sarac
- Hercules 15 Marketing BrochureUploaded byGregory Stewart
- Compressor Re-Rate PaperUploaded byLTORRESM
- LIEBERT MINI-MATE2 5 & 8 TON SYSTEMSUploaded byVictor Alfonso Oñate
- Gas vs. Steam TurbineUploaded bySai Krishna Kiran B V
- Liquid Rocket Engines Centrifugal Flow Turbo PumpsUploaded byapi-3827338
- Optimal Design of Multi-conditions for Axial Flow PumpUploaded bynascosannascosan
- Compressor WashUploaded bybhasinr5
- The Evolution of the Flow Topologies of 3D Separations in the Stator PassageUploaded byalexandreburan
- Measurement of Turbulence in the Liverpool universityUploaded byprashasscribd
- Design Project OutlineUploaded bySurendar Vejayan
- EGE15B10Uploaded byJhonny Rafael Blanco Caura

- EconomicsUploaded bySiddhartha Choudhury
- Basic Field Instruments for Process UnitsUploaded byMaruthiram
- cs-stddevUploaded byMaruthiram
- The Verbal Path to CAT 2016Uploaded byMaruthiram
- IFS Chemical SyllabusUploaded byMaruthiram
- Visual ControlUploaded byMaruthiram
- CollocationUploaded byKrittini Intoramas
- Idioms and PhrasesUploaded byRupeshPandya
- Cleaning Furnace CoilsUploaded byMaruthiram
- 035 SBI Pharma FundUploaded byMaruthiram
- 1111Uploaded byMaruthiram
- Process Heaters Furnaces and Fired HeatersUploaded byRabah Amidi
- Ref - My EntitlementsUploaded byMaruthiram
- What Does It Cost to Print Money_ - LivemintUploaded byMaruthiram
- Chemcad Reactor ModelingUploaded byaalbuhse
- Wall Street Journal June 4 2016Uploaded byMaruthiram
- DC Valves making difference.pdfUploaded byMaruthiram
- Hindu June EditorialUploaded byFrancis Underwood

- AP BIology Chapter 3: WaterUploaded bymring11
- MODULE 1 Intro.lab PneumaticUploaded byShahrul Shafiq
- The Effect of Nano-Materials on Hot Mixture “Asphalt-Concrete”Uploaded byYasser Alghrafy
- Stress Analysis ReportUploaded byErarunv
- Food PolymersUploaded byfitsnj
- 18 Mechanical Properties Which Every Mechanical Engineer Should KnowUploaded byedohaso
- Computer Graphics - CS602 Special 2006 Assignment 01 SolutionUploaded byskanshah
- 9702_p1_forces_all (Finished Upto May-June 2012)Uploaded byAsha D'sa
- E967.9725.pdfUploaded bysensoham03
- Theory of Metal FormingUploaded byaditya sharma
- Aerospace Structures: Chapter 2 (Internal Loads)Uploaded byJohn Brennan
- Treatment of Synthetic Industrial Wastewater With ROUploaded byAltus Schoeman
- NUMERICAL EXAMPLE OF ANNULAR RAFTChimney CoNmputation RAFTUploaded byAnanda Ds
- Gas Assisted Injection MoldingUploaded byBhupendra Singh
- NADCA Section 03 Alloy DataUploaded bymigcarlin6949
- dmc-cUploaded byKhusnan Aji
- tr-04-03Uploaded byramkumar31
- Seismic Analysis of Telecommunication Tower using Viscous DamperUploaded byIRJET Journal
- Radio Occultations Using Earth Satellites A Wave Theory Treatment.pdfUploaded byVictoria Liendo
- physofballetUploaded byAmila Rajindra
- Sonic Scanner Basics_Client Guide for Sonic Scanner ProductsUploaded bysdb158
- Tut 2Uploaded byJulian Wong Soon
- EPT 07-T-06C Centrifugal PumpsUploaded byConnor Sailor
- module-5Uploaded byGil Jerome II
- 105-m45 Simplified Concrete Resistivity and RCPT.pdfUploaded byErwinpro Erwin
- physicsUploaded bySevy
- Physics I Final Cheat SheetUploaded byJsea2011
- V001T01A043-87-GT-148Uploaded bymiguel
- Wc Set 2016047Uploaded byladigomez
- A Novel and Simple Technique for Development of Dual Phase Steels WithUploaded byDaniel Carlos Andrade