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of Gas/Gas Ejector

Performance

A correlation for ejector efficiency with accuracy range

±2% was found between the model and published

results. From this, a methodology was established to

determine ejector performance at a conceptual level,

using commercial cfd simulation software

ILF Consulting Engineers (ILF Beratende Ingenieure GmbH)

E

xperience during the execution A thermodynamic spreadsheet model was prepared

of engineering design and based on equations [1, 2]. Results were analyzed

consultancy services has shown and compared with published results and with the

that the commonly available process simulation results obtained by using cfd codes (as

simulation software is not applicable UNISIM and HYSIS). Findings are presented herein,

for many gas/gas ejector applications together with a recommended simplified method

encountered. Gas ejector design can however for the prediction of ejector performance.

be determined by rigorous calculation using the

applicable equations [1, 2].

A study was performed to establish a simpler Ejector performance analysis

methodology for ejector design and for the Figure 1 shows a sketch of gas/gas ejector based

prediction of performance, based on the following: on [1, 2]. The applicable equations are provided by

• published results by manufacturers; Huang et al [1, 2] as follows:

• literature survey; • primary flow (active gas) through nozzle: The

Fig. 1 - Sketch of gas/gas • published empirical results; HP (active) gas is accelerated to sonic velocity

ejector based on [1, 2] • experience from design projects. in the throat of the ejector inlet nozzle

plane (depends on area at exit of throat)

Nomenclature

a1, a2, c1, c2, c3 Coefficients

A Area

M Mach number

m̃ Mass flow rate

Pg Vapour pressure at the nozzle inlet of the ejector (active gas)

PR Pressure ratio Pg/Pe

R Gas constant

T Temperature

V Gas velocity

g Cp / Cv

fm Mixing coefficient

h Isentropic efficiency

v Entrainment ratio = ms / mp

Subscripts

c Exit of ejector

e Inlet port of the entrained flow (passive gas)

g Nozzle inlet, active gas

m Mixed flow

p Primary (active) flow

pl Nozzle exit

py Primary flow at the location of choking for the entrained flow

s Suction or entrained flow, passive gas

sy Entrained flow at the location of choking for the entrained flow

t Nozzle throat

y-y Plane of ejector cross section at the commencement of mixing section

1 Nozzle exit

2 Entrance of the constant-area section

3 Exit of the constant-area section

adjustment is made:

to be lower than that of the passive gas, to

ensure sufficient passive gas flow. As the design

Secondary flow (passive gas) through nozzle: entrainment ratio increases, the design area for

passive gas flow will be increased. Nevertheless, and for the mixed flow though the ejector diffuser

passive gas velocity will be required to increase, are 95% and 85% respectively [1, 2].

thus the pressure at y-y will be required to decrease. The following correlation was derived for the mixing

The following equations describe the mixing coefficient based on information provided by

process downstream of the nozzle: Huang et al. [3, 4]:

• momentum balance

The requirements for successful completion of an

energy balance over the ejector are discussed in

the paragraph below. It becomes quickly apparent

that such an energy balance cannot be performed

with currently available process simulation models.

As can be seen from the equations above, an

increase in entrainment ratio requires a reduction

Prior to entering the diffuser, the mixed gas velocity in the value of Py to provide sufficient driving force

reduces to less than sonic velocity, consequently a to accelerate the passive gas. As a result, a larger

shock wave is generated. The pressure ratio and conversion of pressure into kinetic energy and

Mach number of the gas downstream of the shock then kinetic energy back to pressure occurs. Since

wave are calculated as follows: efficiency losses occur in both the expansion

and compression steps, the total energy losses

increase. Energy losses due to the momentum

balance during mixing of the active and passive

stream as well as friction losses are also expected

to increase as the entrainment ratio increases.

Currently available process simulation software

does not provide the facility to estimate the value

of Py required.

As previously stated, a thermodynamic spreadsheet

The pressure increase across subsonic diffuser can model was prepared using the equations presented

then be calculated by: above from [1, 2] to determine the velocities,

pressures, temperatures and energy balance for

a gas/gas ejector. The results obtained were then

compared with values quoted in the references.

Energy balances for the calculation of isentropic

efficiencies were performed by inputting the above

Equation 10, however, does not account of the results into cfd simulations. Both the active and the

isentropic efficiency. Therefore the adjustment in passive gas used were natural gas.

equation 4 was made.

Results for operating offshore ejectors located in

the Hewlett Field (Rottlegendes and Zechstein) Results and discussion

were obtained from Sashar et al. [3, 4]. The discharge pressures – as a percentage

The recommended isentropic efficiencies for the of the active gas pressure - obtained by the

primary flow (active gas) though the ejector nozzle thermodynamic model from equations by Huang

Table 1 - Comparison of

results of thermodynamic Active gas / Passive gas

1.5 1.5 1.5 2 2 2 3 3 3

spreadsheet model with pressure ratio

literature references

Entrainment ratio 0.1 0.5 1.0 0.1 0.5 1.0 0.1 1.0 2.0

Discharge pressure / Active

gas pressure (%) [4] 86 76 71 76 64 58 61 42 37

kPA (abs)

Discharge pressure / Active

gas pressure (%)

84 75 69 80 65 57 67 43 35

Thermodynamic model [1, 2]

kPA (abs)

Fig. 2 - Comparison of

discharge pressure results

for thermodynamic model

based on equations in [1,

2] and discharge pressures

from [3, 4]

[1, 2] are compared with results by Sashar [3, 4] in by the power output at the inlet nozzle (95%

table 1. Results are also plotted in figure 2. isentropic efficiency [1]).

As can be seen, there is a good correlation between Resulting values of are plotted in figure 4 and

the two sets of results over the following ranges: reflect the following:

entrainment ratio 0.1 – 1.0; active to passive gas • friction and momentum losses;

pressure ratio 1.5 – 3.0. A possible reason for the • slipping and viscous effect;

small differences between the two sets of results • losses due to non-ideal isentropic behavior

is that the model uses equation 11 to calculate during acceleration of the passive gas;

fm, whereas the ejector supplier has proprietary • isentropic losses due to reduced pressure in

knowledge of mixing factors fm. Supplier results the mixing section to enable entrainment of

[3, 4] are based on supplier knowledge of ejector passive gas.

design and were therefore utilized in further A generalized correlation of the above

calculations and analysis. relationships was obtained using

Cfd process simulations were performed as an equation with the following form

shown in figure 3. No allowance was made in

Fig. 3 - Schematic of cfd the simulation models for friction and momentum

process simulation losses. The efficiencies shown in the graph

(below were calculated as power input to the The results of the above correlation equation are

expander (88% isentropic efficiency [1]) divided compared with literature results [3, 4] in figure 5.

Fig. 4 - Efficiencies (results

versus entrainment ratio

based on [3, 4] for various

active / passive gas

pressure ratios

Results for operating units [3, 4] are also plotted. pressures and entrainment ratios. In this respect,

As can be seen the correlation provides a good fit thermodynamic model results for natural gas

to all results. present a close approximation of gas/gas ejector

A cfd model for easy use in simulating gas/gas performance for the following ranges:

ejectors was prepared as follows (figure 3): • entrainment ratio 0 to 2;

• the ejector nozzle expansion chamber is • pressure ratio (PR) 1.5 to 3;

simulated as a turbo expander with isentropic • molecular weight 17 – 20;

efficiency 95%; • active gas pressure 10 - 100 barg;

• the diffuser is simulated as a centrifugal • the related natural gas physical properties.

compressor with isentropic efficiency 88%; This approximation can be improved further by the

• a a tool of the used cfd code calculates input of more accurate values of mixing factors Φm

friction/momentum efficiency based on the derived from literature results.

pressure ratio and entrainment ratio; the tool A methodology is demonstrated above for

then adjusts the gas discharge pressure until prediction of ejector performance using

this efficiency is met. commercial cfd simulation software. Based on

results above, this method is accurate to within

Fig. 5 - Efficiencies from 2% with respect to the energy balance and the

correlation equation of

versus model results based

Conclusion gas discharge pressure. This methodology may

on [3, 4] for active / passive A key practical criterion for gas/gas ejector be used as a conceptual tool. It is not proposed

gas pressure ratios 1.5 to performance is the discharge gas pressures that it should be used for detailed engineering,

3.0 achieved for specific active and passive gas where supplier specialized knowledge is required.

References

[1] Huang B.H. et al.: A 1-D Analysis of

Ejector Performance - International Journal

of Refrigeration, 1999

Correlation for Ejector Design -

International Journal of Refrigeration ,

1999

and Performance of Jet Pumps in Oil

and Gas Production Handling Multiphase

Flow - 2nd North American Conference on

Multiphase Technology, Canada, 2000

[4] Sarshar M., Beg N., Andrews I.: The [7] Scott D. et al.: An Experimental Investigation

Applications of Jet Pumps as Cost Effective of an Ejector Operating with R245FA -

Way to Enhance Gas Production and Recovery - International Seminar on Ejector/Jet Pump

Proceedings, Indonesian Petroleum Association, Technology and Application, Louvain-la-Nouve,

Twenty-Ninth Annual Convention & Exhibition, Belgium, 2009

2003

[8] McGovern, Bulusu et al.: One Dimensional

[5] Spirax Marshal: Thermocompressors - Model of an Optimal Ejector and Parametric Study

w w w. f o r b e s m a r s h a l l . c o m / C o n t ro l l e r / of Ejector Efficiency - Proceeding of

SubProducts/Binaries/TCompress.pdf ECOS, 2012

- Ph D Thesis, Texas A&M University, 2008

Pierre van Eeden has a degree in Chemical Engi- He worked as senior process engineers for ILF

neering from the University of Cape Town. He has GmbH in Germany, Russia and Kazakhstan in

worked in the process design, commissioning and upstream and pipeline projects.

operations for Oil & Gas and Petrochemical Plants

for over 25 years.

Dario Ercolani

Dario Ercolani has a degree in Mechanical plants and in project management. He is certified

Engineering from the University of Bologna. He PMP. Presently is with ILF GmbH as manager of

worked in R&D projects, in technologies for oil and the Offshore Engineering Department and Project

gas pipelines (onshore and offshore), for process Director.

di un eiettore gas/gas

I software disponibili per la simulazione di processo non sono un range di rapporti di pressione gas attivo/gas passivo e di

applicabili su molti dei casi di eiettori gas/gas incontrati nella rapporti di trascinamento, sono stati analizzati e confrontati

tecnica. Pertanto, è stato considerato opportuno effettuare con dati disponibili in letteratura e con i risultati di simulazione

uno studio per definire una semplice metodologia di proget- condotta mediante codici cfd commerciali (UNISIM e HYSIS).

tazione dell’eiettore e per predirne le prestazioni. Lo studio È stata trovata una correlazione, con accuratezza di ±2%,

si basa su informazioni pubblicamente disponibili e sull’espe- tra i dati del modello e i risultati pubblicati. Da questa è stata

rienza maturata in progetti applicati. ricavata una metodologia per determinare, a livello prelimi-

Le equazioni applicabili sono state elaborate mediante un nare, le prestazioni dell’eiettore mediante codici di simula-

modello termodinamico. I risultati del modello, prodotti per zione cfd.

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