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Section 4

Reciprocating Compressors

Reciprocating compressors are widespread in the Heat capacity (specific heat) ratio
natural-gas industry. They vary in size from small
units suitable for use on the lease or in the field to There are two ways in which the thermodynamic
large integral units for pipeline use. The engineer calculations for compression can be carried out:
in the field is frequently required to: (1) determine assuming an adiabatic reversible (isentropic) com-
the approximate horsepower required to handle a pression path or assuming a polytropic reversible
certain volume of gas at some intake conditions to a path. In the former case a "k" value is used which
given discharge pressure and ( 2 ) estimate the ca- is the ratio of the molar heat capacities of the gas.
pacity of a certain existing compressor under speci- In the second case a polytropic coefficient "n" is
fied suction and discharge conditions. used
The following pages outline procedures for mak- General practice is to use k and n as being inter-
ing these calculations from the standpoint of quick
changeable. This is not correct. There is no specified
estimates and also more detailed calculations. For relationship between the ~ o l ~ t r o exponent
~ic n and
specific information on a given the best the adiabatic coefficient k; n may be larger or smaller
source of complete information is always the manu- than k.
facturer of that unit. Equation 1 which applies to all ideal gases is

FIG. 4-1
Molal heat capacity MC,,' (ideal-gas state), BTU/Ib mol/"R
(1) Doto source: Selected Volues of Properties of Hydrocarbons, API Reseorch Project 44

Chemical Mol
Gas formula wt OOF. SOOF. 600F. 1000F. l5OOF 2000F 2SOoF. 3000F.

Methane CH, 16.042 8.233 8.414 8.456 8.651 8.947 9.277 9.638 10.01
Ethyne (Acetylene) C,H2 26.036 9.683 10.23 10.33 10.71 11.13 11.54 11.88 12.22
Ethene (Ethylene) CH
,, 28.052 9.324 10.02 10.16 10.72 11.40 12.08 12.75 13.14
Ethane . C,H, 30.068 11.44 12.17 12.32 12.95 13.77 14.63 15.49 16.34

Propene (Propylene) CH
,, 42.078 13.63 14.69 14.90 15.75 16.80 17.85 18.87 19.89
Propane CH
,, 44.094 15.64 16.88 17.13 18.17 19.52 20.89 22.25 23.56

1-Butene (Butylene) C,Hs 56.104 17.96 19.59 19.91 21.17 22.71 24.25 25.70 27.15
cis-2-Butene C,H, 56.104 16.54 18.04 18.34 19.54 21.04 22.53 24.00 25.47
trans-2-Butene C,H, 56.104 18.84 20.02 20.50 21.61 22.99 24.37 25.72 27.06
iso-Butane CH
,, 58.120 20.40 22.15 22.50 23.95 25.77 27.59 29.39 31.11
n-Butane CH
,, 58.120 20.80 22.38 22.71 24.07 25.81 27.54 29.23 30.90
iso-Pentone C,H12 72.146 24.93 27.16 27.61 29.42 31.66 33.87 36.03 38.14
n-Pentane CH
,, 72.146 25.64 27.61 28.01 29.70 31.86 33.99 36.07 38.12

Benzene CH
,, 78.108 16.41 18.38 18.75 20.46 22.46 24.46 27.08 29.71
n-Hexone CH
,, 86.172 30.1 7 32.78 33.30 35.36 37.91 40.45 42.91 45.36
n-Heptone C,H, 100.198 34.96 37.00 38.61 41.01 43.47 46.93 - 49.77 52.60
Ammonio NH, 17.032 8.516 8.518 8.519 8.521 8.523 8.525 8.527 8.530
Air 28.966 6.944 6.951 6.952 6.960 6.973 6.990 7.009 7.033
Water HO
, 18.016 7.983 8.006 8.010 8.033 8.075 8.1 16 8.171 8.226
Oxygen 0 2 32.000 6.970 6.997 7.002 7.030 7.075 7.120 7.176 7.232 ,
Nitrogen N2 28.016 6.951 6.954 6.954 6.956 6.963 6.970 6.984 6.998
Hydrogen Hz 2.016 6.762 6.856 6.871 6.905 6.929 6.953 6.965 6.977
Hydrogen sulfide H2S 34.076 8.00 8.091 8.109 8.18 8.27 8.36 8.455 8.55
Carbon monoxide CO 28.010 6.952 6.957 6.958 6.963 6.975 6.986 7.007 7.028
Carbon dioxide CO, 44.010 8.380 8.698 8.762 9.004 9.282 9.559 10.31 10.05
( 1 ) Eic.cptrons: Air. Keenan and Kryrs, T h ~ r m o t l y n a m i c Proprrtrrs o f Arr, W i k y , jr.1 Prmtrrrg 1947. Anrn~otriu, Erlw. R. Grahl, Tbrrmo-
,lyrran,rc. Proprrfrcs of Anrmonra at Hrgh Temperafurcr and Prrssurer, Prfr. Procrssing, April 1913. Hyrlrogrn Sulfirlr, J. R . W r s f Cbcnr.
Eng. Progress 44,287. ( 1 9 4 8 ) .
used to calculate k. MMcfd = Compressor capacity referred to 14.4
psia and intake temperature
MC,, - MC, = 1.99 ................................. (1)
F = is an allowance for interstage pressure drop
Where: F = 1.0 for single-stage compression
M = molecular weight of the gas F = 1.08 for two-stage compression
C,, = heat capacity of the gas at constant pres- F = 1.10 for three-stage compression
sure, BTU/lb - OF.
Equation 3 provides a close estimate of horse-
C, = heat capacity of the gas at constant volume, power requirements for gases with specific gravity
BTU/lb - OF. of 0.65 and stage compression ratios above 2.5. For
By rearrangement and substitution we obtain: gases with specific gravity in the 0.8 to 1.0 range,

MC* FIG. 4-3

k = - -- - --- --- -- - - --.- -.-- .----.
-- -..---- - ----- - (2)
MC,, 1.99- Approximate heat-capacity ratios
of hydrmcarbon gases
In order to calculate k for a gas we need only
know the molar heat capacity (MC,) for the gas.
Fig. 4-1 gives values of molecular weight and heat
capacity for various gases. The heat capacity varies
considerably with temperature. Since the tempera-
ture of the gas increases as it passes from suction ta
discharge in the compressor the k, is normally de-
termined at the average of suction and discharge
For a mixture of gases, such as natural gas gen-
erally is, the weighted value of molar heat capacity
must be determined. A sample calculation for this
determination is illustrated in Fig. 4-2.
When the gas analysis is not known the value of
molar heat capacity cannot be calculated as shown
in Fig. 4-2. If the specific gravity of the gas is
known, an approximate value for k can be deter-
mined from the curves in Fig. 4-3.

Estimating compressor horsepower

Equation 3 is useful for obtaining a quick but
reasonable estimate of compressor horsepower:
Brake horsepower = (22 bhp) (Ratio/Stage)
(Stages) (MMcfd) (F) . (3)
Where: Heat-capacity ratio ( k value)

FIG. 4-2
Calculation of k
Determination of MC 0 Determination of psuedo criticol
Example Determination of pressure PP,. and temperature PT
go8 m ~ x t u n equiv. mot weigh? Molol heat capacity1

Individual MC Component Component

IndiVidual Component I critical critical
Mol Component pressure temperature -
Component fraction Mot weight MC,; @ @ I
nomo Y M y x ht 1SOoF. 1SooF. (..
P psia Y x PC T,. OR y xT,,

Methane 0.92 16 16.04 14.782 8.95 8.248 673 620.2 344 3 17.0
Ethane 0.0488 30.07 1.467 13.77 0.672 710 34.6 550 26.8
Propane 0.0 1 85 44.09 0.816 19.52 0.361 617 11.4 666 12.3
I-Butane 0.0039 58.12 0.227 25.77 0,100 529 2.1 735 2.9
N-Butane 0.0055 58.12 0.320 25.81 0.142 551 3.0 766 4.2
I-Pentane 0.00 17 72.15 0.123 31.66 0.054 483 0.8 829 1.4
Total = 1.0000 M. W. Mix = 17.735 MClIo mix = 9.577 P,. mix = 672.1 T, mix = 364.6
k = 9.577/(9.577 - 1.99) = 1.26
For values of MC," at other than 150°F. Refer to Fig. 4-1
the multiplication factor will be approximately 20. horsepower to be:
For compression ratios between 1.5 and 2.0 the fac-
tor may be as low as 16 to 18. When using low
ratios and/or for high-gravity gases the estimated From Fig. 4-4, using a k-value of 1.15, we find
horsepower from Equation 3 will tend to be on the the horsepower requirement to be 132 hp/MMcfd or
high side. 264 bhp. For a k-value of 1.4, the horsepower re-
Curves are available which permit easy estima- quirement would be 145 hp/MMcfd or 290 total
tion of approiximate compression-horsepower re- horsepower.
quirements. Fig 4-4 is typical of these curves. The The two procedures give reasonable agreement,
horsepower required is determined by entering the particularly considering the simplifying assumptions
x-axis at the total compression ratio and going ver- necessary in reducing compressor horsepower calcu-
tically to the appropriate curve, and then horizontally lations to such a simple procedure.
to the y-axis to determine the brake horsepower
requirement per MMcfd.
Detailed calculations
ILLUSTRATIVE PROBLEM There are many variables which enter into the
Consider the problem of compressing 2 MMcfd of precise calculation of compressor performance. Gen-
gas at 14.4 psia and intake temperature through a eralized data as given in this section are based upon
compression ratio of 9 in a %-stagecompressor. What averaging of many criteria. The results obtained
will be the horsepower? from these calculations, therefore, must be consid-
ered as close approximations to true compressor
Solution-From Equation 3 we find the brake performance.

FIG. 4 4
Approximate power required to compress gases

1 1.5 2 2 . 5 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 15 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 100
O v e r a l l compression rotio based on absolute pressures
CAPACITY Z , = the compressibility factor a t suction tem-
perature and pressure
Compressor capacity may be expressed in many
ways. The only independent measure of capacity is Z , = the compressibility factor a t discharge tem-
intake volume of gas expressed in cubic feet per unit perature and pressure
time a t suction conditions of temperature and pres- C = cylinder clearance as a percent of cylinder
sure. This volume may be calculated as the piston volume
displacement (generally in cu ft/min) multiplied by
the volumetric efficiency. k = ratio of heat capacity of gas at average cylin-
der temperature
The piston displacement is equal to the net piston 96 = loo%, less an arbitrary factor to provide
area multiplied by the length of piston sweep in a an adjustment closely reflecting certain actual field
given period of time. This displacement may be ex- test. (Factor courtesy of Amoco Production Co.).
When a non-lubricated conlpressor is used, the
For a single-acting piston compressing on the volumetric efficiency should be corrected by sub-
outer end only, tracting an additional 5% for slippage of gas. This
(stroke) (rprn) (D2) is a capacity correction only and should not be con-
PD = (4)
.--..-..--.----..--------- sidered when calculating compressor horsepower. The
(4) (1,728) energy of compression is used by the gas even
though the gas slips by the ring and is not discharged
= 4.55 (10-4) (stroke) (rpm) (D') from the cylinder.
For a single-acting piston compressing on the If the compressor is in propane service an addi-
frame end only, tional 4% should be subtracted from the volumetric
(stroke) (rpm) (D2-d2) efficiency. These deductions for non-lubricated and
PD = (5)
--..-...........---- propane performance are both approximate and, if
(4) (1,728) both apply, cumulative.
= 4.55 (10-4) (stroke) (rprn) (D2-d2) kig. 4-5 is a chart providing the solution to the
function, r"k. Values for compression ratios not
For a double-acting piston (other than tail rod shown may be obtained by interpolation. The closest
type), k value column may be safely used without a second
P D = (stroke) (rprn) [2 D L d ] ) .......... ..... (6) interpolation.
= 4.55 (10-4) (stroke) (rpm) [2 D2-d2] Volumetric efficiencies for "high speed" separable
Where: compressors tend to be slightly lower than estimated
from Equation 7. This can be allowed for by modi-
P D = piston displacement, cu ft/min ifying Equation 7 as follows:
stroke = piston stroke, in.
D = cylinder diameter, in.
d = piston rod diameter, in. Compressibility factors for gas mixtures can be
rprn = number of revolutions of crankshaft/min determined from charts in the physical properties
section of this Data Book. For pure components such
as propane, compressibility factors can be determined
VOLUMETRIC EFFICIENCY from the Mollier diagrams.
I n a reciprocating compressor the piston does not
travel completely to the end of the cylinder at t h e EQUIVALENT CAPACITY
end of the discharge stroke. Some "clearance vol- The net capacity of the compressor in cubic feet
ume" is necessary from a purely mechanical stand- per minute may be determined as the product of the
point. The effect of gas contained in this clearance piston displacement and the volumetric efficiency.
volume on compressor capacity can be represented Since compressor capacity is usually considered in
by Equation 7. miliions of cubic feet per day the net capacity must
be converted. To convert to MMcfd referred to at
VE = 96 - r - C [ - ( r l k ) - I ] 14.4 psi and inlet temperature, use Equation 8.

VE= volumetric efficiency expressed as a per-
centage Where:
r = the ratio of compression, P, = suction pressure in psia
discharge pressure psia For example, a compressor with 200-cfm capacity,
\ I
a compressibility of 0.9 and a suction pressure of 75
suction pressure psia psia would have a capacity of 1.67 MMcfd. If com-
pressibility is not used as a divisor in calculating tion will specify some other measurement standard
cfm, then the statement "not corrected for compres- for gas volume. To convert volumes from 14.4 psia
sibility" should be added. 14.4 psia is used in Equa- and intake temperature, Equation 9 would be used.
tion 8 because this is the common base pressure for
most compression brake-horsepower charts. cf m 14.4 T,
~ ~- P,
M M C= 10-4 - - (9)

In many instances a gas sales contract or regula-

FIG. 4-5
Values of rlh
P, = pressure base used in the contract or regu-
lation psia
TL = temperature base used in the contract or
regulation, O Rankine (OF 460)
T, = intake temperature,
O Rankine (OF,

The temperature of the gas discharged from the

+ 460)

Load in tension = P, (A, - A,) - P,A, =
- P,) A, - P, A, .----
Direction of motion

cylinder can be computed from Equation 10.

Where: P, = the discharge pressure, psia
T, and T, are in OR.
P, = suction pressure, psia
Fig. 4-6 is a nomograph which can be used to solve
Equation 10. The discharge temperature determined A, = cross sectianal area of the piston rod in
from either Equation 10 or Fig. 4-6 is the theoretical sq in.
value. While it neglects heat from friction, irreversi- A, = cross sectional area of piston in sq in.
bility effects, etc., and may be somewhat low, the
values obtained from this equation will be reasonable A loading reversal will be shown by a change in
field estimates. True discharge temperatures usually direction of net forces acting on the rod.
can be closely estimated by the manufacturer of a The true rod loads would be those calculated
given compressor. using internal cylinder pressures after allowance for
ROD LOADING valve losses. Normally the operator will know only
line pressures and because of this manufacturers gen-
Every compressor manufacturer has available a erally rate their compressors based on line-pressure
number of standard compressor frames. Each of calculations.
these has definite limitations as to maximum speed
and load-carrying capacity. The load-carrying ca- A further refinement h the rod-loading calcula-
pacity of a compressor frame involves two primary tion would be to include inertial forces. While the
considerations: horsepower and rod loading. manufacturer will consider inertial forces when rat-
ing compressors, useful data on this point is seldom
The horsepower rating of a compressor frame is available in the field. Except in special cases, inertial
the measure the manufacturer makes of the ability of forces are ignored.
the supporting structure and crankshaft to withstand
torque, or turning effort, and the ability of the bear- A tail-rod cylinder would require consideration
ing to dissipate frictional heat. Rod loads are estab- of rod cross-sectional area on both sides of the pis-
lished to limit the static and inertial loads on the ton instead of on only one side of the piston, as shown
crankshaft, connecting rod, frame, piston rod, bolting, in Equations I1 and 12.
and projected bearing surface.
Good design dictates a reversal of rod loading Horsepower
during each stroke. Non-reversal of the loading
results in failure to allow bearing surfaces to part Detailecl compressor horsepower calculations can
and permit entrance of sufficient lubrication ma- be made through the use of Figs. 4-7 through 4-10.
terial. The result will be premature bearing wear or For ease of calculations, these figures provide net
failure. Occasionally, rod-load reversals cannot be horsepower, including mechanical efficiency and gas
provided. In these cases the compressor manufacturer losses. Figs. 4-1 1 and 4-12 are included for modify-
can furnish special bearings capable of operating, ing the horsepower numbers for special conditions.
reasonably well without reversal of the load. The proper use of these charts should provide the
Rod loadings may be calculated by the use of user with reasonably correct horsepower require-

Equations 11 and 12. ments that will compare favorably with those calcu-
lated by the compressor manufacturer. For more
Load in compression = P, A, - P, (A, - A,) = detailed design, the engineer should consult with the
(P,, - Pa) AP + P, A, (11) several compressor manufacturers.
Diraction o f motion When using the horsepower charts, each stage of
compression nust be calculated separately and the
totals added together to obtain the total brake horse-
power reqllirement.
Volumes to be handled in each stage must be cor-
rected to the actual temperature and moisture con-
tent at the inlet to that stage.
(Text cont'd. p. 4-12)
FIG. 4-6
Theoretical discharge temperatures
Single-stage compression
Read r to k to 1, to Td
BHP oer m i l lion curve
Mechanical ef f iciency-95%
Gas velocity through valve-3000 f t / m i n ( ~ ~equation)

Ratio of cornprosion

Courtesy Ingersoll-Rand Co
BHP p e r m i l l i o n curve
Mechanical efficiency -95'10

Rotio of compression

Courtesy Ingersoll-Rond Cn
FIG. 4 - 9
BHP per m i l l i o n curve
Mechanical e f f iciency-95%
Gas velocity through v a l v e - 3 0 0 0 f t / m i n API equation

R a t i o of compression

t # m l Courtesy Ingersoll-Rand C o
FIG. 4-10
B H P p e r million curve
Mechanical efficiency-95%

R a t i o of cornprosion

Courtesy Ingerroll-Rand Co.

When intercoolers are used, allowance must be This procedure gives the absolute discharge pres-
made for interstage pressure drop. Calculated inter- sure of this stage and the calculated absolute intake
stage pressures may be obtained by: pressure to the next stage. The calculated upper
stage intake pressure can be corrected for intercooler
1. Obtain the overall compression ratio, r,. pressure drop by reducing the pressure by 3%.
2. Obtain the calculated ratio per stage, by taking Horsepower for compression is calculated by
the s root of r,, where s is the number of compression using Figs. 4-7 through 4-10 and Equation 13:
3. Multiply r by the absolute intake pressure of Bhp = Bhp/MM - - Z,,, MMscf (13)
the stage being considered. 14.4 TL

FIG. 4-1 1
Correctiosl factor for low intake pressure

Rotio of compression
where: Data presented in Figs. 4-7 through 4-10 are for
slow speed integral or process unit compressors
Bhp/MM is read from Figs. 4 - 7 through 4 - 10 rather than the high speed separable compressors. To
14.4 = Pressure base, psia, for Figs. 4-7 through adjust the horsepower for the high speed unit, the
4-10 values obtained from Figs. 4-7 through 4-10 should
PL = Pressure base used in the contract or be increased by these percentages:
regulation, psia Gas sl~ecificgravity Percent horse~owerincrease
T, = Intake temperature, "Rankine 0.05 - 0.80 4
TL = Temperature base used in the contract or 0.90 5
regulation, O Rankine 1.0 6
1.1 8
MMscf = Millions of standard cubic feet of gas 1.5 and propane
, (rate per day) measured at P, and TL refrigeration units 10
Z,,,,= Average compressibility factor in the Because of variations by different manufacturers
in specifying valve velocities for high speed as op-
compressor cylinder =
(Z* + ZD) posed to slow speed compressors, a given unit may
differ from the horsepower corrections shown. Ex-
perience with compressors from a specific manufac-
Figs. 4-7 through 4-10 are for standard valved turer will serve to guide the user and give him con-
cylinders. Caution should be used in applying con- fidence in utilization of the correction factors shown.
ventional cylinders to low-compression-ratio pipeline
compressors. For low ratio pipeline compressors a Example for Equation 13
high clearance type cylinder permits valve designs
with higher efficiency. The compressor manufac- Consider the problem of compressing 2MMscfd of
turer should be consulted for bhp curves on this type gas measured at 14.65 psia and 60°F. Intake pres-
L cylir~der. sure is 100 psia, and intake temperature is 100°F.
Discharge pressure is 900 psia. The gas has a spe-
Fig. 4-11 provides a correction for intake pressure. cific gravity of 0.80. What is the required horse-
The correction factor, as read from the curve, is used power?
as a multiplier in Equation 13 to obtain the corrected
brake horsepower. 900 psia
1. Compressor ratio is = 9
Fig. 4-12 provides a correction factor for gas spe- 100 psia
cific gravity. The correction factor is used as a mul-
tiplier in the right-hand side of Equation 13 to ob- This would be a two-stage compressor; therefore,
tain the corrected horsepower. the ratio per stage is for 3.

Correction factor for specific gravity

1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3
Ratio of compression

Courtesy of Ingersoll-Rand Co
2. 100 psia x 3 = 300 psia (1st stage discharge Total bhp for this application = 135.6 +
pressure) = 274.6 (See discussion for Equation 3
for correlation).
300 psia x 97% = 291 psia (suction to 2nd
Engine power considerations
900 psia
= 3.09 (ratio of compression for 2nd Limits to compression ratios per stage-The max-
291 psia imum ratio of compression permissible in one stage
stage) is usually limited by the discharge temperature.
When handling gases containing oxygen, which could
(While you may wish to recalculate the inter- support combustion, there is always a possibility of
stage pressure to balance the ratios, for this sample fire and explosion because of the oil vapors present.
problem, the first ratios determined will be used.)
To reduce carbonization of the oil and the danger
3. From Fig. 4-3 a gas with specific gravity of of fires, a safe operating limit may be considered
0.8 at 150°F. would have an approximate k value of to be approximately 300°F. Where no oxygen is
1.21. (For most compression applications, the 150°F. present in the gas stream, temperatures of 350°F. to
curve will be adequate. This should be back-checked 400°F, may be considered as the maximum, even
after determining the average cylinder temperature though mechanical or process requirements usually
to see if the assumption was correct.) dictate a somewhat lower figure.
4, Discharge temperature for the 1st stage may Packing life may be significantly shortened by
be obtained by using Fig. 4-6, solving Equation 10. the dual requirement to seal both high pressure ,and
For a compression ratio of 3, discharge temperature high temperature gases. For this reason, at higher
= approximately 220°F. discharge pressures, a temperature closer to 250°F.
5. In the same manner, discharge temperature or 275OF. may be the practical limit.
for the second stage (with r = 3.09 and assuming in- In summary, and for most oil field applications,
terstage cooling to 120°F.) equals approximately the use of 300°F. maximum would be a good average.
246OF. -
Recognition of the above variables is, however, still
6. From the physical properties section of this useful.
book, you may estimate the compressibility factors
at suction and discharge pressure and temperature Economic considerations are also involved be-
of each stage. cause a high ratio of compression will mean a low
volumetric efficiency and require a larger cylinder
to produce the same capacity. For this reason a high
1st stage: Z, = 0.98 rod loading may result and require's heavier and
Z, = 0.97 more expensive frame.
Z,,, = 0.975
Where multi-stage operation is involved, equal
2nd stage: Z, = 0.95 ratios of compression per stage are used (plus an
z, = 0.93 allowance for piping and cooler losses if necessary)
,,, = 0.94 unless otherwise required by process design. For
7. From Fig. 4-8, bhp/MM at 3 ratios and a k two stages of compression the ratio per stage would
value of 1.21 is 63.5 (1st stage). be approximately equal to the square root of the
total compression ratio; for three stages, the cube
From Fig. 4-8, bhp/MM at 3.09 ratios and a k root; etc. In practice, especially in high-pressure
value of 1.21 is 65.2 (2nd stage). work, decreasing the ratio of compression in the
8. There are no corrections to be applied from higher stages and thus reducing excessive rod load-
Fig. 4-11 or 4-12, gs all factors read unity. ing may prove to be advantageous.
9. Substituting in Equation 13: Engine deration for altitude and ambient tem-
perafure-Manufacturers of high speed non-turbo-
1st stage:
bhp/MM = 63.5 6:) (g)
- 0.975
charged and turbocharged engines generally rate
their equipment at sea level only. For each 1,000 f t
above sea level, the deration is 3% for non-turbo-
charged and 2% for turbocharged engines. An addi-
tional 1% deration for each 10°F. above 60°F. am-
bient temperature is also normally used. Such en-
Therefore, bhp for 1st stage = 2 MMscfd x gines use the standards of the Inkrnal Combustion
Engine Instit~ite.
Most mdnyfacturers of the integral engine-com-
2nd stage: pressor units make no change in the ratings of their
bhp/MM = 65.2 tg)
):f 0.94
naturally aspirated, blower or pump-scavenging en-
gines up to altitudes varying from 1,500 to 2,500 f t
above sea level. Beyond these points deration pro-
= 69.5 gresses at approximately 3% for each additional
Therefore, bhp for 2nd stage = 2 MMscfd x 1,000 ft altitude. Normally, no deration is considered
69.5 = 139.0 for ambiect temperature changes.
Large integral type turbocharged engines can be to 10°F. through the turbo air after cooler(s); 10°F.
used without deration between 1,500 and 4,000 ft to 15OF. through the oil cooler; and from 5OF. to
elevation above sea level. Beyond these points, con- 20°F. through the compressor cylinder jackets. All
sult the engine manufacturer for deration factor. of these may be varied at times to obtain a proper
Engines rated such as the integrals above use the heat dissipation balance for the particular distribu-
Diesel Engine Manufacturers Association standards tion system used. Consult the manufacturer for more
and allow a n additional 10% overload for 2 hours specific data.
out of every 24 hours of operation. Heat-rejection rates are shown in Fig. 4-13 for
Engine-compressor cooling-water requirements- typical engines used for oil field and process
Jacket water requirements vary with the heat-re- applications.
jection rate from the power cylinder jackets, the oil
cooler, the exhaust manifold, the turbo air after-
BMEP definition and implication
cooler (for turbocharged units), the compresso1.- BMEP is known as brake mean effective pressure
cylinder jackets, and with the rise in the temperature and is defined as:
of the water from inlet to outlet.
4-cycle engines:
Normally, manufacturers recommend a 10°F. to
15OF. rise through the engine jackets; from 5OF. BMEP =

FIG. 4-13
Heat rejection/requirements for various gas engines
(All figures in BTU/bhp-hr, LHV)
Note: Figures may be approximate due to variations in engine services, and are
representative of new engines only. Refer to manufacturer for exact rates
u GiP: Head
Power-end iackot8
with water-cooled
Power-and iackot8
with dry exhaust
after- Oil
En@lm ion ments exhaust manifolds maniklds cooler coolor inder
HMA High 9000 2300 1700 -
Med 9600 - 1900 -
HMB High 8900 - 1700 -
Med 9500 - 1900 -
TMB High 8400 - 1400 220
Med 9000 - 1600 220
HRA High 8000 2300 1700 -
Med 9000 2600 1950 -
Low 10000 3 100 - -
H BA High 8000 2300 1700 -
Med 9000 2600 1950 -
Low 10000 3 100 2300 -
HLA High 8000 2300 1700 -
Med 9000 2600 1950 -
Low 10000 3100 2300 -
TLA High 7000 - 1100 285
Med 7600. - 1300 285
TCV High 6850 - 1050 285
Cooper Betsemar
GMVH 7600 - 1450
GMVA - 1200 -
GMVC 7500 - 1200 180
GMVH 7000 - 1000 205
GMWK 7000 - 1100 215
GMWM 6950 - 1000 260
SVG - 8500 3375 2675 -
KVG/R - 8100 2700 - -
TVR - 7400 - 1720 Included
6/8 KVS - 7400 - 2100 l ncluded
10/12 KVS - 7300 - 2100 Included
6/8 KVSR - 7400 - 2 100 125
10/ KVSR - 7300 - 2000 125
KVR 6550 950 - 550
'Separable high-speed compressors reject opproximotely 500 BTU Ibbp-hr.
Horsepower x 10" psi for 2-cycle designs. Naturally-aspirated 4-cycle
(No. of power cyls.) (power cyl. dia.)' (stroke) engines have a basic absolute combustion limit of
(rpm) ..................................................................
(14) around 105 psi, so they have not moved mueh above
the earlier 72-psi design figure.
2-cycle engines: Something in the 74 to 85-psi range would prob-
BMEP = ably represent the current design. Current design on
Horsepower x 106 a 4-cycle (turbocharged) will run from 100 t e 185
(No. of power cyls.) (power cyl. dia.)? (stroke) psi. 1970 BMEP's of 2-cycle engines tend to be about
the same range (100 to 160 psi) as turbocharged 4-
cycle equipment. These figures are for heavy-duty
Where: Diesel Engine Manufacturers Association rated en-
BMEP = psia gines. Somewhat lower values give improved life and
maintenance cost for the Internal Combustion En-
Power cylinder diameter = inches gine Institute rated engine.
Stroke = inches There is no reason why BMEP cannot be as high
as 200 psi (or higher) if the running gear is built
To compare the BMEP of one engine with another sufficiently strong to take the impact forces, if the
has meaning only in relation to the specific design engine can remove the heat so that it will not score
of each engine. After bearing sizes, frame cross sec- the power cylinders or freeze the bearings, and if you
tions, heat rejection capabilities of the oil and water- can operate without detonation in the combustion
cooling passages, etc., have been considered, such spaces.
comparisons can be useful. They also allow a judg-
ment of suitability for any specific engine as be-
tween one application and another. GAS-PULSATION CONTROL
From 'the period of the first World War to now Several industry methods were tried in an effort
the BMEP on all engines, both power and direct-con- to come up with a reasonable rule-of-thumb for
nected compressor type, has steadily risen. Then it sizing compressor suction and discharge non-baffled
was about 72 psi for a 4-cycle engine and 45 to 47 volume (pulsation) bottles.

FIG 4 13 Cont'd.

Heat rejection/requirements for various gas engines

(All figures in BTU/bhp-hr, LHV)
Note: Figures may be approximate due to variations in engine services, and are
representative of new engines only. Refer to manufacturer for exact rates
Head Com-
corn- Fuel Power-end jackets Power-end iackets Turbo- pressor
with water-cooled
exhaust manifolds
with dry exhaust
, cyl-

F352 1G
L5 108GSI
L5790G 445
L5790GSI 365
L7042G 445
L7042GSI 370 dY
White Superior mw;
6/8 G-5 1 0/825 lncluded
6/8 GT-5 10/825 lncluded
12/16 G-825 lncluded
12/16 GT-825 lncluded
De Laval
HV-8/12/ 1 6
No two methods gave the same answer. Still, it partments of the compressor manufacturers can be
seems useful to have some short-cut method to judge consulted. Commercial firms which provide designs
the adequacy of proposed sizes. With these qualifi- and equipment for gas-pulsation control are also
cations, the "middle-of-the-road" chart, Fig. 4-14, is available.
included. It shows a multiplier for cylinder swept
volume vs. line pressure. Having determined the necessary volume of the
bottle, the proportioning of diameter and length to
Here is an example of its use: provide this volume requires some ingenuity and
judgment. It is desirable that manifolds be as short
Indicated suction pressure = 600 psi and of as large diameter as is consistent with pres-
Indicated discharge pressure = 1,400 psi sure conditions, space limitations, and appearance.
Cylinder bore = 6 in. A good general rule is to make the manifold
diameter 1'/i times the inside diameter of the largest
Cylinder stroke = 15 in. cylinder connected to it, but this is not always prac-
Swept volume = r (6)'/4) (15) = 424 cu. in. ticable, particularly where large cylinders are in-
From the chart:
Inside diameters of pipe or casing must be used in
At 600 psi inlet pressure, the suction figuring manifolds. This is particularly important
bottle multiplier is approximately 7.5. Or, in high-pressure work and in small sizes where wall
suction-bottle volume = (7.5) (424) = 3,180 thickness may be a considerable percentage of the
cu in. cross sectional area. Minimum manifold length is
determined from cylinder center distances and con-
At 1,400 psi discharge pressure, the discharge necting pipe diameters' Some additions .must be
bottle multiplier is approximately 8.5. Or, made to the 'minimum thus determined to allow for
discharge-bottle volume = (8.5) (424) = saddle reinforcements and for welding on caps.
3,600 cu in.
Note: Wben more !ban one cylinder is cottnected t o a It is customary to close the ends of manifolds with
bottle in parallrl, the sum of tbe individual swept welding caps add both volume and length.
volumes is tke size required for the common bottle.
This table gives approximate volume and length of
For more accurate calculations, engineering de- standard caps: '

Welding caps
Standard weight Extra strong Extra strong
Volume, Length, Volume, Length, Volume, Length,
Pip. size cu in. in. cu in. in. cu in. in.
4" 24.2 2 1/2 20.0 2 1/2
6" 77.3 3 l/2 65.7 3 1/2
8" 148.5 4 11/16 122.3 4 11/16
1 0" 295.6 5 3/4 264.4 8 3/4
1 2" 517.0 6 7/8 475.0 6 7/8
1 4" 684.6 7 13/16 640.0 7 13/16
1 6" 967.6 9 91 1.0 9
1 8" 1432.6 10 1/16 1363.0 10 1/16
20" 2026.4 1 1 1/4 1938.0 1 1 1/4
L 24" 345 1 .O 13 7/16 3313.0 13 7/16

F IG. 4-14
Bottle sizing chart

Suction bottle sizes

Discharge bottle sires

1000 1200 1400

Inlet pressure, psi