Introduction 1.1 1.2 1.3


Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Objectives and scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Thesis outline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 19


Literature review 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Compressor characteristic curve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Compressor instability - surge and stall characteristic . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Surge control techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 2.4.1 2.4.2 2.4.3 Surge avoidance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Surge suppression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Active surge control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

2.5 2.6 3

Compressor surge test rig overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Summary of literature review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 38

Engineering analysis and experimental setup 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Test Rig Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Motor bearings improvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Piping system design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 1

CONTENTS 3.4.1 3.5

2 Piping supports modal analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Compressor rotor modification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 3.5.1 3.5.2 Rotordynamics analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Unbalance force analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

3.6 3.7 3.8 4

Chiller for high speed motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Precision Alignment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Assembled compressor test rig . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 76

Testing and experimental results 4.1 4.2

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Commissioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 4.2.1 4.2.2 Motor solo run . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Maximum speed testing and mechanical assessment of compressor . 77


Characteristic curve and instability identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 4.3.1 4.3.2 4.3.3 4.3.4 Characteristic curve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Uncertainty analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Analysis of surge observations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Discussions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

4.4 5

Effect of impeller tip clearance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 100

Conclusions 5.1 5.2 5.3

Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Implications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Recommendations for future work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 5.3.1 5.3.2 5.3.3 5.3.4 Develop surge controller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Speed tachometer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Accelerometers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Acoustic measurement for surge detection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

CONTENTS 5.3.5 5.3.6 5.3.7 5.3.8 5.3.9

3 Additional pressure tappings in scroll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Vaned diffusers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Bearing force measurement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 New variable speed drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 Hole pattern seals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

5.3.10 Spare parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 A Precision alignment procedure 115

A.1 Prealignment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 A.2 Alignment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 B Procedure to check impeller tip clearance C Chiller - Model HCV 1500 PR D Inlet Air Filter Details E Orifice Flow Meter Details 121 123 124 126

E.1 Flow meter selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 F Procedure for testing surge on compressor 131

. . . . . . . . .3 2. 46 Piping layout to show the three discharge throttle valve positions . . . . . . . .2 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Illustration of experimental setup for Spakovszky test rig [29] . . . . . . . .3 3. 13 1. . . . . . 36 Simulated surge control result with impeller tip clearance actuation [3] . . . . . .3 2. . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Illustration of gas particle path across diffuser [1] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Photos to illustrate damage on impeller from compressor surge [1] . . .1 Examples of overhung and integrally geared compressors (Siemens) . . . . . . .List of Figures 1. . .5 2. . . . 13 Compressor characteristic curve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Exploded view of compressor test rig . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 2. (B) Velocity vector triangle at low flow . . 31 Illustration of air injection technique for compressor stabilization [23] . .7 2. . . . . . .6 2. . . . . . . . . . 33 Simulated surge occurrence without any surge controller [3] . . 41 Comparison between SKF 7005 CD bearing versus SKF hybrid bearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 3. . .1 Examples of barrel and horizontal split multistage centrifugal compressor (Siemens) . .4 2. . . . . . .1 3. . 26 Illustration of inlet guide vanes to suppress surge [24] . 15 (A) Velocity vector triangle at high flow. 50 Frequencies of several types of aerodynamics flow instabilities by Willems [40] . . . . . . . . 51 4 . . . . 36 Compressor test rig cross sectional drawing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 3. . . . .2 1. . . . . . .

. . . .12 Location of spacer ring behind the impeller . . . . . .21 Assembled compressor test rig for surge testing . . . . . . . . . .7 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 3. .15 Free-free mode shape of rotor with space ring included . . . . . . . . . . . .9 5 Schematic of the equivalent model to represent compressor system . .5 Orbital plots for impeller end and motor end of Compressor Rotor at 17000rpm at full flow(Throttle valve is 100% open) . . . 62 3.20 Inlet filter and exhaust for compressor test rig . 58 3. 75 4. . . 79 Orbital plots for impeller end and motor end of compressor rotor at 10000rpm at full flow(Throttle valve is 100% open) . . . . .LIST OF FIGURES 3. . . . . . . . 69 3. . .10 Modal analysis results for discharge piping support . . . . .8 3. . . . . . 81 4. . . . . . . .6 3. .damaged red diode . .13 Courtesy of Kobe Steel . 65 3. . . . .11 Locations of 4 lead pieces on the impeller face . . 53 Flow area to be considered when calculating the Helmholtz frequency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 3. . . . . . . .Finite Element model showing deflection of impeller 64 3.1st and 2nd modes . . . . . . .22 Assembled compressor test rig for surge testing . . . . . . . . . 53 Inlet piping support and discharge piping supports . .6 Orbital plots for impeller end and motor end of compressor rotor at 17000rpm at minimum flow (Throttle valve is 31% open) . . 74 3. . . . . . 55 Modal analysis results for inlet pipe support .1 4. . 78 Overload protection card in variable frequency drive . . . . . . 82 4. 66 3.4 Orbital plots for impeller end and motor end of compressor rotor at 10000rpm at minimum flow (Throttle valve is 31% open) . . . . . . . . 81 4. . . . . . 68 3. . . . 69 3. . . . . . . . 57 3. .14 Rotstab rotor model with spacer ring added behind impeller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .analogous analysis to clamped spacer ring . . 61 3. . . . . . . .19 Air cool chiller skid for the high speed motor .16 Schematic to illustrate force analysis on spacer ring of compressor . . . . . . . .1st and 2nd modes . . .18 Frictional force analysis . . . . . . . .2 4. .3 Motor amperage versus compressor speed curve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 . . .17 Show an offset spacer ring could contribute to unbalance force .

. . . . . casing and inlet at the initiations of instability at 16000 rpm . . . . . . .15 Sanadgol’s simulated result to show influence on characteristic curve with impeller clearance adjustment [3] . . .2 Setup for face and rim alignment on between compressor and the motor . . . . . compressor casing and compressor inlet at 16000 rpm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . casing. . . 92 4. . . . . .1 Final soft foot readings on motor and amount of shims used . . .12 Waterfall plot to show dominant frequency change as throttle valve is closed . . . . . . . . . . . 90 4. . . . .11 Magnified pressure profile plots at discharge plenum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Plot at 16292 rpm to characteristic curve with error bar . . . 97 4. . . . . . . . . . .showing 7 pressure peaks . . . . .8 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Magnified pressure profile plots at discharge plenum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 4. . 120 A. 127 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 E.1 Illustration of a typical setup for an orifice flow meter [35] . . . . . . . . 93 4. . . . . .17 Characteristic curve at 16287 rpm when thrust disk is statically moved in the axial direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Alignment fixtures for fine adjustment of the motor . . . . . . . . . 89 4. . . . .LIST OF FIGURES 4. . . . . .showing 21 pressure peaks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 A. . . 88 4.14 Waterfall plot to show dominant frequency change as throttle valve is closed . . .13 Waterfall plot to show dominant frequency change as throttle valve is closed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15000 rpm . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Characteristic curve at different operating speed (Impeller tip clearance at 6 23 mils) . .10000 rpm . . . . . . . .16 Characteristic curve at 14900 rpm when thrust disk is statically moved in the axial direction . . 99 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . inlet at instability at 16000 rpm . . . . . . . . .16000 rpm . . . 84 4. . . . . . 98 4. . . . 86 Pressure profile fluctuations at compressor discharge plenum.

. . . . . . . . . . . 129 .2 An illustration of the orifice flow meter by Lamdasquare with flow straight- 7 eners upstream . . . . . . . . . . .LIST OF FIGURES E. . . . . . . . . . .

. . . 119 8 . . 56 4. . . . . . . . .1 ndm . .1 4. . . .5 3. . . . . . . .2 Results of motor solo run up to maximum speed of 10000 rpm . . 116 A. . .List of Tables 3. . . . . . . . . . . . 47 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Table of key items required to perform alignment between motor and compressor . . . . .Speed limit calculation for compressor test rig at possible running speeds . 91 A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Comparison of pipe supports predicted frequencies versus Helmholtz frequencies at each valve location . . . . 43 3. . . . .6 Descriptions for hybrid bearing 6005-2RSLTN9/HCFC3WT . 77 Comparison of amount of axial position fluctuations at 16000 rpm . . . . . 48 Helmholtz frequency estimated comparison table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Deep groove versus angular ball bearings design properties for 25 mm inner diameter bearings . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 3. . .2 Final alignment readings between motor and compressor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Material construction for ball bearings [47] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 3.

Nomenclature αH αL α µ ωH ω φ Ac A a bf bf BL C c Flow angle at high flow Flow angle at low flow Flow Angle Coefficient of friction Helmholtz resonator frequency [Rad/s] Shaft rotational speed [rad/s] Diameter of coupling hub [inch] Flow area at the eye of the impeller [m2] Axial distance between motor front and back leg Speed of Sound [m/s] Bottom face alignment reading [mils] Bottom rim alignment reading [mils] Motor back leg alignment adjustment [mils] Damping Matrix [lbs/inch] Speed of sound in air under ideal conditions 9 .

LIST OF TABLES dm d eu FL Fu F G i K k Lc Mm mu M n pd pu Q T U2 Mean nominal diameter of bearing nominal major diameter [m] Eccentricity [m] Motor front leg alignment adjustment [mils] Unbalance Force [N] Tightening Force on bolt [N] Global Gyroscopic Matrix Incidence angle Stiffness Matrix [lbm/inch] Coefficient of collar friction Equivalent pipe length [m] Mach Number Unbalance Mass [Kg] Global Mass Matrix [lbm] Speed [rpm] Pressure downstream of orifice flow meter Pressure upstream of orifice flow meter Volumetric flow rate Torque [Nm] Impeller blade tip velocity vector 10 .

LIST OF TABLES V2 r V2t V2 Vd Vp vs Vu W2 x Absolute velocity radial component Absolute velocity tangential component Absolute velocity vector of gas particle Velocity downstream of Orifice Plenum Volume [m3] Maximum discharge flow velocity [m/s] Velocity upstream of orifice flow meter Impeller blade tip exit velocity vector Displacement vector 11 .

Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Background

Centrifugal compressors are used extensively in many industries such as oil refining industries, chemical industries and the upstream oil and gas industries. They are particularly well suited for processes that require a very wide performance range as they can be designed with different mechanical configurations for the specific process needs [1].They are commonly used for pressurizing different types of gases and moving them in flow volume from different physical locations or from different containments. These compressors are dynamic machinery and work on the principle of using motion to transfer energy from the compressor rotor to the process gas. Compression of the gas is achieved by means of blades on a rotating impeller for a single stage machine, or a set of impeller blades for a multi stage machine. This rotary motion of the gas results in an outward velocity due to the centrifugal forces. The tangential component of this outward velocity is then transformed to pressure by means of a diffuser. Centrifugal compressors come in many different configurations. Figure 1.1 and Figure 1.2 show four typical types of centrifugal compressors commonly found in the industry today. Barrel design multi-stage compressors are used in high pressure services. Horizontally split multi-stage compressors are typically applied in




Figure 1.1: Examples of barrel and horizontal split multistage centrifugal compressor (Siemens)

Figure 1.2: Examples of overhung and integrally geared compressors (Siemens) high volume medium pressure applications [1]. Its horizontally split design provides good accessibility and on site maintenance to the internal components of the compressor. Overhung centrifugal compressors are generally applied in low pressure high volume services. Their economical cost is an attraction for a wide variety of general purpose air compression applications. Integrally geared centrifugal compressors are commonly applied in industrial gas industry or instrument air services where its small foot print gives advantage to use a low speed coupling and short rigid rotor design to provide the advantage for such applications [2].



The unique capability to apply centrifugal compressors in a broad range of services had rendered them as the work horse in many of such industries. Hence it is important to learn how to control these machines more effectively and in a pursuit to make them more efficient, improve or optimize their working envelop. The attractiveness of centrifugal compressors over other compressors such as screw compressors, reciprocating compressors or axial compressors is mainly because they have fewer rubbing parts, are relatively energy efficient, and give higher airflow than a similarly sized reciprocating compressor (i.e, positive-displacement). The performance of a centrifugal compressor is identified by its characteristic curve, which relates three main parameters of the compressor - mainly the flow rate, the differential pressure head produced and the speed of the compressor. It is important to note that changing any one of these three parameters will affect the other two parameters, and hence the operating point on the compressor curve. The operating point of the machine is determined by the intersection between the system resistance curve superimposed onto the compressor characteristic curve. The point of intersection is the current operating point of a centrifugal compressor. The stable operating region on the compressor curve is bounded by the surge line and the choke line. The surge line basically separates the region of stable operation from the region of unstable operation. Figure 1.3 illustrates how a typical compressor characteristic curve would look like. Surge is a system phenomena in a centrifugal compressor and the surge point is defined as the peak head on the compressor characteristic curve at the particular operating speed. It is the point at which the compressor cannot add enough energy to overcome the system resistance [3]. This causes a rapid flow reversal. As a result, high vibration, temperature increases, and rapid changes in axial thrust can occur. These occurrences can damage the rotor seals, rotor bearings, the compressor driver and cycle operation. Most turbo machines are designed to withstand occasional surging. However, if the turbo machine is forced to surge repeatedly for a long period of time or if the turbo machine does not have an adequately designed surge control system, repeated surges could result in a catastrophic failure of the machine.

maintaining this practice of a 10% safety limit line may not be the best option.3: Compressor characteristic curve To prevent surge from occurring in centrifugal compressors. In today’s world of centrifugal compressors.CHAPTER 1. Of the three approaches. 12. INTRODUCTION 15 Figure 1. it is widely practiced in the industry to limit the full operating envelop of a compressor by placing a safety margin line of typically 10% away from the surge point of the compressor [9]. as demand for machine efficiency and flexibility keeps increasing. 15. 25. These approaches are mainly classified into [20. 12. active surge control offers the most promising approach to really stabilize the compressor and hence allow it to . but at the expense at lower efficiency of the centrifugal compressor and a smaller operating window. 29. This limit line basically completely prevents surge from happening. 16. This is because such margin would limits the operating range of the centrifugal compressors and can prevent it from operating at maximum efficiency. 48]have been attempted over the years to find an economically and practically feasible solution to better control surge. Researchers. 22]surge avoidance. 23]are seeking more innovative ways to stabilize the compressor or limit surge without significantly compromising compressor performance and efficiency. users and manufacturers [6. which may lie at or close to the safety margin line [22]. surge suppression and active surge control. Numerous research works [42.

2 Objectives and scope The objectives and scope of study for this thesis is: • Perform engineering analysis and improvement on the mechanical components of the test facility and its supporting systems to ensure that the test facility could be assembled. Sanadgol’s simulation results showed that if the position of the compressor shaft could be actuated with sufficient authority and speed. The fully operational test rig would serve as the hardware required to perform experimental work and provide actual test data to validate Sanadgol’s theory. and assembling and commissioning the test rig. Various major components of the test rig had been sponsored by industrial partners of Rotating Machinery and Controls Laboratory. Nathan and Buskirk [3. The active control of the magnetic bearing would allow realistic real time static and dynamic positioning of the rotor with precision. the magnetic bearings and the control philosophy had been developed over the years by Sanadgol. 5]. 16 Sanadgol [3] developed a new method for active surge control for centrifugal compressors with unshrouded impellers that would use a magnetic thrust bearing to modulate the impeller tip clearance. the induced pressure modulation makes control of surge promising.CHAPTER 1. Sanadgol’s theory and results had to be validated with experimental data. INTRODUCTION operate at a wider operating envelop. A centrifugal compressor test rig that would be fully supported on radial and axial magnetic bearings had to be built [4]. 1. . commissioned and tested safely and reliably into high speed for experimental work to be carried out. The compressor test rig. The test rig would also be tested into its instability region to demonstrate the effect of static axial modulation of impeller tip clearance. This makes it possible to modulate the impeller tip clearance even when the centrifugal compressor was in operation. 4. The work for this thesis focuses on the improvement of mechanical components.

Characterize the performance of the compressor at various speed of operations and developed the compressor characteristic map base on experimental collected data. Chapter 4 focuses on the experimental test results and includes how surge is identified on the test rig and also the influence of static impeller tip clearance adjustment .CHAPTER 1. • Experimentally evaluate the performance of the compressor and characterize the observations when it is operated into its instability region. Chapter 2 is a literature review and gives an insight into the mechanism that results in stall and surge instability. It further outlines the typical characteristics expected when these instabilities are encountered and also provides overview of surge related research work. 1. INTRODUCTION 17 • Experimentally determine the safe operating envelop and identify the potential limitations on the commissioned test facility. It also outlined the reduction in compressor efficiency and operating envelop due to the current industry practice that involves avoiding surge completely by maintaining a safety margin. Component run test results and also maximum speed test results are provided. An overview of previous work on the compressor surge test rig of the University of Virginia is summarized.3 Thesis outline The thesis is divided into 5 main chapters. Chapter 3 provides engineering details for all the mechanical enhancement and upgrades that had to be performed on the existing test rig as part of this study. such that it would ensure that the compressor test rig could be commissioned and tested safely. Chapter 1 provided an overview on the background of the present study and centrifugal compressor applications. • Experimentally demonstrate and investigate that the axial movement of the impeller tip clearance would influence the performance of the compressor and its surge points. followed by the Appendix section. Examine ways or parameters that had to be observed so as to aid in the future development and implementation of a surge controller.

This chapter not only aims to provide the conclusion drawn from the experimental results. Chapter 5 contains conclusions for this thesis and is further broken into 3 parts. The Appendix section presents all the test procedures developed so as to ensure smooth transition of mechanical knowledge to future researchers working on the test rig. but it also provide recommendations that forms the fundamentals for future research work. summary of conclusions. Mechanical specifications of the main accessory components in the test rig are also included for future reference. INTRODUCTION 18 on the instability points on a characteristic curve.CHAPTER 1. Discussions of the experimental data was collected and compared. . implications and recommendations.

Chapter 2 Literature review 2. Surge and stall phenomenon are explained and its differences highlighted as these two phenomenon are commonly mixed up.2 Compressor characteristic curve The performance of a centrifugal compressor is best illustrated by what is called the compressor characteristic curve. This background knowledge serves as reference when conducting experimental testing on the compressor and also helps in drawing conclusions from the experimental observations. Differences between deep surge and mild surge is also compared and summarized. Velocity triangles at the impeller is used to describe the mechanism behind the drooping shape of the characteristic curve for the compressor. Finally an highlight of surge research work performed by other researchers is summarized. the different types of instability and an overview about research work on surge control. It is most usual to see these maps plotted with compressor pressure ratios on the vertical 19 . 2.1 Introduction This literature review aims to provide the background regarding centrifugal compressor characteristics. or commonly known as the compressor performance map.

V2r and V2t respectively as shown in the velocity triangles. A basic understanding of how the slope of these curve is generated is a good aid for visualizing the physics behind compressor performance and especially surge.CHAPTER 2. Figure 2. which is commonly depicted as subscript 2. The designation 2 is used in all this nomenclature to indicate the velocity triangles are done at the exit of the impeller. U2 is the tip speed of the blade. W2 is the gas velocity relative to the blade exit angle. V2 .1(A) and Figure 2. These performance maps can be used to explain many aspects of the performance of the compressor [14]. U2 +W2 = V2 (2.1) Having obtained V2 . The head of a centrifugal compressor can be approximated as the product of the U2 and V2t as stated by the aerodynamics head equation [38]: H ≈ U2 . the high flow point and the low flow point. To understand the slope of the centrifugal compressor characteristic curve. Figure 1.1 shows the two velocity triangles at the exit of the impeller at low flow and high flow. LITERATURE REVIEW 20 axis versus the inlet volumetric flow on the horizontal axis.V2t (2. The addition of these 2 velocity vectors gives the absolute velocity of the gas particle. Therefore. it is necessary to first understand the characteristics of the flow process at the impeller blade exit in terms of the velocity vector triangle shown in Figure 2.1 (B) [1]. it can be then resolved into its own radial and tangential components.3 shows a typical centrifugal compressor performance map operating at some fixed speed. the . the vector is constant since it is derived from the actual speed of the impeller tip and the impeller rotates at constant speed.2) For a constant speed compressor. Referring to the velocity triangles for the high flow. Two extreme points on the compressor curve. would be explained in details using velocity triangles to understand how the compressor pressure ratio would increase as flow is reduced.

LITERATURE REVIEW 21 Figure 2.CHAPTER 2.1: (A) Velocity vector triangle at high flow. (B) Velocity vector triangle at low flow .

.CHAPTER 2. The surge control line is typically placed on the negative slope of the compressor performance curve at a location of 10% [38]away from the surge limit line on the compressor performance map. When the compressor operates in the high flow as system resistance decreases. LITERATURE REVIEW 22 aerodynamic head of the centrifugal compressor is proportional to its absolute velocity tangential component Vt . A small magnitude will result in a small head to be produced by the compressor. The surge limit line is shown in Figure 1. This would explain why a compressor would develop small heads during high flow operating conditions. its vector W2 will be large in magnitude and this results in a small magnitude Vt . This would produce a larger magnitude vector of Vt as seen in Figure 2. Hence understanding how the velocity vectors change in a centrifugal compressor during different flow applications allows one to understand why the compressor slope could be a negative sloped curve on a compressor performance map.1 and results in a higher head produced by the compressor during a low flow condition. if one is to analyze the velocity vector triangles when the compressor operates in a low flow conditions (which could be obtained by closing a throttle valve downstream of the compressor and increasing the system resistance of the compression system).3 . The stable region of operation is on the right of the surge limit line while the region on the left is known as the unstable operation region or the surge region. Providing this safety margin allows the compressor to operate continuously and avoid operating near the surge region of the compressor. In comparison. the useful operating region of a particular centrifugal compressor is typically bounded by the compressor surge limit and choke lines. This low flow operating condition results in a smaller magnitude vector W2 to be produced. On the compressor performance map. it can be noticed that the operating point on the compressor characteristic curve would move up the compressor curve and end up operating very close to the surge limit. The surge limit line separates the regions of stable and unstable compressor operation [25]. a surge margin is typically imposed on the compressor operating region. In modern day compressors.

3 Compressor instability . Its characteristic is that it typically results in a vibration frequency that is higher than running speed frequency. The stable forward flow of the compressor reverses at this point and results in surge [17]. the system resistance would decrease in the compression system and the magnitude of the velocity vector W2 would decrease proportionally. is a non-uniform circumferential pres- . Figure 2. LITERATURE REVIEW 23 Having understood how the velocity triangles affects the shape of the compressor curve. Stall is a known as a local instability within the compressor itself and it could occur in both a centrifugal or axial flow compressor. As flow is reduced at constant speed as shown in Figure 2. The reduction of the flow angle at the exit results in a longer spiral path of the gas particles across the diffusion section of the compressor.2 illustrates and compares the difference in gas particle paths across the diffuser as the flow is reduced. can be further explained using velocity triangles at the impeller exit. Stationary stall typically occurs in the stationary components of the compressor (e.1. This would result in a corresponding reduction of the flow angle α at the impeller exit and an increase in the incident angle i at inlet of the compressor blades[14]. This results in a situation whereby the frictional force within the compressor begins to increase faster than the head that could be produced from the compressor as the flow is reduced. In Figure 2.CHAPTER 2. 2. on the other hand. the diffuser vanes) and is caused by a flow separation occurrence. And when gas particle flow path on the diffuser becomes long enough and the flow angle i small enough.2 αL and αH stand for the flow angle at low flow and high flow respectively. the flow momentum of the gas particle would reach a point where it is totally dissipated by the diffuser walls due to friction [38]. as compressor flow is reduced. It is further classified into stationary stall and rotating stall phenomena [46]. Rotating stall.surge and stall characteristic The two types of instability commonly encountered in compressors are stall and surge.g. the surge phenomena which typically occurs at low flow and peak head conditions.

LITERATURE REVIEW 24 Figure 2.2: Illustration of gas particle path across diffuser [1] .CHAPTER 2.

Surge cycles are typically known to be short but could occur several times within a second [21]. causing unbalance in the rotor. but the flow has a circumferential nonuniform mass deficit.CHAPTER 2. And once the stall cells are formed. is known as a phenomenon of the entire compression system involving the compressor itself and its discharge piping or discharge plenums [19. This flow reversal during surge not only results in sudden reverse bending loads on nearly all compressor mechanical components [1]. while in pure surge the flow is unsteady but circumferentially uniform [20].000 .000 hp. Any catastrophic damage to these large plant critical turbo machinery from surge would result in extended downtime that would result in significant monetary losses and also possibly compromise the safety of the plant personnel. the main process gas compressors could be a large turbo machinery ranging between 20. IGV and impeller recess and its vibration frequency is typically subsynchronous. Figure 2. Stall is a commonly encountered in axial flow compressors. especially in process manufacturing plants. on the other hand. LITERATURE REVIEW 25 sure field which rotates at a different speed than the compressor operating speed. 16].3 shows an example of an impeller rub that occurred due to surge. it generally require to operate the compressor away from the instability point by opening up the throttle valve to flush out the stall cells. This can lead to serious temperature overloads in the machine and result in temperature related failures of machine components . It can occur in the impeller. Surge is to be avoided in centrifugal compressors due to the potential of catastrophic damage associated with its occurrence. Surge. The key difference between rotating stall and surge are that the average flow in pure rotating stall is steady over time. Rotating stall is a special class of stall phenomena of stall [46] and is characterized by circumferential non-uniform mass deficits that propagate around the compressor annulus at a fraction of the compressor operating speed. but the gas temperature will also increase significantly due to the continuous energy added to the recycled gas from compression.50. where for example. The most common stall to occur in a vaneless centrifugal compressor (such as this test rig) would typically be rotating stall and the subsynchronous frequency would change with running speed change.

The deep surge cycle typically depends on speed and the amount of throttling of the con- . Deep surge.CHAPTER 2. is known to be a non-sinusoidal or non-linear behavior [28.e. 43]. Mild surge identification may be performed by identifying the Helmholtz frequency derived from the compression system model where the compressor and throttle valve are both modelled as throttle disk.mild surge and deep surge [30]. the resonance of the compressor duct and the volume connected to the compressor [20]. Hence the combination of high sudden load reversal and high gas temperatures puts surge as the unstable operating region to be avoided at all costs during the operation of centrifugal compressors.3: Photos to illustrate damage on impeller from compressor surge [1] as well. on the other hand. The Helmholtz frequency remains constant even when the compressor rotational speed is changed as it is considered a resonance frequency and it generally occurs near or at the start of compressor instability limit. Mild surge is closely associated with the Helmholtz frequency. The pressure profile observed in mild surge is typically linear and its pressure profile is sinusoidal. as outlined by many researchers who have tested compressors into deep surge. LITERATURE REVIEW 26 Figure 2. Mild surge has been recognized as a low frequency trigger but more damaging deep surge inception [30]. The occurrence of each of these two categories is dependent on the compression system and the operating conditions of the compressor. i. Surge may be broadly classified into two distinct categories .

the occurrence of stall instability in centrifugal compressor is still a subject of discussion in the compressor community [3.g. Usually in experimental work to investigate instability or surge in centrifugal compressors. It appears to be more readily observed in low pressure centrifugal compressor systems or high pressure centrifugal compressor systems operating at partial speed of the compressor design . Deep surge generally only occurs in system configurations that have significant amounts of energy (e.g. Its occurrence is also usually accompanied by a deep audible sound and the compressor rotational speed is often observed to fluctuate or even drop significantly [44]. With mild surge detected in the compression system. this would normally occur when there is significant discharge pipework connected to the compressor which acts like a large plenum reservoir [45]. different piping orientation and throttle valve location) [6]. . In an industrial setup. detecting mild surge. The frequency of deep surge is governed by the filling and emptying of the discharge volume plenum connected to the compressor and this frequency would vary with changes in the piping configurations of the compressor system (e. the compressor generally goes directly from stable operation to flow separation on all blades and immediately into flow reversal when the flow reduces beyond the surge limit line[1]. Frequency of deep surge is known to be well below Helmholtz frequency and it usually exhibits large pressure amplitude fluctuations and lower oscillation frequency as compared to mild surge. pressure) stored downstream of the compressor. Flow reversal is very possible during deep surge condition and this reversal would bring about a change in bending load and thrust load on the compressors rotor system. 20]. Rotating stall appears to have little effect on the pressure rise in centrifugal compressors and hence it will not have significant contributions to surge [20]. the observations of deep surge is typically limited to a few consecutive cycle to prevent any damage to test compressors or on site compressors [30]. LITERATURE REVIEW 27 trol valve. For high speed operational compressors.CHAPTER 2. investigations and data recordings are carried out during surge inception. Between surge and stall instability phenomena.

this is commonly achieve by using the blow off valve placed downstream of the compressor discharge. For air compressors. precursors and control mechanisms of surge [23].CHAPTER 2. the operator typically installs a recycle valve with an inter-cooler downstream of the . surge is completely avoided from happening because whenever the compressor’s flow reduces and reaches the surge control lines protective actions are taken to increase flow and bring the operating point of the compressor back to the right side of the compressor curve.4 Surge control techniques Due to the severity of centrifugal compressor damage that could result from surge.4. 2. This line passes through the maxima of the constant speed lines in the map [12]. The various methods are broadly classified into three main categories. This line basically defines a smaller region of stable operation for the centrifugal compressor and in most circumstances. The surge control line is typically placed about 10% from the surge limit line [25. It is very common practice to place a surge control line to the right of the surge limit lines on centrifugal compressors in the industries. LITERATURE REVIEW 28 2. The opening of this valve increases flow through the compressor and hence prevents surge. This valve would be commanded to open and start venting if the surge control line is reached during operation. surge detection and surge suppression [22]. the understanding of this phenomena and how it could been controlled or suppressed had led to a continuous study on it over the years [20]. The surge limit line is the line in the compressor map that divides the map into an area of stable compressor operation and unstable (surge) operation. 9]. They are surge avoidance.1 Surge avoidance Surge avoidance is the most mature [22] and widely implemented method in the industry to prevent damage of machines due to surge. There has been much effort in trying to determine the causes. In a process gas compressor that could not have a blow off valve to vent to products to the atmosphere due to safety reasons.

LITERATURE REVIEW 29 compressor discharge. These are typically known as the operational methods to achieve surge suppression [22]. while the second approach aims to include additional external devices on the compressor to expand the useful operating range of the compressor. These research works can be further sub categorized into 2 approaches. 6]. The useful stable operating region of the compressor is also greatly reduced as a result of introducing the surge control line and defining a typical safe margin of 10%. In the event that the surge control line is reached during operation for this process compressor. its recycle valve will be regulated and opened to allow more discharge flow back to the suction of the compressor. but they result in loss of efficiency of the compressors from the venting or the recycling. 2. 22. He was able to show that by allowing the inlet gas of the suction side of the impeller to be preswirled. there have been increasing innovative attempts to suppress surge beyond the surge limits [20. He operated the inlet guide vanes at varying angles. The first approach focuses on attempts to improve the interior of the compressor and is known as the design method. The test results showed that the surge margin could be considerably extended by the regulations .CHAPTER 2. Figure 2.4. Rodgers [24] investigated on the effect on operating range extension for a centrifugal compressor by installing variable angle inlet guide vanes to the suction of the centrifugal compressor. Both these methods are capable of avoiding surge completely.4 shows the results plot and also an an overview of the test rig. as compared to the original surge line that did not have the assistance of the inlet guide vanes. called preswirl angles on a high speed overhung design single stage open impeller compressor designed to run at 64643 rpm.2 Surge suppression In recent years. These studies are mainly aimed at increasing the stable flow range of the centrifugal compressors. The valve will open until the operating point of the compressor moves to the right of the surge control line again. the surge line on the compressor map would move significantly to the left.

The experimental investigation was based on three-dimensional time accurate simulations of high speed compressor impeller at surge condition. injection flows that were recycled from the compressor would help in stabilizing surge and therefore increasing the surge margin of the compressor. In an active surge control setup or scheme. as compared to the baseline data where no flow injections was introduced. 30 Gary [23] investigated how air injection into the compressor’s diffuser region would help in stabilizing the flow range of the centrifugal compressor. LITERATURE REVIEW of the inlet guide vanes due to increased stability on the impeller. direction and flow rate to affect as many regions of the diffuser as possible in a high speed compressor with a design speed of 21789 rpm. The air injection would be able to suppress and prevent the flow separation from occurring and its introduction would be able to improve the stability of the impeller. The injected flows directions could be either forward tangent injection or reverse tangent injections. Figure 2.5 shows a cross sectional schematic of where the air is injected into the compressor and also the results from his testing.3 Active surge control Active surge control is fundamentally different from surge avoidance or surge suppression. such as near the surge point. As can be observed from the results in Figure 2. 2. He designed a system of injectors that could provide variations in position.CHAPTER 2. The study also showed that flow separation was the cause of the flow reversal and that introducing additional air injection into the compressor diffuser region could eliminate the local separation on the impeller blades. Spakovszky [29]developed and designed a high speed axial compressor that could be used to investigate the effectiveness of using magnetic bearings as servo-actuators to stabilize the rotating stall in axial compressors. The simulation studies showed that flow reversal occurred on the leading edge of the impeller blades at reduced mass flow conditions. The basis of his .5. the open loop unstable region of the compressor map is sought to be stabilized through the use of feedback rather than avoided by placing a surge margin line [48].4.

LITERATURE REVIEW 31 Figure 2.CHAPTER 2.4: Illustration of inlet guide vanes to suppress surge [24] .

5: Illustration of air injection technique for compressor stabilization [23] . LITERATURE REVIEW 32 Figure 2.CHAPTER 2.

LITERATURE REVIEW 33 Figure 2. Figure 2. The theoretical back- .5 Compressor surge test rig overview Sanadgol [3]proposed a first of a kind innovative active surge control method by using a magnetic thrust bearing for a high speed centrifugal compressor. 2. The test compressor facility consisted of a single stage axial flow compressor that was capable of a pressure ratio of 2. This would help in suppressing stall and improved the stability operating region of the axial flow compressors. while the other supporting bearing was a fluid film bearing.CHAPTER 2. The objective was to use the magnetic bearing servo-actuator to actively whirl the shaft to induce unsteady variations of the rotor blade tip clearance which would suppress prestall dynamics. The driver of the train was a 3000 HP motor.05 and design speed of 17000 rpm.6: Illustration of experimental setup for Spakovszky test rig [29] investigation was that the blade tip clearance in axial flow compressors has a strong impact on compressor stability and it also plays a major role in the interaction between the rotordynamic shaft deflections and the aerodynamic behavior of the compressor.6 shows a schematic of the test compressor. The bearing nearest to the impeller was the magnetic bearing actuator.

As can be observed. The improved model was capable of showing the sensitivity of the centrifugal compressor characteristics curve parameters to impeller blade tip clearance. The two plots shows pressure ratio ψ p plotted over time and delta change in impeller tip clearance δcl plotted over time. Figure 2. There is no controller and hence δcl remains at zero. The plot shows that with a surge controller in place to actuate the impeller tip clearance as can be seen in the change of δcl over time. Sanadgol chose to use magnetic . and hence this results in a short height design of the exit blades.CHAPTER 2. This makes these compressors much more sensitive to tip clearance adjustment because the ratio of its tip clearance to its exit blade height is significantly larger than similar compressors that would be operated at lower pressure ratios. Her simulation results based on the model showed that if the tip of the impeller can be axially modulated by moving the position of the rotor shaft using a magnetic thrust bearing with sufficient speed and control authority. pressure ratio ψ p would start and continue to oscillate. because the specific volume of the gas is reduced significantly at the blade exit. This relationship is especially important for high pressure ratio compressors. This simulation results show that the surge controller could stabilize the compression system. This results in less energy transfer from the impeller to the fluid and would result in a loss of pressure ratio and efficiency of the compressor. when surge occurs. there would be almost no pressure ratio ψ p oscillations over time. Figure 2. Sanadgol developed a mathematical model of the compressor to include the tip clearance and compressor efficiency relationships from Senoo and Ishida [26] into a one dimensional incompressible compressor model developed by Greitzer [27]. LITERATURE REVIEW 34 ground to her surge control method is based on the fact that compressor performance and efficiency are highly dependent on the clearance between the blade tip and adjacent stationary shroud or also known as the scroll [12]. Therefore.8 shows the simulated resulted with surge controller in place.7 shows the simulated result without the surge controller. any adjustment to the impeller tip clearance would affect the efficiency of the compressor [26]. the induced pressure modulation makes the control of surge promising.

on the other hand. Active surge control. Inlet guide vanes) is still widely applied methods in the industry as compared to active surge control. safety margin) and surge suppression (e.CHAPTER 2. The experimental results from the compressor test rig would be able to provide actual results that could be used to refine or enhance the mathematical model as required. commissioned and operated into high speed for the experimental surge testing and data collection.g. The controller would be implemented into the compressor test rig and used to assess the amount of compressor stable flow range that could be improved with this form of active control surge suppression method. an innovative control philosophy as such is very attractive.g. before it could be assembled. Coupled with the increase in the use of magnetic bearings for turbomachinery in recent years. The final validated model of the compression system would be used for designing an active surge control systems through impeller tip clearance modulations. The combination of surge avoidance (e. Further detail engineering work was still required to be done on the test rig. However. However. An industrial size compressor test rig was planned to be built to validate the model and its results in ROMAC Laboratory at University of Virginia. The test rig had been mechanically designed and its components built over the years.6 Summary of literature review This literature review highlights surge control research work performed to stabilize surge and also increase the stable flow range of a centrifugal compressor. it is still not yet operational and therefore no test data had been obtained to support the simulation results. LITERATURE REVIEW 35 bearings as the control actuators for this form of control method as it would fully make use of the active nature of the magnetic bearing systems and make real time static and dynamic positioning of the rotor and the modulation of the impeller tip clearance possible. is still a devel- . these two methods are already mature technology field and could only offer possible incremental improvements[20]. 2.

7: Simulated surge occurrence without any surge controller [3] Figure 2.8: Simulated surge control result with impeller tip clearance actuation [3] .CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW 36 Figure 2.



oping field that has the potential to product substantial improvement in surge control and extending the stable operating range of the compressor. In addition, active surge control using magnetic bearings offers even better potential since there are already a substantial amount of industrial compressors suspended by magnetic bearings. This would serve as a platform to further developed magnetic bearings as surge control actuators or mechanisms in compressors. Therefore, the control theory put forth by Sanadgol has a good potential as a practical means to actively control surge in high speed centrifugal compressors.

Chapter 3 Engineering analysis and experimental setup
3.1 Introduction

The compressor surge test rig mainly consists of a few sections. These are the driver, the driven equipment and the supporting system such as the pipings and chilling unit. The driver is a high speed induction motor that is controlled by a variable frequency drive. The compressor was direct coupled to the motor. The compressor is the single stage type with an overhung semi-open impeller and is fully supported on active magnetic bearings both radially and axially. The compressor service is atmospheric air. Due to the unique test location of the test rig, it required inlet piping with an inlet filter to take in clean air from the atmosphere. And in order to install an orifice flow meter and also varying locations for the throttle valve, the piping was assembled using vitaulic couplings to provide flexibility of installation. The test rig had been developed and designed over the years to provide a hardware to allow actual compressor surge testing. Major components of this rig had been sponsored by Rotating Machinery and Controls Laboratory members, such as the single stage overhung centrifugal compressor by Kobe Steel, the magnetic bearings by Revolve




and the motor rotor by SKF. Though the hardware had been designed and fabricated over the years, the test rig had not been assembled and tested before. Engineering review and improvement work had to be performed in order to install and commission the test rig safely and reliably. The following sections provide an overview of the test rig, the bearings selection for the motor, the modal analysis performed on the piping supports using Ansys, a rotordynamics analysis performed when the compressor rotor assembly had to be modified with the addition of a spacer ring and the accessory components selection such as the chiller and the orifice flow meter.


Test Rig Overview

The motor is an induction motor rated for 125 KW at 30000rpm. It was provided by SKF and was driven by a variable frequency drive by Alcomel. The motor was designed with more than sufficient required power to drive the test rig over its entire operating range and up to a maximum design speed of 23000rpm. As per the compressor supplier Kobe, the compressor only requires 52KW of power at its maximum speed. The coupling selected was a Thomas flexible disk-pack coupling. This coupling allows both axial and radial misalignment between the motor and the test sections. The coupling was balanced and was rated for the maximum design speed of 23000rpm [4]. The test section consisted of two radial magnetic bearings and one thrust bearing built by Revolve. Figure 3.1 shows the cross sectional drawing of the compressor test rig. Position measurements are very critical in these active magnetic bearings as they provide the position feedback to the bearing controllers to ensure proper control of these bearings to its optimum reference positions. The two radial bearings use reluctance sensors to provide accurate position measurements of the compressor rotor for the controller. The axial position is measured with two SKF 5mm button eddy current probes. One probe is placed on either side of the thrust bearing and targets a shoulder on the compressor rotor to measure the axial position of the rotor for the

High speed data acquisition cards (DAQ). At the current test facility.1: Compressor test rig cross sectional drawing controller. are used together with National Instruments (NI) signal processing cards [4]. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 40 Figure 3. the compressor housing is drilled and tapped with holes to allow the connection of twenty Kulite silicon on silicon pressure transducers.which was to assemble. install and commission the test rig. The compressor is overhung in design and only has a single stage.CHAPTER 3. it has been setup as a vaneless diffuser. This arrangement of sensors enables the capture of stall cells and visualization of surge or stall effects in the compressor. PXI-6052 and PXI-6071. Hence this mechanical design audit is an important step to ensure the compo- . The required gas power at this point would be 52KW and the operating speed would be 23000 rpm.7. A thorough review of the design and mechanical components of the test rig was conducted as a preparation for the next phase . The major data acquisition is performed by Lab-view. The compressor is rated to provide a maximum flow rate of 2500m3/hr and develops a pressure ratio of 1. Its impeller is unshrouded and it can be used with either a vane or vaneless diffuser. In order to investigate surge and stall.

3.2: Exploded view of compressor test rig nents are finally designed to meet the required design speed and performance as required in the compressor characteristic performance. A few critical mechanical items were identified that required furthering engineering analysis and improvement. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 41 Figure 3. a speed factor evaluation is commonly used as a evaluation criteria to determine if the bearings selected for an equipment is the appropriate bearing type and would provide a suitable running life for the bearings. which has always been preferred as the supports for rotating shafts due to its better damping properties. For anti-friction bearings or commonly also called rolling element bearings.CHAPTER 3. Figure 3. The guidelines for the speed limit ndm factor is commonly found in industrial references such as API 610 for centrifugal pumps and also .3 Motor bearings improvement The motor was designed to be supported on ball bearings that had a 47mm outer diameter and an inner diameter of 25mm.2 shows the exploded view of the compressor and the test section. where all the magnetic bearings are housed. This speed factor is commonly known as the ndm factor [8]. The speed evaluation is also used as a decision indicator to identify if a machine is suitable to be supported on ball bearings or should it be upgraded to a fluid film bearings.

the compressor would have to run at a maximum speed of only 13800 rpm. In order to fulfill the ndm factor of 500 000.CHAPTER 3. It is commonly known in the industry that exceeding the ndm numbers would compromise the reliability of a bearing significantly and increase the chance of premature failure of the equipment. it is clear that the ndm factor for the test rig exceeds the recommended limits stated in API 610 and Timken bearing manufacturer literature. which is the intended compressor test speed range. The dm is fixed for all the cases since the housing bore of 47mm and shaft diameter of 25 mm already set the size of the ball bearings.1. The motor dm is hence: Motor dm = (47+25)/2 = 36 From the comparison illustrated in table 3. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 42 in various bearing manufacturer literature such as Timken bearings.23000 rpm. This is because speed directly relates to many things such as friction. the ndm factor already exceeds the limitations listed in API 610 by 22%. Hence Table 3.1 summarizes the ndm for speeds between 16000 rpm . centrifugal forces and stresses encountered on the bearing cages and balls. This speed . this factor readily indicates if a bearing selection would likely work. The many limit references quoted in typical bearing standards are cumulative data compiled over years to arrive at a recommended ndm value to aid in evaluation. Even at the lower intended operation speed of 17000 rpm. who have published recommended speed limit for particular bearing design. ndm is actually the multiplication of the: n= rotating speed in rpm dm = average bearing diameter = (Outer diameter of bearing + Inner diameter of bearing)/ 2 The use of speed as a parameter in the ndm factor calculation allows this simple evaluation to determine the suitability of the bearing design. The motor is controlled on a variable frequency drive (VFD) and there is a speed range where the motor can potentially run during the surge evaluation. Coupled with the nominal size of the bearing.

g. in order for the bearing to run reliably up to 23000rpm. As the test rig is not intended to run continuously like typical machinery in E.1: ndm . it was identified that meeting the speed limit alone is not sufficient.CHAPTER 3. This leakage would occur because the SKF 7005 CD/P5A bearing selected was an open design bearing and does not come with end seals. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP Speed (rpm) 23000 21000 19000 17000 ndm factor 828 000 756 000 684 000 612 000 API 610 [8] 500 000 500 000 500 000 500 000 Timken [49] 300 000 300 000 300 000 300 000 % Exceed API 610 65 % 51 % 36 % 22 % 43 Table 3. At such a high design speed of 23000rpm. and hence the viscosity of the lubricant would reduce as the motor is spun up to the desired speed of 23000rpm. and hence it would not able to retain the grease within the bearings. However to completely redesign the motor bearings at this stage of the project would involve significant cost and time. manufacturing plants and hence . The reduction in the viscosity of the grease at these high speed would result in the originally filled grease in the bearings to flow easily out of the bearings and result in poor lubrication on these high speed bearings. if not more important. However. In order to apply this bearing correctly in an application. ball bearings will generate significant amount of heat. The SKF 7005CD/P5A angular contact ball bearings were originally selected as the bearings for the motor rotor as these bearings had the required speed ratings to allow the motor to run safely at its design speed of 23000rpm [4]. it was decided to still proceed with the use of ball bearing.Speed limit calculation for compressor test rig at possible running speeds is considered low for the compressor design and it will not develop significant pressure rise at such a low speed and hence may not be suitable for experimental surge investigation. it was decided to proceed with the ball bearing design because it is expected the compressor will only run intermittently during testing. After much considerations. Maintaining the lubrication grease within the bearings is equally important. modifications would have to be made in the bearing housing to have a grease path to the .

ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 44 bearings and provide periodic greasing to these bearings in order to ensure there is sufficient lubricants in the bearings. Hybrid bearings typically refers to a class of bearings that has material of construction besides regular bearing steel. Seals would have to be designed in the bearing housings to keep the grease inside the bearings. This reduction in friction results in less wasted energy and allowed the hybrid bearings to achieve higher speed ratings as compared to conventional steel bearings of the same size. silicon nitride (Si3N4) is found most suitable to be used in bearings applications. Its density is only about 40% of the density of bearing steel [47] This results the balls or rollers made . The silicon nitride balls are much harder than metal and hence it reduces contact with the bearing inner race and outer race tracks. Commonly used construction material for ball bearings are stainless steel or chrome steel. Silicon nitride is a hard solid substance. Hence it was decided to upgrade the motor bearings to a sealed for life bearings that would also have the adequate speed and load ratings for this service. This approach would require significant modifications in the existing motor housing and was not the optimum option for the test rig from a cost and time considerations. Bearing manufacturer FAG began the study of the use of ceramic materials in rolling bearings some 30 years ago. And out of the many different ceramic material studied. Hybrid bearing incorporates the use of ceramic material for its balls and the rest of the construction material for the bearing are retained as steel material. thermal and mechanical properties over many other ceramic materials.CHAPTER 3. Sealed for life bearings are bearings that have grease prelubricated inside the bearings from the manufacturers. Silicon nitride also has a much lower density than bearing steel. It’s main component in silicon nitride ceramics and offers very superior shock resistance. The unique combination of ceramic material with steel material offers significant amount of advantages and therefore hybrid bearings have been also termed as ’performance bearings’ since its introduction decades ago [47]. The seals in these bearings would keep the grease inside the bearings and allow the bearings to operate smoothly and without the need to provide periodic greasing to these bearings.

Silicon nitride material in hybrid bearings provides insulation from electric currents in both AC and DC motors [47]. it also provides a key property that is also valuable when the author decides to select hybrid bearings for the motor. Material Property Density [g/cm] Hardness. And these sealed bearings.CHAPTER 3. Besides the above mentioned mechanical properties given by the hybrid bearings.9 700 210 12 ~0. Table 3.2: Material construction for ball bearings [47] These hybrid bearings are typically designed with a seal designed on both sides of the bearings. Which means the grease is expected to be in the highest state of cleanliness and hence minimum impurities. last longer and also has higher speed rating. This makes them especially useful for induction motor or synchronous motor applications. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 45 from silicon nitride to weigh much less and have lower inertia. when operated . Unlike the open bearing design of the SKF 7005 CD. This means less damage to the cage during rapid start up and stops and also much less frictional forces in the bearings.2 compares the main electrical and mechanical properties between regular bearing steel and silicon nitride used in hybrid bearings. The hybrid bearings can hence runs much cooler. It is clearly obvious that silicon nitride is superior to steel in many aspects and hence make a more suitable material for ball bearing balls or rollers.2 1600 310 3 ~10e12 ~15 ~8 Table 3. HV10 [kg/mm] Modulus of elasticity [GPa] Thermal expansion [x10/k] Electrical resistivity [m] Dielectric strength [kV/mm] Relative dielectric constant Bearing Steel 7. The hybrid bearings have very good electrical insulation property.4e-6 Silicon Nitride 3. because the material insulation offers protection from any form of electric arc damage which is a result of stray current in electrical machines like the motors. the sealed design’s main advantage is that lubricant are kept away from contaminants as they are sealed in within the bearing during manufacturing.

alignment accuracy is very important. And for this particular high speed motor application. Hence this make deep groove ball bearings suitable for this application. it requires no further re-greasing.CHAPTER 3. Its only disadvantage is that it has a low tolerance for misalignment and hence for installation that involves deep groove ball bearings. whereas the higher reference speed stated in a bearing catalog is based on test lab conditions which has the lubrication. It main advantage is its capability to handle both radial and directional thrust load. Limiting speed is preferred to be used as the evaluation criteria over reference speed because they are typically determined based on cumulative actual application experience from the industry. Figure 3. cleanliness. Brown’s [4] estimates that the axial load on the motor would be relatively low. Manufacturer’s of ball bearings typically provide a reference speed and limiting speed as specifications for a particular bearing. alignment and installation of the test bearings onto the test rig set up in a very controlled and near perfect condition. The seals on both side of the bearings also act as protectors that keep out any form of contaminants that may commonly infiltrate in open design. SKF 6005 series hybrid bearings fulfills this requirement and typically had a speed limiting range for a ball bearing inner diameter of 25mm to be 28000rpm. Hence the reference speed rating determined in such .3 shows a comparison between the two bearings.3: Comparison between SKF 7005 CD bearing versus SKF hybrid bearing on site. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 46 Figure 3. which is rated to run 20% above the desired design speed of 23000rpm. Deep-groove ball bearings is one of the most common type of ball bearings in the world of bearing applications.

The SKF hybrid bearing model 6005-2RSLTN9/HCFC3WT was selected. The hybrid bearing is the best in class from such a comparison and is therefore selected as the bearings for this high speed motor. equipment alignment and the proper installation of the bearings onto the equipment. Therefore. Table 3. where there are significant uncertainties such as dust.3: Deep groove versus angular ball bearings design properties for 25 mm inner diameter bearings testing condition are typically higher than the limiting speed.55 6.CHAPTER 3. . This would give the motor its best possible reliability and the self lubricated design of the bearing.9 Static C0 (kN) 5.g.02 11. the maximum recommended speed limit and the type of lubrication provision. its static loading. the limiting speed limit is preferred to be used over reference speed. These test laboratory conditions are very unlikely to be replicated easily in an actual application environment.9 11.3 illustrates and compares the various types of SKF bearings that could are dimensionally similar (25 mm inner diameter). The details and explanation for its bearing designations are listed in table 3. bearing handling cleanliness.4. It also means there is no modifications required on the motor housing to provide for grease nipple and grease path to the motor bearings. in the refinery or chemicals plant. Because all these bearing are of the same inner diameter size (25mm). ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP Dynamic C (kN) 9. the hybrid bearings provided the best bearing properties in terms of dynamic loading limit of the bearing.55 Limiting rpm 34000 18000 16000 28000 Bearing Type Angular contact Explorer class Regular deep groove Hybrid 47 Lubrication Design Non lubricated Sealed Lubrication Sealed Lubrication Sealed Lubrication Table 3. e. As can be seen from the comparison. their ndm factor would all still be high at the designed running speed.6 4. but has varying properties and lubrication design that would result in different bearing properties. in the selection of bearings.56 7.3 6.

Pressure and temperature measurement tappings are drilled and spaced on the inlet and outlet piping immediately before and after the compressor. the compressed medium for this test compressor is atmospheric air. Therefore the piping layout and piping support is an important part of the test rig to ensure the air is brought smoothly to the compressor and discharges the hot compressed air safely back to the atmospheric. These measurements were critical to the accuracy of surge investigation and the development of the compressor characteristic curve. At the same time.4 Piping system design As discussed previously. The suction of the compressor takes in air from the atmosphere. The straight length of the piping at the inlet and immediately at the discharge had to be maintained to ensure a smooth laminar . which is an commonly applied industrial testing standards for compressors. The length of the straight section piping immediately before and after the compressor were also designed to meet the requirement of PTC 10 1997 [32]. and their location will be installed in accordance to Power Test Code ( PTC 10) 1997. adopting PTC 10 would be suitable. compresses it and then discharges it into the atmosphere again. instruments were also to be installed along the piping system to measure the pressure. It is an open loop system and there is no recycling of the discharge air or neither is there a blow off vent as is commonly noticed in the air compressor used in the industry as a form of surge protection.CHAPTER 3. Since this compressor is a prototype and the nature of the research investigation is similar to that of a new test compressor as if in a factory acceptance test. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP Designations 6005 2RSL TN9 HC5 WT C3 Descriptions Model of bearing and last 2 digit (x5) would be size of shaft Low friction seal on both side of bearings to keep grease in Injection molded snap type ring of glass reinforced fibre Rolling elements are of Silicon Nitride material Grease with polyurea. -40 Degree to +160 degree Celsius range Radial clearance is greater than normal clearance for bearings 48 Table 3.4: Descriptions for hybrid bearing 6005-2RSLTN9/HCFC3WT 3. flow and temperature during the test run.

42] investigated and found that the discharge plenum has an effect on the surge points of the compressor. This is mainly because the temperature probes will be placed into the flow and hence as the air flow passes the probes. . the author decided to include the additional flexibility into the piping design by providing 3 throttle valve location. Mizuki and Tamaki et al [39. The pressure tappings were placed upstream of the temperature probes as per PTC 10. This is to allow average pressure and temperature measurements to be taken and ensure consistent data comparison without bias to any particular side of the piping. and hence provided the largest plenum volume. in this case. The initial valve position is recommended to be at position 1 so that it limits the amount of plenum volume for the compressor when it is brought into surge and also serves as the position for initial testing and design of first surge controller. Three throttle valve locations were included in the overall piping length. The suction piping is of straight length 72 inches or 9 times of the pipe diameter. Since the main objective of this test rig is to investigate active surge control. However. such that the discharge plenum volume could be adjusted as required. position 2 at about mid span along the discharge piping and position 3 as the furthest location away from the compressor discharge.CHAPTER 3. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 49 flow of the air and hence ensure the recorded test data are stable. The same reasoning on the placement of the inlet pressure and discharge probes apply on the discharge piping as well. followed by the temperature probes. The outlet plenum is defined as the volume between the compressor discharge to the discharge throttle valve. the pressure readings may fluctuate due to the turbulence. the temperature and pressure tappings are placed on the discharge piping of 64 inches or 8 times the piping diameter. The piping system was also designed to include the flexibility to adjust the outlet plenum. Four measurement locations spaced at ninety degrees apart are installed for each pressure and temperature measurement location on the inlet and discharge piping. In a similar fashion. the pressure tappings will be closed to the discharge on the compressor. turbulence will be created and hence if pressure is measured at locations after the pressure probes. with position 1 being closest to the compressor discharge.

These would then be compared to estimated mild surge frequency of the compression system. 20. once mild surge frequency (Helmholtz frequency) .4. 42] as the mild surge frequency. 27. Based on the literature review established in Chapter 2. 3.1 Piping supports modal analysis One of the main concern with piping support design was that the surge frequency encountered in the compression system would occur close to the resonance frequency of the piping supports. This concern was evaluated by performing a modal analysis on the designed piping supports using Ansys finite element software to determine the natural frequency of the supports.4 shows the three locations of the discharge throttle valve in the piping system.4: Piping layout to show the three discharge throttle valve positions Figure 3. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 50 Figure 3.CHAPTER 3. 6. using the widely used Helmholtz resonator frequency formula utilized by many researchers [3.

Meulesmann [6] uses the eye of the impeller for the equivalent area Ac instead for his Helmholtz estimation. 28] is that there are varying approaches used by different researchers in the estimation. it is generally observed that deep surge frequency would be be lower than mild surge frequency.CHAPTER 3.5 shows the plot referenced to Willems research work and it summarized the various frequencies on the occurrence of deep surge. classic surge. areas and volumes are not always directly obtainable from physical dimensions of the complex compression system. he obtained an experimental surge frequency of 27 Hz versus his Helmholtz estimate of 32 Hz. Maulesmann [6] concluded that using the Greitzer lumped mass parameter compression model to estimate the Helmholtz frequency is not a straightforward approach and explained it was because the equivalent compressor length. and is hence normally well below Helmholtz frequency [44]. it is chosen . One main observation from the literature review about using Helmholtz resonant frequency estimation by modeling the compressor system as a lumped mass parameter model developed by Greitzer [27. Willems [40] explained that Lc is the most difficult to determine because it is difficult do determine the transient mass flow rate and at times. The reason for this is that deep surge frequency is generated by the plenum emptying and filling times. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 51 Figure 3. Figure 3.5: Frequencies of several types of aerodynamics flow instabilities by Willems [40] is estimated. Willems [40] developed a summary plot to show the frequencies range of occurrence for several types of aerodynamics flow instabilities. mild surge and also rotating stall. 40] used the exit area of the impeller as the equivalent area for the compression model. An example would be Mizuki and Willems [42. In Mizuki’s experiment.

ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 52 to match to the experimental studies. a is the speed of sound. since it has three different throttle valve locations which results in three different discharge plenum volumes . Table 3. the inlet flow through area Ac is the area of air flow at the eye of the impeller [6] or it could also be the area at exit of impeller.2) Actual piping where the integral would be over the entire actual length of the compressor test rig[39] and Ax would be the actual piping area. Lc is the compressor equivalent pipe length. The equivalent pipe length Lc could be determined from the following formula [28. 39]. This compressor test rig would have three Helmholtz frequency. and Ac is the inlet flow through area. The dimensions of the hub diameter and impeller tip diameter were obtained from Kobe Steel’s dimensional drawing of the impeller and compressor assembly.7 shows how Ac was obtained based on the impeller hub diameter and impeller tip diameter at the inlet of compressor [6. 44]: Lc Ac ˆ = model dx Ax (3. instead of first being determined from the simulation. Helmholtz frequency can be determined by [39]: ωH = a Ac /(Vp Lc) (3.6 shows the schematic equivalent compression system model to determine the Helmholtz and Figure 3.1) where Vp is the volume between the compressor discharge to throttle valve position or commonly known as plenum volume. Tamaki [39] also concluded from his experiment with different plenum volumes that the lumped mass parameter compression model using the Helmholtz frequency estimate would typically have an error of 10% as compared to the actual experimental frequencies obtained. Figure 3. which is what some researchers used as a parameter. 15.CHAPTER 3.5 summarizes the estimated Helmholtz frequency based on the resonator frequency equation using different equivalent areas. For this compressor.

1 0.053 4.1 Using inlet eye area.54 Using impeller outlet area [40] 0.233 0.053 4.CHAPTER 3. short pipe length [39] 0.008 341 10.053 1.13 Table 3. full pipe length [39] 0. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 53 Figure 3.5: Helmholtz frequency estimated comparison table .006 341 9.6: Schematic of the equivalent model to represent compressor system Figure 3.1 0.7: Flow area to be considered when calculating the Helmholtz frequency Descriptions Vp (m3) Lc (m) Ac (m2 ) a (m/s) fH (Hz) Using inlet area.008 341 19.

Commercial finite element software Ansys was used next to perform a modal analysis of the piping supports to determine its natural frequency. It is a better design to have two sturdy inlet pipe . The material of construction of the piping supports was mainly carbon steel. The piping supports were first designed using Solidworks 3D and then saved as a parasolid file format to be imported in Ansys for the modal analysis. Two main piping supports were evaluated. and would not pose any significant pipe strain when it is bolted up against the compressor inlet flange. The piping supports natural frequency obtained from the Ansys modal analysis can then be compared to the mild surge frequencies and evaluate if sufficient safety margin exist between the two parameters. it was decided the inlet should consist of two piping supports so that the inlet pipe to the compressor can be adequately supported and leveled. Single stand support is a good design for the inlet because of the space constraint and also the inlet piping to the compressor itself is already limiting easy access to the whole test rig. This would serve as an evaluation on the feasibility of the piping supports designed. Hence a simple straightforward piping support design for the suction pipings would prevent the compressor setup from being further obstructed with bulky pipe supports.CHAPTER 3. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 54 (The volume between the compressor discharge to the discharge throttle valve). The inlet piping support would basically only have a single pass of suction pipes and hence the support design can be of a single stand support. these inlet piping supports are also required to support the vertical piping section of the inlet that extends up to the roof of the compressor test rig locations and also an inlet filter. solid elements were chosen to mesh the imported piping support design. From an ergonomic standpoint. As it was structural modal analysis to be performed in Ansys. At the same time. which are eight inch diameter steel pipe. The choice of three inch angle supports was used mainly as the material was readily available within the University and three inch supports would be more than sufficient in terms of strength to support the pipes. They are mainly the inlet piping supports to the compressor and the discharge piping supports.

The discharge piping supports was designed like a frame using available three inch steel brackets to provide it with the strength to support two pipe runs at its upper and bottom level. a top semi circular bracket is bolted onto the bottom bracket via two bolts. and . y. And to secure the pipe to the supports. At its top. when the compressor is brought into surge. which are translations in the nodal x. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 55 Figure 3. it has a semi circular bracket that the outer diameter of the inlet pipe to rest on. The irregular shape of the piping supports including the semi circular bracket could be accurately mesh using a 3-D 10-Node Tetrahedral Structural Solid elements in Ansys. This would secure the pipe tightly onto the supports but unlike a weld. Figure 3. Circular pipe clamp brackets would be used to clamp the pipes onto the supports. The support will have its bottom end bolted into the concrete floor. The discharge pipe supports are also bolted to the foundation.8: Inlet piping support and discharge piping supports supports to ensure all the piping from the inlet filter to the compressor inlet flange are robustly supported and able to withstand unforeseen piping vibrations. if any.8 shows the design of the inlet and discharge piping supports. it allows the flexibility of future removal or disassembly by loosening the two holding down bolts.CHAPTER 3. This element is known as Solid 92 element in Ansys and it is defined by the ten nodes and each node has three degrees of freedom.

swelling. stress stiffening.05 56 Table 3.4 11. and large strain capabilities.9 and Figure 3. As can be compared from the table.1 19.05 8.4 Location 3 8.CHAPTER 3. the whole bracket would be rigid. Hence the piping supports are expected to remain sturdy as supports during surge testing at the three different valve locations.6 summarizes the results. especially lateral movement. creep. This element would be sufficient to mesh properly and determine the natural frequency of the piping supports.05 8.1 19. only the first two natural frequencies are compared.1 Location 2 11.4 11.10 shows the results of modal analysis from Ansys. the modal analysis results were observed for results convergence by observing the number of elements used. In both plots.05 8. Figure 3. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP Pipe supports Inlet 1st mode Inlet 2nd mode Outlet 1st mode Outlet 2nd mode Frequency Hz 287 304 159 209 Location 1 19. And the circular bracket on the supports are also assumed as a constraint that has minimum movement. Hence minimum deflection or movement is assumed on these brackets.6: Comparison of pipe supports predicted frequencies versus Helmholtz frequencies at each valve location z directions. In order to ensure the meshed supports would provide good estimates of the natural frequency. . The bolting of the supports to the foundation would be assumed as a constraint that has negligible or no movement in the model itself. large deflection.1 19. Table 3. The element also has the plasticity. Proper constraint assumption in the finite element model was also chosen to ensured as realistic a model as possible. This was because once all the pipes are bolted to the foundation and the pipes are flanged bolted to the compression system. the predicted first and second natural frequency of the supports would be far away from the anticipated Helmholtz frequency calculated.4 11.

ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 57 Figure 3.9: Modal analysis results for inlet pipe support .CHAPTER 3.1st and 2nd modes .

ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 58 Figure 3.CHAPTER 3.1st and 2nd modes .10: Modal analysis results for discharge piping support .

compressor efficiency would drop because of leakage from impeller discharge back to the suction. six and nine o’clock positions.1 Rotordynamics analysis After the initial assembly of the magnetic bearings and the compressor. three. This is the clearance between the front of the impeller to the stationary shroud. the precision of this clearances is very important and had to be controlled such that it allows adequate clearance range for axial modulation without any rubs of running components and also ensure the compressor efficiency is kept to the optimum. the impeller tip clearance was first checked using four soft lead strips that were evenly secured and placed at four locations on the impeller tip. This would result in severe damage to the impeller and compressor. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 59 3. It the clearance is too large. Sanadgol also referred to this design clearance in developing a mathematical model to evaluate the effect of static axial clearance change on the surge point of the compressor characteristic curve [3].5. And most importantly. The size of this clearance has a significant effect on the efficiency of the compressor. As per the Kobe Steel requirement. 3. since this compressor research is to utilize the dynamic modulation of the impeller axial tip clearance to increase the surge margin of the compressor. The lead pieces were cut into a thin strip shape of approximately 30 mm in length and 2 mm in thickness and are to serve as thickness measurement gage. there would be a higher possibility of contact between the rotating impeller to the stationary shroud. Lead was preferred over plastic gage mainly because lead pieces offered much better accuracy com- .5mm for the supplied compressor and impeller design. If it was too small. the design impeller tip clearance was designed to be at 0.CHAPTER 3. Each location is spaced at 90 degrees to the other and hence these locations are commonly known as the twelve.5 Compressor rotor modification One of the key clearances to be verified and adjusted as required is the impeller tip axial clearance.



pared to commercial plastic gages, which sometimes tends to be too soft and will crush even further under the measurement of a vernier caliper and hence produces some variance in the final thickness measurement. The lead pieces are then secured firmly onto the impeller tip at the four locations with tapes. Prior to crushing the soft lead, the magnetic thrust bearing had to be moved all the way back towards the driver motor during this procedure. The target clearance to be achieved was the total addition of the 0.5mm thickness with half the clearance of the auxiliary thrust bronze bearings. The compressor inlet shroud is then mounted and bolted against the back plate. That crushed the lead pieces from its initial original thickness to a much smaller thickness. The crushed thickness represented what was the impeller axial tip clearance. The crushed lead piece can be measured using a vernier caliper. Four measurement location were selected mainly to obtain an overall average reading to set as a target to adjust the axial tip clearance or as the acceptable value if the desired clearance was achieved. Another usefulness of the four point location checks was to indicate any severe run out between the rotor and impeller assembly to the bore of the compressor casing. Any significant deviations in the clearance readings between the four measured points need to be rechecked first to determine any installation or assembly error that could cause this discrepancy prior to start up of this high speed compressor. Figure 3.11 illustrates the four locations for the lead pieces to be mounted on the impeller face nearer to the outer diameter of the impeller as that was the area which had been determined by Kobe Steel to flex during high speed rotation. The first measurement of the impeller axial tip clearance was by using 2 mm thickness lead gage. However, when the shroud was removed, there was no indentation or crushing on these 2mm thickness gage at all. This indicated that the impeller tip clearance in this initial setup was much larger than 2mm. The author decided to repeat the measurement with 4 mm thickness gage. And these 4 mm lead thickness gage gave a surprising large average impeller tip clearance of 3.55mm. This was significantly higher than the design value of 0.5 mm given by Kobe Steel and was considered a large clearance for high speed



Figure 3.11: Locations of 4 lead pieces on the impeller face compressors. A thorough review of all the axial clearances in the compressor assembly was performed and it was determined that the existing setup was not possible to reduce any amount of shims within the already designed compressor assembly to compensate another 3 mm of axial movement. Hence based on originally designed compressor rotor and shims, it was not able to allow the impeller to be relocated closer to the stationary shroud casing, which would then allow the impeller tip clearance to be reduced and closer to design value. In addition, a further confirmation that the originally designed rotor assembly within the test section requires correction was the observation of the the rubbing on the impeller back onto the back plate when the compressor is manually hand turned. This further confirms that the current designed rotor assembly in the compressor test sections requires an axial correction to move the impeller closer towards the stationary shroud and the originally designed rotor float had not been accurately determined. Hence it was decided to fabricate correction spacers that would increase the forward sitting position of the impeller on the shaft and hence reduce the current large impeller tip clearance from 3.55 to as close to 0.5 mm as possible. The normal design of any spacer behind a impeller would preferably have the inner diameter of the spacer ring to be same as that of the shaft, such that the spacer ring will sit



Figure 3.12: Location of spacer ring behind the impeller firmly onto the shaft and does not potentially slip off during rotation. However, the unique polygon shape design of this impeller’s integral male shaft made it difficult to fabricate a spacer ring with a polygon inner diameter. Hence the author decided to make a spacer ring that had a much larger inner diameter ring than the polygon shaped impeller male shaft. This design was possible due to the fact that the spacer ring would be tightly clamped between the impeller back shoulder and the shaft collar shoulder. Hence if the impeller tightening bolt is tightened and bolt stretch to the recommended bolt torque value of 145Nm (107 ft-lb) , it would ensure that the whole impeller shaft assembly could spin to the design speed with the spacer ring held tightly in position. Figure 3.12 shows the location of the spacer ring and also the whole rotor impeller assembly mounted into the compressor casing with the magnetic bearings installed. An initial plain carbon steel ring of 2.55 mm thickness was made to be installed behind the impeller. This thickness was selected to reduce the impeller tip clearance from

An original rotor model created by Brown [4]was modified with a small mass included behind the impeller of the rotor in ROMAC’s rotordynamics code Rotstab. Since the introduction of a ring may affect the unbalance response.5mm. which is significant as that is about 40% of the design impeller tip clearance of 0. In fact. This was 100% larger than the recommended design value of 0. This was mainly due to a computational fluid dynamics study that they had performed on the impeller at a maximum design speed of 23000 rpm to evaluate the deflection of the impeller blades due to centrifugal force. This was to protect the machine and the initial test mechanical test runs to design speed was primarily to assess that the assembled compressor rig works mechanically well with all its installed supporting system and also all the instrumentation involved.5mm. The study shows that the outer tip of the impeller on the outer diameter would deflect inwards the most and hence can potentially rub on the stationary shroud if inadequate impeller tip clearance is provided as advised by Kobe Steel incorporated. Figure 3. Kobe Steel also recommended for all initial test run of compressors to be performed with larger clearance. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 63 the measured 3.CHAPTER 3.8 mm.2 mm. a rotor dynamics model was first created to evaluate the stability and unbalance response of the rotor with the addition of the spacer ring. where the free free mode shape was verified against the actual ring test results performed by Sandagol [3]. This evaluation verified that the addition of the spacer ring would not alter the natural frequency of the rotor significantly. The maximum deflection predicted at the exit impeller tip is 0. Critspd 2 The general equation of motion for a rotor takes the following form: . The model was then imported into Critspd 2.55mm to 1 mm. Efficiency was not considered a key parameter to be achieved at the first complete test rig mechanical test run.13 is provided by Kobe Steel and illustrates the maximum deflection of the impeller at its outer diameter region. A value of 1mm impeller tip clearance was selected as the initial clearance to be used for the mechanical test runs. Kobe Steel recommended to further increase the initial clearance to a total of 1. by adding in all the bronze shims on the compressor shroud.

x. the gyroscopic effect on the rotor model need not be included. To ensure that the natural frequency predicted in the free free model matches closely to the actual ring test. velocity and acceleration vectors respectively. x ˙ ¨ are the displacement. In the case of a suspended rotor for ring test.3) Where M is the global mass matrix. ωis the shaft rotational speed.13: Courtesy of Kobe Steel . Hence the equation of motion simplifies to the form: M x + Kx = 0 ¨ (3. C is the global damping matrix.Finite Element model showing deflection of impeller M x + (C + ωG)x + Kx = F ¨ ˙ (3. The predicted 1st mode of 684 Hz is . and the x.4) The predicted 1st critical mode from the modified rotor model with the addition of the spacer ring matches closely to the ring test result. G is the gyroscopic contributions.CHAPTER 3.K is the global stiffness matrix. there will be no gyroscopic or damping involved and neither will there be any form of applied force on the rotor. This is because gyroscopic effects are a speed related damping contribution and will only be contributing when the shaft is rotating. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 64 Figure 3.

14 and Figure 3.15 shows the rotor model with the spacer ring and the free free rotor mode shape plots generated by Critical Speed 2. 3. no further rotor stability analysis is required as per API 617 [9].5. This had to be evaluated carefully because unbalance force increases with the square of rotational speed and since the compressor is design to operate at a very high speed. spacer ring and back of impeller) . The error is only about 1 percent. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 65 Figure 3. Figure 3.CHAPTER 3.2 Unbalance force analysis The other concern with the spacer ring was the possibility of the spacer ring slipping while the compressor is in operation. These three assemblies (rotor shoulder. Because it is still rigid. A level 2 rotordynamics would not be required since the maximum continuous operating speed of 23000 rpm is below the predicted 1st critical speed. The spacer ring is located axially between the compressor shaft shoulder and the back of the impeller. This comparison verified that the addition of the spacer ring would not lower the natural frequency significantly. This could be due to unbalance force that are generated from unbalance caused by the spacer ring. especially at high speed of rotation. the magnitude from any unbalance force could result in the slippage of the ring.14: Rotstab rotor model with spacer ring added behind impeller very close to the 1st critical mode measured from the ring test at 691 Hz. The rotor is verified to remain rigid even with the addition of the space ring and continue to operate with a minimum 40% safety margin when it is operating at its maximum design speed of 23000rpm.

CHAPTER 3.15: Free-free mode shape of rotor with space ring included . ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 66 Figure 3.

Though this assumption cannot happen due to the physical limitations of the ring. in the actual assembly of the spacer ring behind the impeller. from an analysis standpoint. there would not be any unbalance force and centrifugal force from the addition of the spacer ring [50]. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 67 are stacked and tightened in place by a M14-6H TAP 2mm coarse threaded pitch bolt that goes through these three assemblies as shown in Figure 3. then it is safe to conclude that any physical imperfect placement of .CHAPTER 3. Fu = µF (3.5) The tightening force due from the bolt torque would be analogous to the normal force acting the steel block as illustrated in Figure 3. it is difficult to know exactly how much the two centers would be offset. a friction force analysis of a steel block on a dry steel table and subjected to both a normal force and a horizontal pushing force would represent the situation adequately [11]. If the spacer ring had its center of mass placed exactly and coincided with the axis of rotation of the compressor. A worse case unbalance scenario was considered as evaluation. This is because if the friction analysis is able to show that the unbalance force from this assumed worse case is unable to overcome the normal force acting on the steel ring. The assumption would be that the maximum unbalance force that could be produced when the center of mass of the ring is off center would be when the ring center of mass had somehow been arbitrarily extremely offset to the outer radius of the spacer ring.18. such that it would produce a large enough force to overcome the clamping force on the ring itself. it is a valid assumption as a worse case scenario. The bolt would need to be tightened by torquing it with a torque wrench to a required bolt torque of 115 ft-lb as per manufacturer’s specifications. And the steel block is analogous to the spacer ring itself and the horizontal force would be represented by the unbalance force that would arise due to a assumed off-centered assembly of the steel spacer ring.16. However. To analyze the situation. hence some form of assumptions had to be made to start this frictional force analysis.

And since all the material such as the spacer ring and compressor are made of steel and there is no lubricant between their mated faces.CHAPTER 3.17 illustrates the cause of force analysis on the spacer ring and how the unbalance force may be generated due to an offset installed spacer ring. the clamping force can be calculated from the bolt torque: T = kFd (3. Figure 3.16: Schematic to illustrate force analysis on spacer ring of compressor the spacer ring behind the impeller would not produce any large enough unbalance force that could move the ring further away from its installed position due to centrifugal force when the compressor runs at its maximum speed. Figure 3. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 68 Figure 3. k is the coefficient of collar friction at 0.2.6) where T is the torque applied on when tightening the bolt. From Shigley [11].014m.17 shows how the ring could be offset when looking at it from the impeller end towards the driver motor. The tightening force F is calculated to be at 55715 N. F is the equivalent tightening force or normal force acting on the spacer ring and dis the nominal major diameter of the bolt at 0. The bolt torquing on the M14 bolt is 115 ft-lb (156 Nm). the coefficient of .

18: Frictional force analysis .analogous analysis to clamped spacer ring friction. A more elaborate analysis would then be required to evaluate if the compressor is safe to run with the ring in place. µ. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 69 Figure 3. .CHAPTER 3. Hence the horizontal static force to start overcoming the normal force F and move the steel spacer ring would be 44517 N. the worse case unbalance force calculated should be less than this horizontal force of 44517 N calculated. Hence in the unbalance force analysis. between two dry steel face would be 0. If the calculated unbalance force Fu due to an offset spacer ring is higher than this value.8 [7]. there is a possibility that the spacer ring may not be held tight enough and slippage may occur. so as to prove that the spacer ring would not have any possibility of slipping when tightened by a bolt that has been torque to 155 Nm. especially at high speed.17: Show an offset spacer ring could contribute to unbalance force Figure 3.

His thermal studies showed that by providing . However. The maximum speed of the compressor is 23000 rpm and hence ω would be 2408 rad/s. it was concluded the compressor assembly was safe to operate into high speed with the addition of the spacer ring into the compressor rotor assembly. because the compressor was only designed to run at 23000 rpm. The motor was originally designed to produce motor power of 128 KW at 30000 rpm.019 Kg and that it had an assumed maximum eccentricity eu as the full radius of the spacer ring at 0.CHAPTER 3. Brown conducted a detailed thermal finite element analysis on a section of the motor stator to determine the amount of cooling water required be supplied to the motor cooling jacket in order to ensure the heat are removed efficiently and does not damage the motor windings. And because the assumption is that the whole mass of the spacer ring is displaced as a worse case unbalance scenario. 3. the unbalance force Fu can be calculated as per the following steady state unbalance force formula. Fu = mu eu ω 2 (3.7) The unbalance force Fu calculated is 2754 N. which was derived from the bolt torquing formula earlier. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 70 Assuming that the unbalance mass mu to be the full mass of the spacer ring at 0. From this analysis. the maximum power that would be required from the motor was 107 KW.025 m. mu is equal to the full mass m in this calculation. it showed that the applied torquing force of 155N was sufficient to hold the spacer ring in position without the danger of it slipping out even at its maximum design speed. Hence from this analysis.6 Chiller for high speed motor Brown [4]and Chiu [31]investigated the amount of heat that would be generated when the high speed motor runs at its maximum design speed of 23000 rpm. This is much less than the calculated normal force F of 44571 N.

CHAPTER 3. which could result in potential serious damage to the motor. A cooling circuit or chiller skid had to be selected to provide the minimum required cooling water flow rates to the motor in order to ensure the motor runs reliably at high speed.5 Psi. The unit was a self contained chiller unit with its own cooling water reservoir. A 0-50 Psi pressure gage was installed at one opening of the cooling jacket. Finally the chiller was connected to the motor using two flexible hoses. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 71 a cooling water flow at ambient temperature at a rate of 4 GPM would be sufficient to maintain the winding temperature of the motor at 95 degree Celsius when the motor is fully loaded at 107 KW at a speed of 23000 rpm. This was more than sufficient for the cooling requirement needs for the motor heat removal. circulating pump and refrigerant compressor. the air pressure dropped to 39. while air was introduced into the water jacket. The Dimplex HCV-1500 PR model air cooled chiller was removed from the old high speed spindle test rig and installed to provide a cooling water supply to the motor cooling jacket and cool the motor when it was in operation. the motor’s cooling jacket was first leaked check with compressed air. Prior to circulating the cooling water to the motor. The motor rotor was removed to provide visual assess for any leaks within the motor cooling jacket. Cooling water from the chiller was allowed to circulate continuously around the motor . The slight drop in pressure was mainly due to slight leaks from the connection joints external to the motor and hence was determined as not a leak inside the motor cooling jacket. The heat from the warm cooling water leaving the motor jacket would be removed by an induction fan that creates a air draft to cool the unit. At the end of the 7 hours test. The pressure in the gage was observed after several hours of keeping the cooling jacket pressurized with air at 40Psi. The chiller is rated for a heat removal rate of 15000 BTU/hr and provide a cooling water flow rate of 10 GPM at 35 Psi water pressure. This was to ensure that there was no leak within the motor cooling jacket that could result in a water leak into the motor winding. An old chiller skid that had the suitable cooling capacity was salvaged and reused for this applications.

7 Precision Alignment The motor was directly coupled to the compressor. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 72 Figure 3. Precision alignment had to be performed between the two equipment to ensure a smooth and reliable coupled operation of the test rig.CHAPTER 3. Figure 3.19: Air cool chiller skid for the high speed motor cooling jacket. no leaks were detected inside the motor casing.19 shows the setup of the chiller unit that is commissioned to cool the motor. This concluded that the chiller operated well with the motor and there was no leak within the motor cooling jacket. 3. The motor rotor was reinstalled to the motor housing. The motor was the movable equipment during alignment while the compressor was the reference equipment. Rough alignment was first performed between the . Face and rim method of alignment was selected to achieve the precision alignment between the motor and the compressor. This was because the motor would be easier to be moved during alignment and also because the compressor had already been properly aligned to its suction piping and discharge piping. with minimal piping strain on the compressor casing. After four hours of cooling water circulating run.

when the hold down bolt is loosened while the rest of the three bolts are still tightened.21 and figure 3. figure 3. Shimming was first performed on the compressor to allow it to be slightly higher than the motor vertically. Procedure on how to perform precision alignment and installation of coupling is detailed in Appendix A.22. This would ensure that the compressor runs reliably during testing. The target for soft foot was less to be less than 2 mils in vertical rise of the leg. The test rig is located at the Aerospace Research Laboratory of University of Virginia. The final assembled compressor test rig is shown in figure 3. 3. . ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 73 motor and the compressor.8 Assembled compressor test rig All the detail engineering works and improvements were performed to enhance the test rig.20. This was followed by soft foot check on the four legs of the motor.CHAPTER 3. Soft foot check would ensure there is no excessive distortion to the motor casing when all the four hold down bolts are tightened. Finally the actual face and rim precision alignment was carried out between the motor and the compressor.

CHAPTER 3.20: Inlet filter and exhaust for compressor test rig Figure 3.21: Assembled compressor test rig for surge testing . ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 74 Figure 3.

CHAPTER 3. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS AND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP 75 Figure 3.22: Assembled compressor test rig for surge testing .

which supported the simulation results of Sanadgol. 76 . It was also checked for leakage within its stator while the circulating cooler was turned on. The impeller tip clearance of the compressor was also statically adjusted while the compressor was in operation. The motor was tested by running it on its own (without the compressor coupled to it) to assess its running condition since it was the first time to run it continuously. The static impeller tip clearance adjustment showed influence on the the characteristic curve. The compressor was tested into surge at high speed and observable dominant pressure frequencies and audible sound were detected at the surge points.Chapter 4 Testing and experimental results 4.1 Introduction This chapter highlights the key experimental work performed on the test rig. The motor performed very well and was coupled up the compressor. The compressor was operated to high speed and its characteristic curve were determined at various speeds.

2 4. The coupled up compressor motor was evaluated to see if it could reach its maximum design speed of 23000 rpm. it was precision aligned to the compressor and the shim pack coupling installed between the motor and compressor. The operating sound and vibration level was also assessed to gather a complete assessment of the solo run test. It was the first time the compressor and motor and all its supporting accessory such as the . Motor winding temperature and the amperage of motor was taken during the solo run to assess its overall condition.1: Results of motor solo run up to maximum speed of 10000 rpm 4. 4.1 is a record of the data obtained during the solo run.1 Commissioning Motor solo run The motor was initially ran on its own (solo run) to mechanically assess the upgraded hybrid bearings and the proper assembly of the motor. The objective of the test was to evaluate if the VFD was capable of supplying the required power to the compressor up to its design speed of 23000 rpm.CHAPTER 4. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS Rpm 2000 3000 5000 7000 8000 10000 Motor Temperature (Celsius) 21 25 31 38 43 48 Amps 41 41 42 43 43 44 Vibration low low low low low low Abnormal sound normal normal normal normal normal normal 77 Table 4.2 Maximum speed testing and mechanical assessment of compressor After the motor was tested safely on solo run up to 10000rpm. The motor was smoothly tested up to a speed of 10000 rpm and it ran well without any high temperature or abnormality observed. It also served to evaluate the assembly and mechanical soundness of the test rig. Table 4.2.2.

The VFD tripped on the second attempt as well. The throttle valve was kept fully throughout the test. The fuses were replaced and the test was repeated. the health of the test rig was assessed to identify any abnormality that could occur. This indicated that the trip was a genuine trip protection from high amperage and not due to initially suspected deteriorated fuses that have been in the VFD for many years. VFD. Motor amperage. At each step of speed increase. the VFD protection fuses were triggered and tripped the VFD. The compressor was tested safely up to a maximum speed of 21000 rpm. The compressor was started up at very slow speed and its speed was gradually increased. motor winding temperatures. visual observation of the test rig were set up to help assess the conditions of the test rig during the test. Two out of the three protection fuses were triggered. From . piping and throttle valve were tested and operated at the same time.1: Motor amperage versus compressor speed curve chiller skids. However. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 78 Figure 4.CHAPTER 4. orbit plots of the compressor rotors. as the speed was increased beyond 21000rpm.

Hence the decision was made to first test the . It reached about 100 degree Celsius (230 degree Fahrenheit). a protection card within the VFD was also found to have one of its protection diodes slightly damaged.CHAPTER 4.2: Overload protection card in variable frequency drive . However. Figure 4.damaged red diode the amperage date. In addition. it was decided to test the compressor test rig at lower speeds below its intended design of 23000 rpm.1 plots the amperage increase exponentially as the speed is increased. The power required by the VFD increased exponentially as the speed of the compressor is increased. this was exceeded at about 21000 rpm. This decision was made because the VFD model was already obsolete and it would extremely difficult to purchase spare parts or repair it if it was damaged. The cost to replace to a new VFD at this stage of the project was not justified. even with the chiller turned fully on. Therefore.2 shows the slight damage on the protection card’s diode. it was found that the maximum rated amperage of the VFD was only 180 amps. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 79 Figure 4. the high winding temperature and the slightly damaged diode on the VFD. The maximum recommended winding temperature was 120 degree Celsius. Figure 4. base on the limitations found on the VFD maximum amperage. The motor winding temperature recorded was also increasing rapidly as the speed increases.

4.3 4. Figure 4.1 Characteristic curve and instability identification Characteristic curve Upon successful determination of the power limitation for the test rig and vibration analysis assessment of the compressor. Figure 4.6 also shows that the shaft center line is maintained well within the stationary backup clearances. it was concluded that the compressor had been installed properly and no mechanical abnormality was detected within the compressor.5 and Figure 4.4 shows the orbital plot at 10000rpm at two different valve opening position. it was concluded that the shaft is rotating very concentric within the compressor and all the mechanical assembly and bearing clearances set during installation had been performed properly. the compressor vibration orbital plots were also evaluated at each testing speed to verify the mechanical soundness of the compressor. From the results. decisions could be made at a later stage to justify the upgrade to a better VFD to test it to its design speed of 23000 rpm. the next phase of the testing was to first determine the characteristic curve and then the surge point or unstable point for the compressor at different operating speed as the system resistance in the compression system is increased . From the orbital plot. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 80 compressor test rig into surge at lower speeds and develop a surge controller to suppress surge at a lower speed. it can seen clearly that the shaft center line is maintained well within approximately 1 mil inside of the the stationary back up bearing clearances (Depicted by the blue circle). Hence from the orbital plot.CHAPTER 4. The orbital plot also showed that the bearing controller was capable of maintaining the shaft center line central at both lower speed of 10000 rpm and higher speed of 17000 rpm.3. The orbital plots are generated from the variable reluctance radial sensors mounted to measure the rotor position at each of the radial bearing location. If the surge controller proved to work successfully at lower speed. Similarly. Besides testing to maximum speed.3 and Figure 4.

3: Orbital plots for impeller end and motor end of compressor rotor at 10000rpm at full flow(Throttle valve is 100% open) Figure 4. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 81 Figure 4.CHAPTER 4.4: Orbital plots for impeller end and motor end of compressor rotor at 10000rpm at minimum flow (Throttle valve is 31% open) .

TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 82 Figure 4.5: Orbital plots for impeller end and motor end of Compressor Rotor at 17000rpm at full flow(Throttle valve is 100% open) Figure 4.CHAPTER 4.6: Orbital plots for impeller end and motor end of compressor rotor at 17000rpm at minimum flow (Throttle valve is 31% open) .

Surge testing in this test rig was started at a relatively low speed of 6000 rpm.000rpm. the compressor discharge pressure continued to rise as the flow reduces.6 mm). At the initiation of this audible sound. At around low valve opening of around 30%g. This is expected for a centrifugal compressor running at different speeds. discharge plenum and even in the compressor casings were observed to be bouncing or fluctuating.7 shows the various characteristic curve at different speeds.000 rpm. Figure 4. pressure and flow were providing good sensible results. 16. This is to ensure consistency in comparison of the results. an audible low frequency sound was heard coming from the compressor. ranging typically from 0-25 Hz. The impeller tip clearance during the test is at the designed clearance of 23 mils (0. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 83 by closing the throttle valve. pressure in the inlet.000 rpm to investigate the effect of the instability observed with increasing speed.5 mm. Figure 4. The pulsating sound during surge was typically low frequency.000 rpm.000 rpm and 17.7 shows that as the speed increases. the characteristic curves would shift upwards accordingly. surge was commonly and easily detected by an audible change in sound level near the compressor. At each speed. 14. According to [1]. The valve was opened upon completion record of data and brought the compressor back to a higher stable flow condition. as the throttle valve is closed. 12. The same procedure was repeated at increasing speed of 10.CHAPTER 4. As the throttle valve was closed. The valve position at which this occurred was recorded and data recorded. the throttle valve was closed to a point where an audible sound change was heard and pressure fluctuation was observed in all the pressure sensors. flow meter and . This was to prevent unnecessary damage that could occur on the compressor during such test. And the surge point was typically taken as the first indication of sound and pressure discharge pressure bouncing [23]. which is very close to the Kobe Steel intended design clearance of 0. The low speed test served as an initial testing speed to validate the developed testing procedures to operate the compressor into instability and to verify all the parameters recorded from the pressure sensors. The test procedure developed and applied can be found in Appendix F.

The flow data was also derived mainly from the differential pressure Kulite sensors at the orifice flow meter.2 Uncertainty analysis Uncertainty analysis was performed on the pressure and flow data collected from the test rig to generate the characteristic curve for the test rig. This analysis basically aims to evaluate amount of error that are contributed from the sensors and software used in the data collection.CHAPTER 4. Both data sets are collected by Labview software. 4. Coleman and . The red dotted line is included to highlight that the sound changes had been observed at times to occur between the two different valve openings. The pressure data were read with the Kulite pressure sensors. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 84 Figure 4. Each point on the left of each curve represents this condition.7: Characteristic curve at different operating speed (Impeller tip clearance at 23 mils) even in the proximity probes signals. This point was marked as the start or initiation of instability in the compressor.3. As defined by Goyne. This was commonly recorded as the instability point in the compressor curve [23] as shown by the blue line in the plot.

Sr which is the standard deviation of the sample. Total uncertainly r r interval for 95 times out is given by: 2 r = B2 + Pr2 r (4. 51]. error in the data is defined as the difference between an experimentally determined value and the true value of the experiments. Therefore the total uncertainty equation becomes: tS √r m 2 2 r = B2 + r (4.2) For this analysis. And t could be approximated to 2 if the sample size m is larger than 10 [53. Analysis was performed at the most frequently tested operating speed of 16292 rpm. The precision or random error (Pr ) contributes to the scatter of the data and is closely related to the sample size. [53.CHAPTER 4.8 shows the plot with the scattered data for the two speeds. Each point has 1300 .1) Pr is further related to m which is the sample size. The estimated error in each was obtained from the sensors and software manufacturer respectively. The uncertainty determined for the flow measurement data was ±1% and the uncertainty determined for the pressure measurement would be ±0. The Br was contributed mainly from errors from the kulite pressure sensors and the labview software errors. These errors estimated are very small and the measurement equipment are concluded to be accurate. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 85 Steele. typically at a 95% confidence estimate. Figure 4. 52]. Uncertainty estimate are made at some confidence level. The total error consist of two components [52]. kulite sensors on the test rig. 52. The bias or systematic error (Br ) is generally related to errors that would be generated within the test system or sensors used E. r . the sample size m was 1300 samples at each data point. it is called uncertainty and takes the symbol. These could be from the sensors or even the softwares used to compile the collected data.g.15%. This would mean that the true value of the quantity measured is expected to be within the ± of a 100 times that the quantity is experimentally determined. As the error is typically estimated.

classic surge. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 86 Figure 4. pressure and flow data were recorded. The throttle valve was closed further beyond the first detection low frequency sound.whether it could be characterized as a mild surge.8: Plot at 16292 rpm to characteristic curve with error bar sample points and notice the data scatter would be small. 4. deep surge or modified surge or even stall.3 Analysis of surge observations The instability point encountered was further analyzed to determine the type of instability observed on the test rig . This was mainly to experimentally investigate if the unstable behavior would change and what the change . The pressure profiles in three locations on the compressor were first recorded as the throttle valve was closed progressively.3. Upon first detection of an audible sound change. Such an analysis provided better understanding of the characteristics of the instability of this test rig and served as a reference for the design of the future active surge controller.CHAPTER 4.

with much larger pressure amplitudes fluctuations.10 shows the pressure profile plotted over a 1 second cycle at throttle valve opening of 28%. the pressure profile fluctuating frequency started to change to a dominant 7 Hz and noticeably higher pressure amplitudes fluctuations. as the throttle valve was closed. The pressure profile now changed to a lower frequency of 7 Hz and it was related to seven pressure profile peaks over a 1 second period.10 and Figure 4. the pressure inside the compressor casing and the pressure in the discharge plenum as the throttle valve was closed. it was clearly observed that the 21 Hz and 7 Hz were related to pressure fluctuations. There would be 21 peaks over a 1 second period. the sound heard corresponded to the start of the 21 Hz frequency. Figure 4. the dominant frequency of pressure oscillations shifts to 7 Hz.14 is a water fall plot that plots the discharge pressure. Reviewing closer at the magnified pressure profile plots as shown in Figure 4. As the throttle valve was closed further. this corresponded to 28% valve open position. The same can be shown in Figure 4. As observed. The compressor running sound was also observed to change to a deeper lower frequency pulsation sound that corresponded to the shift from 21 Hz to 7 Hz. Finally the instability test was repeated at different speeds to verify if they are speed dependent or not. The radial and axial positions of the shaft were recorded and compared between nor- . Figure 4. And the pressure profile in all three locations started to fluctuate with a frequency of approximately 21 Hz. frequency and flow rate on the same plot to illustrate the change in frequency as the throttle valve is closed. An audible low frequency sound could also be heard distinctly from the compressor at this point. As can be observed from the plot. especially noticeable in the discharge plenum.11. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 87 may be. When the throttle valve is closed further to 27% and even 26%. The plot shows the respective pressure plotted versus time.9 shows how the pressure changed in the inlet of the compressor.CHAPTER 4. the pressure profile started to fluctuate as indicated by the red line. In this case.11 as the throttle valve was closed further to an opening of only 26%. Figure 4. This interesting phenomena was observed in all three locations on the compressor test rig.

9: Pressure profile fluctuations at compressor discharge plenum.CHAPTER 4. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 88 Figure 4. compressor casing and compressor inlet at 16000 rpm .

TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 89 Figure 4. casing and inlet at the initiations of instability at 16000 rpm .showing 21 pressure peaks .CHAPTER 4.10: Magnified pressure profile plots at discharge plenum.

inlet at instability at 16000 rpm . casing.showing 7 pressure peaks .CHAPTER 4.11: Magnified pressure profile plots at discharge plenum. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 90 Figure 4.

This comparison showed that the dominant frequency were not related to speed.8 1% 16% 91 Table 4. The axial positions fluctuated by approximately 16% of the impeller tip clearance.2: Comparison of amount of axial position fluctuations at 16000 rpm mal stable operation. both radial and axial positions fluctuated around 21 Hz and the fluctuations were also very low around 1%. Figure 4. at the occurrence and 21 Hz and the occurrence of 7 Hz at 16000rpm. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS Operation descriptions Stable operation Occurrence of 21 Hz (Sound) Occurrence of 7 Hz % of axial position movement 0.13 showed the results at 15000 rpm and Figure 4. as the valve is slowly closed. Figure 4.2 summarizes the comparison for the axial position fluctuations at 16000 rpm. Table 4.CHAPTER 4. Experimental tests were also carried out at three different speeds to evaluate the effect on speed change on the observed dominant frequencies of 21 Hz and 7 Hz. The fluctuations of the axial positions at 7 Hz was concluded to be the result of the pressure fluctuations within the compression system which directly vibrated the impeller and shaft axially. 15000 rpm and 16000 rpm. the dominant frequency shifted in all three plots from the observed 21 Hz to dominant 7 Hz frequency range. It appeared to be occurring repetitively at almost the same frequency at different speed of operation. As can be observed by comparing the three water fall plots. as the valve was closed further from the detection of 21 Hz. This comparison concluded that the axial positions of the compressor was well maintained by the magnetic bearings controllers. At the detection of 21 Hz pressure fluctuations. a dominant frequency of 21 Hz occurred first. In all the three plots. The radial positions also fluctuated at the same frequency but with a much lower amplitudes. During stable operation. both radial and axial positions were very stable.12 shows the result at 10000 rpm.14 showed the waterfall plot results at 16000 rpm. This comparison supported that the detected dominant frequencies of 21 Hz .8% of fluctuations in positions. The three chosen speeds were 10000 rpm. The highest axial position fluctuations was observed when the 7 Hz pressure fluctuations was reached. with less than 0.

15. The Helmholtz frequency estimated for this smallest discharge plenum configurations at which the testing was done was estimated to be between 10. (e.167 Hz as outlined in Chapter 3. 30] as it also coincided with the starting of the sound change. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 92 Figure 4.4 Discussions The 21 Hz frequency observed in all the three different speeds occurred with a distinct audible low frequency sound from the compressor.g. The observed 21 Hz was also near the Helmholtz resonance frequency estimated for this compression system as outlined in Chapter 3. pressure fluctuations and Helmholtz frequency strongly suggested that the 21 Hz was what is commonly known as mild surge [20.3. 4.54 Hz to 19. Resonance). The 21 Hz appear- . 6. and pressure measurement started to fluctuate when that point was reached. These three observations on sound.12: Waterfall plot to show dominant frequency change as throttle valve is closed 10000 rpm and 7 Hz is related to some form of inherent natural frequencies within the test rig.CHAPTER 4.

TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 93 Figure 4.14: Waterfall plot to show dominant frequency change as throttle valve is closed 16000 rpm .CHAPTER 4.13: Waterfall plot to show dominant frequency change as throttle valve is closed 15000 rpm Figure 4.

classic surge and mild surge. the oscillations was very sinusoidal and repetitive. even at different operating speed. it did not support that the 21 Hz was a stall phenomena. a deep surge occurrence could bring about a reduction in speed as flow reversal is always accompanied with deep surge. there are typical characteristics known as deep surge.11. it is typically that flow has to be increased significantly in the compression system by opening up the throttle valve quite significantly in order to flush or wash out the stall cells that has formed either in the impeller or diffuser section. Finally. the compression system would also had to be shut down in order to eliminate the stall cells formed[46]. the pressure fluctuation amplitudes seemed much more as compared to 21 Hz. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 94 ance always occurred with sound change from the compressor. In this current configurations. Based on this comparison. Moreover. This was because if the pressure profile was observed more closely for the 7 Hz as shown in Figure 4. And if stall cells were formed. From the literature review in Chapter 2. The observed shifting from 21 Hz to 7 Hz as the throttle valve was closed further seemed to indicate a change in the instability phenomena. It was concluded to be mild surge and mild surge would not result in reversal of flow in the compression system [44].CHAPTER 4. In this test rig. deep surge characteristic is a non linear or non sinusoidal when its pressure oscillations was observed. It was not a stall phenomena because stall would typically be related to speed and hence would track with speed change [46]. At times. One possible phenomenon to characterize the 7 Hz could be what was known as a . deep surge required a large discharge plenum volume to occur. it does not support that the 7 Hz frequency could be classified as a deep surge. the instability frequency of 21 Hz immediately disappeared when the throttle valve was reopened slightly to allow a slight increase in flow through the compression system. This was also not observed in the compressor test rig when the 7 Hz occurred. it was not classified as a deep surge. Though at 7 Hz. the discharge plenum is very small as the discharge throttle valve is very close the compressor outlet. As outlined in the literature review in Chapter 2. Based on these observations.

Based on these literatures and comparing the phenomena observed.4 Effect of impeller tip clearance Having established how to detect and observe surge on the compressor. measured by 2 inductive position sensors (SKF CMSS 65 button style position sensors).CHAPTER 4. The magnetic thrust bearing was controlled to move the shaft axially during test runs. The capability of the test rig to be able to change its impeller tip clearance while the compressor was running. would be the first of its kind experiment based on the literature review done in Chapter 2. The speed was kept constant during the experiment. Classic surge also comes with a larger pressure oscillations and no flow reversal [20]. which serves at target for these axial sensors. The desired axial position moved is measured by these two calibrated SKF sensors. . the next experiment conducted was to evaluate the effect of axial movement of the thrust disk on the surge point. The first reading would be the axial movement of the shaft. Such an experiment served as a static evaluation on the effect of axial impeller tip clearance change on the compressor characteristic curve and evaluate how the results support Sanadgol’s simulation results. it could be summarized that the 21 Hz is like a resonance of the system and is commonly known as a mild surge. These sensors are not located at the impeller or shroud wall. The magnetic thrust bearing was used to statically move the impeller either forward or backward from its initial clearance to change its axial clearance while the compressor was in operation. 4. This was achieved by changing the axial position of the shaft thrust disk. The 7 Hz that occurred with lower oscillations frequency and larger pressure amplitudes matched to the observations of classic surge. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 95 classic surge. Instead they are located near the thrust bearing location to read a raised shoulder on the shaft. Willems [15] found that classic surge typically occurs at frequencies between deep surge and mild surge. Two readings were used to determine how much is the impeller tip clearance after thrust disk was moved.

The shift was most apparent when comparing the +6 mil (17 mils impeller tip clearance) and the -6 . if the shaft is moved axially via the thrust magnetic bearings. At each of the test speeds. The achieved static clearance in the test rig was at 23 mils (0. which is therefore 10 mils clearance on each side of the thrust bearing. As can be observed from the plot. This static clearance was set when the compressor was being assembled. The design static clearance recommended by Kobe was 20 mils (0.6 mils = 17 mils.6mm). the difference in the axial movement (1st Reading) and the set static clearance (2nd Reading) would determine the new impeller tip clearance.17 shows the results of the experiments. The experimental tests were conducted at two different fixed speeds of 14900 rpm and 16287 rpm. The amount of movement that the magnetic thrust disk could be moved either way is determined by the auxiliary bearings clearance. The thrust disk of the shaft was set at its neutral position when this static impeller tip clearance was set. it remained constant throughout the test as the throttle valve was closed and data recorded. The impeller tip clearance is now at 17 mils. Figure 4.16 and Figure 4. three impeller tip clearances were set by the magnetic thrust bearing and the characteristic curve plotted from the data recorded. So if 23 mils . Once the impeller tip clearance was adjusted statically. The thrust clearance set on this test rig for the auxiliary thrust bearing is total 20 mils.CHAPTER 4. The effect of static impeller tip adjustment on the compressor characteristic curve was tested near the intended impeller tip design clearance of 23 mils. The experimental results from the testing was compared to simulation results by Sanadgol’s at the design clearance of 20 mils at 23000 rpm.5 mm). The three impeller tip clearances used were 17 mils (tightest clearance). 23 mils (normal clearance) and 29 mils (large clearance) at each speed. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 96 The second reading was the preset static clearance between the impeller and its stationary shroud wall by shims. the effect of changing the impeller tip clearance shifted the compressor characteristic curve as predicted by Sanadgol’s results. Example: Shaft is controlled to move forward by 6 mils. Therefore.

The shifting in characteristic curve was not so significant at high flow. the separation between the curves became very apparent. it would be able to influence .CHAPTER 4. The incremental amount of pressure ratio is similar to those predicted in Sanadgol’s simulation results. The experimental observations and comparisons showed that axial tip clearance did had an effect on the characteristic curve and it also showed that if the thrust disk was able to move dynamically under the control of a surge controller. but as the flow was reduced. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 97 Figure 4. Such a behavior was also captured in the simulation results of Sanadgol as shown in Figure 4. The pressure ratio increase from by decreasing the impeller tip clearance was observed in both figure 4.15: Sanadgol’s simulated result to show influence on characteristic curve with impeller clearance adjustment [3] mil (29 mil impeller tip clearance).15.17.16 and figure 4. where the characteristic curve was observed to shift significantly in both the plots.

The effect of dynamically changing the impeller tip clearance to mitigate surge is recommended to be further investigated to observe its dynamic effect on the characteristic curve.16: Characteristic curve at 14900 rpm when thrust disk is statically moved in the axial direction the characteristic curve and surge point on the compressor. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 98 Figure 4. . Based on this experiment of static changing the impeller tip clearance. This static test data supports Sanadgol’s concept to have a controller to mitigate surge by changing the axial impeller tip clearance of the compressor.CHAPTER 4. it demonstrated the required change in surge points and characteristic curve of the compressor. The results also showed in both tests that the influence on the pressure ratio and surge points were highest at the +6 mil and -6 mils position from the initial 23 mil.

CHAPTER 4. TESTING AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 99 Figure 4.17: Characteristic curve at 16287 rpm when thrust disk is statically moved in the axial direction .

This thesis described the characteristics of different forms of compressor instability. a fully functional and operational high speed centrifugal compressor test rig was required for surge testing and experimental work.Chapter 5 Conclusions 5. review of recent surge study work performed by other researchers was also reviewed to conclude on the uniqueness of this test rig. mechanical components engineering analysis and upgrades. and experimental testing to evaluate the health of the commissioned machine and identifying the surge behavior on this test rig. Extensive detailed engineering analysis work was carried out on the test rig to decide on the best engineering solutions and upgrades to be performed on the test rig.1 Conclusions To validate the simulation results and demonstrate the effectiveness of the active surge control philosophy using magnetic bearings put forth by Sanadgol [3]. To achieve such a test rig and carry out surge testing on it safely required the following: Knowledge of various centrifugal compressor instability characteristics in order to develop testing plans for this test rig. deep surge and stall. mainly mild surge. In addition. performing a finite element modal analysis on the piping supports to show that 100 . These included the upgrade of the motor rolling element bearings to hybrid grease sealed bearings.

It was concluded the maximum recommended speed to operate the compressor would be 17.000 rpm. Supporting mechanical accessories were selected and implemented to ensure the test rig operated effectively. One of the draw backs identified from the testing was that the variable frequency drive (VFD) that was controlling the motor speed did not have the sufficient power to allow operation of the compressor to its design high speed of 23.CHAPTER 5. the inlet filter selection and orifice flow meter selection and installation. mild surge is related to the . Based on the literature review and Helmholtz frequency estimation. Pressure fluctuations were noticed to coincide with the occurrence of the sound change. As outlined in the literature. CONCLUSIONS 101 the support’s natural frequency did not coincide with the estimated known mild surge frequency that could be generated from the compressor and also performing a rotordynamics and unbalance force analysis that concluded the addition of the axial spacer ring behind the impeller still allowed the compressor to operate smoothly and safely at high speed. Experimental testing was performed at various speeds to develop the compressor characteristic curve. Orbital plots on both the radial magnetic bearings were reviewed to conclude that the mechanical assembly of the compressor and motor was well assembled and well aligned. The frequency was 21 Hz and it remained constant even as the compressor speed was changed. The protection fuses on the VFD tripped and these fuses were rated to allow only 19. the sound change was concluded as that of a mild surge. The orbits were very small and no abnormal frequencies were detected in the Fast Fourier Analysis of the radial probes vibration signature.000 maximum operating speed. These included the closed loop chiller unit to cool the high speed motor. The start of the instability point at each speed was determined by an audible low frequency sound change from the compressor when the throttle valve was progressively closed from full open. An uncertainty analysis was performed on the data collected and it showed that the uncertainty was minimal in the test data collected.000 rpm with the current setup. The compressor and motor were precision aligned and initial testing were carried out on the fully assembled compressor test rig.

CHAPTER 5. The 7 Hz observed was not concluded to be a deep surge frequency based on the small discharge plenum volume used in the testing and also the oscillations were very sinusoidal and linear. The 21 Hz frequency would move to approximately 7 Hz and had much larger amplitude of oscillations. The closest clearance achieved was 17 mils. This was not the same observations as seen in the literature that deep surge was typically non linear and had non-sinusoidal pressure oscillations behavior. the actuation may need to oscillate between a large enough delta clearance of around 12 mils to effectively stabilize surge. The magnetic thrust bearing successfully demonstrated it was able to move the thrust disk forward and backward without any mechanical rubs or abnormality. Finally experimental testing was carried out to evaluate the effect of static adjustment of the impeller tip clearance using both shims and the magnetic thrust bearing. while the compressor was in operation. casing and discharge plenum of the compressor. more testing would be required for dynamic testing of the magnetic thrust disk actuation and its dynamic effect on the compressor performance and surge points. The change in tip clearance the shifted the compressor characteristic curve accordingly. The impeller tip clearance was set to a tight clearance of 23 mils to perform the static actuation testing using the magnetic thrust bearings. Further closing of the throttle valve from the 21 Hz detection point resulted in larger pressure fluctuations at the inlet. Based on this. The highest pressure ratio was achieved with the tightest impeller tip clearance to the scroll at 23 mils. CONCLUSIONS 102 Helmholtz resonance frequency. It was observed that the static adjustment of the impeller tip clearance between the 17 mils and 29 mils produced the largest change in pressure ratio developed. This would suggest that in the future dynamic actuation of the magnetic thrust bearing. These tests showed that changes in impeller tip clearance would influence the compressor performance curve and the amount of shift in characteristic curve is the same as those pre- . The test results showed that the the compressor test rig was sensitive to tip clearance changes. It was concluded from these static movement test that the small change in impeller tip clearance would influence the characteristic curve.

As explained in Chapter 4. casing and discharge plenum. Its throttle valve position could be changed and hence would vary the discharge plenum volume. 5. Both of these were achieved in this thesis.CHAPTER 5. These comparisons and observations supported Sanadgol’s simulation results and her mathematical model of the compression system was an accurate model. compared to when the surge controller was not implemented. CONCLUSIONS 103 dicted by Sanadgol’s simulation results. The 3 different discharge throttle valve position (or 3 different discharge plenum) would be useful in assessing the flexibility and testing the robustness of the surge controller implemented. Knowing how to detect surge on this test rig would also help to determine how much of an improvement was made in terms of flow and discharge pressure stabilization when the surge controller is implemented. This observation was a useful reference as it allows future researchers to implement a active surge controller and validate if the addition of the surge controller would help to operate the compressor smoothly over the previously determined instability point. the start of instability on the test rig always occured concurrently with an audible change in the compressor sound and fluctuations in the the pressure at the inlet. changes in the discharge plenum volume would certainly change the surge line on the compressor characteristic curve. These comparisons provided invaluable test data and shed more light on the effectiveness of the implemented surge controller and what types of fine tuning could be required. This test rig is a first of its kind based on the literature review performed in Chapter 2. It is the only known industrial size centrifugal compressor rig to date that is high . As illustrated by Tamaki [39]. as outlined in chapter 3 and 4.2 Implications Having a running test rig and knowing what parameters to observe at the onset of surge serves as a reference point for the surge controller that is to be be implemented eventually on this test rig. The test rig also provided a means to test the robustness of the future surge controller.

5. And the results could even potentially elevate application advantage of magnetic bearings to a next level once the surge control is proven to be successfully implemented and operating. has varying throttle valve positions as a parameter to vary discharge plenum volume and an active control philosophy and simulation results which shows the promising approach to to stabilize surge using axial modulation of the impeller tip clearance.3 Recommendations for future work The following recommendations serve to enhance the compressor test rig further and provide considerations for future research work. The test rig is also provided . 5.CHAPTER 5. These are based on observations made during the experimental work with the test rig. but it would also be known that it could also be used for stabilizing instability in centrifugal compressors through active magnetic bearing controls. A detailed feasibility study is still recommended to be carried out by future researchers prior to implementation of these recommendations. No potential damage is expected to the compressor during this testing and it serves as a safe testing zone for the initial surge controller.3. The experimental results that would be obtained and measured on this test rig would certainly generate an immense interest within the compressor surge study community due to its originality. If that was achieved. This is because the current surge is still very mild and allows repeated testing of the compressor without any flow reversals into the compressor. magnetic bearings would not only be known for its advantage of frictionless support of rotating rotors. fully supported on radial and thrust magnetic bearings. At this stage. CONCLUSIONS 104 speed.1 Develop surge controller The onset of instability at the current smallest discharge plenum volume configurations for the compressor test rig has now been proven to be detected safely. it is recommended to design and develop a surge controller that would be aimed at stabilizing surge at this smallest configurations first.

39]. once the controller proves to be capable to stabilize surge as per the simulation results from Sanadgol. therefore it is not recommended to test it into deeper surge with the higher plenum volume as observed by many researchers [42. It was purposely started at this smallest plenum configurations to limit the instability intensity as the compressor is brought into surge. and not an actual speed reading coming from the compressor itself. impeller. especially when the test rig is brought into deep surge. 5. The current throttle valve position is placed nearest to the compressor discharge. and hence limit the discharge plenum volume to the smallest volume of the three volumes available for testing. rotors and couplings. Having the actual speed would also serve as a parameter to monitor. However. The current motor monitoring available is only by amperage and temperatures of the stator coil. since speed reduction could occur when the deep surge would occur. 5. Having .3. It is recommended to test the compressor into deeper surge with the larger discharge plenum volumes once a field tested surge controller is available. A surge controller is highly recommended to be first developed and tested on its effectiveness for this smallest plenum volume setup initially.CHAPTER 5. This progressive approach in experimental investigation is recommended as the test rig currently do not have any spares for its magnetic bearings. CONCLUSIONS 105 with 3 discharge throttle valve positions and hence would give 3 different discharge plenum volume.3.3 Accelerometers Accelerometers are recommended to be installed onto the motor. The optical tachometer would reads at the shaft of the motor or compressor at the coupling end.2 Speed tachometer Currently the speed indication of the compressor test read is based on the input to the VFD. It is recommended to obtain actual speed indication by using an optical speed tachometer. it is then recommended to alternate the throttle valve position and verified if the surge controller still works at alternate valve position.

6 Vaned diffusers Currently the compressor is fitted with a vane less diffuser and the compressor.CHAPTER 5. 5. The test rig could be fitted with a vaned diffuser and that would allow a new characteristic curve to be obtained for the test rig.3. it is ideal to have accelerometers mounted in the vertical and horizontal position.3. The vibration data obtained could also be used to detect for any developing bearing faults. However. 5. 5. if space is a considerations. At each end of measurement. The additional holes are recommended to be drilled at a section on the scroll directly opposite to the existing pressure sensing points on the scroll.4 Acoustic measurement for surge detection Acoustic measurement is recommended to be implemented onto the test rig. based on acoustic data. These additional pressure measurement points could allow visualization of how the pressure change within the scroll during surge and verify if the pressure profile is uniform within the scroll during the occurrence of surge. The accelerometers are recommended to be installed at the drive end and non-drive end of the motor.3. in addition to the twelve pressure sensors already provided. The acoustic wave measurement data could be helpful in detecting surge and providing real time data collection possible. CONCLUSIONS 106 accelerometers installed on the motor would help in the health monitoring of the motors during test run. mounting in the horizontal direction would be given priority over vertical. Adding vaned diffuser commonly increases the efficiency .5 Additional pressure tappings in scroll It is recommended to consider drilling and providing more pressure sensing points in the scroll. Highlights on the use of acoustic data measurement as a form of surge detection were suggested by industrial partners of ROMAC during the 2009 Romac conference.

Further calibration of the magnetic thrust bearing may be required to ensure force data obtained is close to empirical data that could be calculated based on force balance between the impeller. It was not possible to increase speed further as there is a high risk of tripping on the VFD fuses and damaging the diodes on the protection card in the VFD. In addition.7 Bearing force measurement Bearing force measurement can be performed using existing thrust bearings and evaluate the forces encountered during surge.CHAPTER 5. the maximum speed achieved was 20000 rpm at 180 amps with the throttle valve fully open. CONCLUSIONS 107 of the compressor and would also result in changes to the surge point on the compressor characteristic curve [55].8 New variable speed drive The existing variable frequency drive (VFD) is limited on its power to allow the compressor to run smoothly up to its maximum design speed of 23000 rpm.3. It is difficult to purchase spare parts or receive technical supports for this VFD model. .3. 5. higher rotational speed resulted in deeper surge. A comparative study could be performed on the effectiveness of the surge controller and this control philosophy on both a vaned and vaneless diffuser centrifugal compressor. 5. Therefore it is recommended to consider in the future. Based on the high speed test performed for this compressor in its current setup. to upgrade to a new VFD that would be capable to provide the required amperage to run this compressor to its higher design speed of 23000 rpm and one that has spare parts available. this VFD design and brand is already obsolete. This is because the three protection fuses in it are each rated up to a maximum allowable current at 180 Amps. Higher rotational speed is desired because as Tamaki [39] demonstrated.

Pressure tappings would have to be made in the middle span of the proposed hole seals to measure the intermediate pressure drop. It could be possible to replace the existing labyrinth seal with a new seal that has the exact overall dimensions. but instead of having labyrinth teeth as seals.10 Spare parts It has taken alot of effort to develop the test rig to what it is currently and ensuring it would run reliably. The existing test rig already has spare hybrid deep groove ball bearings as spares. it has hole pattern seal design that Rotating Machinery and Controls Laboratory has been researching over the past years as part of seal coefficients research program. However.CHAPTER 5. the occurrence of one failure could delay the testing schedule on the test rig for extended period. currently it is running without many spare parts and hence there is always alot of concern when the compressor is tested into its instability region. CONCLUSIONS 108 5.61 inch). over an overall axial length of 41 mm (1. The experimental pressure data measured could be used as validation results to for the computational flow studies performed on these hole pattern seal design [54]. 5.9 Hole pattern seals The compressor test rig currently uses a labyrinth seal to keep the compressed air within its volute casing and minimize compressed air leakage to the atmospheric side. . The other critical spare to be obtained should be the VFD protection card that was observed to have slight damage in Figure 4. The existing labyrinth seal is a bolted piece inside the compressor back plate and consist of twelve circumferential teeth on the inner diameter of the labyrinth seal stator. As a minimum.3.3. it is recommended that the Thomas coupling be purchased as a spare parts for the test rig. Though having a catastrophic failure is unlikely on this intermittently running test rig. Spare parts for this running test rig would provide protection against unexpected failures that could happen during testing or running of the rig. The back plate could have pressure holes drilled in them to allow pressure sensors to measure the pressure within the hole seals.2 in Chapter 4.

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The coupling spacer was first removed.2 Alignment Alignment was performed using the face and rim method due to the very tight space between the motor and the rotor.Appendix A Precision alignment procedure A. The alignment targets were set with considerations to 115 . backward.1 lists the main items required to perform an alignment. Previous piping alignment had already been checked between the suction and discharge of the compressor to its piping. These bolts would allow fine movement of the motor forward. left and right and hence the motor could be moved in a controlled manner to achieve the requirement movement to improve on the alignment [33]. A.1 Prealignment The first step was a rough alignment rim alignment between the motor and the compressor. Adjustable stands were fabricated to be mounted beside each of the 4 motor legs with a fine thread adjustment bolt. The compressor was shimmed to let it sit slightly vertically higher than the motor. The 4 coupling bolts on the motor were secured on the motor shaft but not removed. The 4 coupling bolts on the compressor was removed. The motor was decided to be the movable equipment and hence the compressor as the fixed machine. Table A.

49” [37]. PRECISION ALIGNMENT PROCEDURE Quantity 2 1 1 1 4 2 2 1 box 1 1 set 1 set Descriptions 2 precision dial gages set.0005”). Acceptable soft foot rise should be less than 2 mils (0.1 shows the soft foot readings and the amount of shims used on each foot to achieve the target .APPENDIX A. 2.used for horizontal movement and soft foot check Stainless steel shim packs by Mcmaster .48”-0. Repeat and perform on all legs and record all the soft foot readings.used for horizontal movement and soft foot check 2 magnetic stands . its ’N’ dimensions can achieve the recommended 0. Shim accordingly below the motor legs to achieve soft foot target. Alignment steps are as follows: 1.1mil. Start initially with no shims below motor foot.5 mil (0. Use a depth Gage to set the DBSE at 4 points to be 3.5 mil (0.52”. Tighten all the 4 bolts. Check the coupling distance between shaft end (DBSE).Starrett (196AlZ) with 1 mil per divisions Alignment chain clamp for odd shape surface . This is to preset the DBSE so that when the coupling spacer is installed. 2 mil. 3 mil. The compressor shaft was levitated and its thrust disk move all the way towards the motor.Torquing bolt wrench to torque the coupling bolts 6 inch Steel ruler 116 Table A. but rather it is to be run at intervals only during the testing itself). 20 mil packs Inspection mirror to read dial gages at difficult angles Special tool . Figure A.Mcmaster Digital vernier caliper 1 pack of depth Gage . The parallel offset alignment (Rim) target was set at 0. This angular alignment target (Face) was set at 0.0005”) per inch of coupling flange measure DBSE between couplings hubs Lateral fine adjustment stands for 4 motor legs 2 dial gages .1: Table of key items required to perform alignment between motor and compressor the high speed of rotation of the compressor but also the non-continuous run nature of the machine (Meaning the test rig would not be run 24-7 continuously. Check for soft foot at all the 4 legs of the motor. Loosen the bolt and record rise of leg according to dial Gage. while the other 3 legs are all bolted down.002”). Place a dial indicator on the leg to be loosened.

Prepare for the face and rim alignment between the motor and the compressor. 3. The following formula would allow a single correction after each reading . 117 3. 6. as that could result in false readings to start the alignment with.2. 6 and 9 O’clock positions are marked on the motor coupling hub for reference and repeatability check. 4. one reading the rim and the other reading the face. Reference of clock is taken by looking towards the motor from its coupling end. PRECISION ALIGNMENT PROCEDURE readings.3.6 O clock readings. The 2 Starrett precision dial gages are mounted with the pointed tips and both these dial tips should be reading at the same location. 5. alignment corrections are done by using the fine threaded both on the four silver leg supports.meaning the face and rim readings are taken into considerations by these two formulas to determine how much adjustment would be required on the back and front foot. For the vertical 12 . Ensure the chain mount on the compressor shaft is secured very tightly to ensure there is no slag in it. while the motor rotor is stationary.2) . which was experienced during the alignment. The setup of the dial gages and supports should be done in accordance to figure A.1) BL = bf br A+ φ 2 (A. The compressor of the rotor is levitated and its thrust disk placed at the neutral position. The 4 supports used for the fine movement of the motor should be set up according to figure A. alignment corrections are done by shimming.APPENDIX A. For the Horizontal 9-3 O’clock readings. The modified formula to adjust the the front leg FL and back leg BL are as follows: br 2 FL = (A. Only the compressor rotor would be rotated. 12.

When alignment adjustment is required to be performed on the motor either by shimming for vertical adjustment or by adjustment bolts for the horizontal adjustment. For shimming. the final alignment readings achieved are shown in table A. 3 bolts will have to be loosened while the bolt opposite to the legs to be adjusted should remain bolted down. 9. by using 2 threaded bolt to pretension it so that it can fit between the coupling hubs. a positive result of FL or BL would means to raise the motor by shimming while a negative result means the legs need to be lowered. For the horizontal alignment.312”. PRECISION ALIGNMENT PROCEDURE 118 where br is the bottom rim reading. Dial indicators should be mounted to read leg movement when horizontal movement is performed. Install the coupling spacer between the coupling hubs.54”. it is critical to ensure that other bolts are tightened down. only the leg to be shimmed with have its leg bolts loosened. while the rest of the other 3 bolts remain tightened. The coupling hub is balanced and mark. It is also advisable to touch other non-adjustment bolts on the motor legs to ensure strictly only movement in the plane of adjustment. Readings taken for this test rig at after its final alignment is 3.2. For the vertical alignment. 7. a positive result would indicate to move motor towards the chiller. therefore it is critical to ensure compressor end is fitted to compressor end with a star marking to ensure . The motor thrust disk should be in its neutral position within the magnetic thrust bearing. For this test rig. For horizontal adjustment. Face and rim alignment could take approximately 3 days to achieve the desired target set earlier. b f is the bottom face reading. while a negative result would mean to pull motor away from the chiller. Ensure acceptable readings are checked for repeatability and all 4 foundation bolts for the motor legs are bolted to 300 In-Lb to ensure they are genuine to be accepted.6” and Ais the axial distance between the front and back leg at 13. 8.APPENDIX A. Measure the DBSE between the 2 coupling hubs. φ is the diameter of the coupling hub at 3.

25 mils 0 mils +0.2: Final alignment readings between motor and compressor consistency.48-0. .Face Readings + 0.49” as specified in the Thomas coupling recommended N values.APPENDIX A.75 mils 0 mils Table A. The coupling spacer shims N dimensions were measured with a depth gage and for the final alignment of this test rig.Face Horizontal . which is very close to the required range of 0. Install coupling guard around the couplings to mark the end of final alignment on the test rig. it was recorded at 0. Hand turn the aligned compressor and motor to ensure it spins freely after final alignment.491”. PRECISION ALIGNMENT PROCEDURE 119 Figure A.Rim Vertical . 10.1: Final soft foot readings on motor and amount of shims used Location Vertical .Rim Horizontal . The 8 coupling bolts are installed and torqued to a required torque value of 115 In-Lbs as specified by coupling manufacturer.

3: Alignment fixtures for fine adjustment of the motor .2: Setup for face and rim alignment on between compressor and the motor Figure A.APPENDIX A. PRECISION ALIGNMENT PROCEDURE 120 Figure A.

3. This would involved removing the impeller scroll or shroud to place the lead pieces onto the impeller tip. 9 O’clock face on the impeller. In order to ensure a consistent measurement.Appendix B Procedure to check impeller tip clearance Impeller tip clearance would need to be checked by placing lead pieces on the impeller. The steps are as follows: 1. Levitate the compressor using the radial magnetic bearings and push the thrust disk all the way towards the motor.5mm in thickness. 3. Reinstall the shroud carefully and tighten all the bolts tight to achieve a good crush onto all the 4 strips. 4 lead pieces should be placed respectively at the 12. 4.4 mm in length and about 1. Remove the inlet piping and open up the compressor shroud. 6. 2. Bend it into like a U shape and stick it at the 4 positions using masking takes securely. Cut 4 pieces of lead into strips of approximately 25. Take note that the thrust auxiliary clearance is 10 mils on each side. The positions of the lead strips should be on the outer diameter of the impeller. 121 .

For the compressor. it is set with a final impeller tip clearance of 0.25 mm of bronze shims. 9. Take the average of the total readings. .615 mm by using 0. The actual impeller tip clearance would be this average reading minus away thrust auxiliary bearing.APPENDIX B. 7. 8. PROCEDURE TO CHECK IMPELLER TIP CLEARANCE 122 5. 6. Use a vernier caliper to measure the crushed flat surface on each lead strip. Reopen the shroud and visually check that the 4 strips should have been flattened by the installation of the stationary shroud.254 mm.5mm. which is 10 mils or 0. The designed clearance of the impeller tip clearance for this machine is at 0. Shim the compressor accordingly using the shims provided by Kobe Steel to achieve required thickness.

Model HCV 1500 PR 123 .Appendix C Chiller .

However. especially since it is only taking in atmospheric air and discharges back into the atmosphere. PTC 10 [32] requires a minimum of a protective screen at the suction of the compressor. This was to ensure no foreign objects would be able to get into the suction of the compressor and it would also allowed experimental testing to be carried out irregardless of weather. 124 .Appendix D Inlet Air Filter Details The compressor test rig is considered as a test compressor. The selected filter model is 9828K88 silencer filter made of durable carbon steel with baked enamel finishing for weather protection with internal polyester filter elements that was flange mounted on the 8” discharge flange. Therefore an air inlet filter was chosen over a protective screen mesh. the suction pipe of the compressor runs through the test facility roof like a chimney and was surrounded by thick vegetation.


For this compressor. Flow rate measurement can be divided into 2 types. venturi meter and flow nozzle.where the primary components would be in contact with the fluid of interest. Rate meters are relatively low in cost and is very commonly used in industry or research laboratory for flow measurement.1 Flow meter selection One of the key parameter to be measured in the test rig was the discharge flow rate of the compressor at different operating conditions. Typical rate meters works on the principle of velocity -area measurements.Appendix E Orifice Flow Meter Details E. pressure drop measurements or hydrodynamics drag etc. Direct measurement or so called “quantity” meters would either weigh or measure a volume of fluid over a known time increment [?]. direct and indirect measurement. Three commonly used types are orifice meter. which in this case is air. Various types of flow meters could be used to measure the flow of the discharge fluid. Indirect or rate meters typically would consists of 2 components . and the secondary component would measure a reaction parameter as a result on introducing the primary component into the fluid flow path. 126 . Differential pressure meters is chosen to be used for measuring the flow from the compressor. This parameter would indicate the changes in discharge flow volume as the compressor’s system resistance was changed by throttling the discharge butterfly valve.

Bernoulli’s equation was used to calculate the flow as long as the flow is sufficiently subsonic [35]. Therefore the Mach number. Mm for the maximum air flow in the pipe can be calculated based on: vs c Mm = (E. And the flow velocity vs through the eight inch discharge pipe would be 27 m/s.1 shows a typical setup for a orifice flow meter.1) . And there had been previous literature [30]that has successfully employed such a measuring device for an extensive compressor surge analysis. And measuring this pressure drop would be sufficient to indicate the flow of the fluid stream across the orifice.88m3 /hr. the speed of sound c of the air medium would be 340 m/s. The maximum flow that was anticipated to be reached in the discharge piping from the compressor at its maximum speed of 23000 rpm would be 3200 m3 /hr and that translate to 0. ORIFICE FLOW METER DETAILS 127 Figure E. The basic principle of an orifice flow meter works on the principle that when a fluid passes through and orifice constriction.1: Illustration of a typical setup for an orifice flow meter [35] the orifice differential pressure flow meter was chosen as the flow measurement setup as it was the most economical and in this case applicable. Figure E. And as the flow medium was air and assuming it was ideal air at atmospheric conditions. since the flow was shown to be subsonic next. it would experience a drop in pressure across the orifice.APPENDIX E.

Equation E.9. corrections to the density would have to be made because the error can be around 3%-4% when determining the flow due to dry air versus high humidity air. a discharge flow coefficient Cd is introduced into the volumetric flow equation. which is less than Mach number of 0. Q becomes: 2∆P ρ Q = C f Ao (E.3) where Ao is the area of the orifice and the typical value of flow coefficient C f ranges from 0.08. This is because the high amount of water vapor in high humidity air mixture would lower the . if future testing of the compressors were to be done in high humidity conditions (such as 80-100%). Since the fluid speed is sufficiently subsonic. ρ is the density of air and ∆p is the differential pressure across the orifice. The density of the air used for this thesis calculations is assumed to be dry as the humidity during testing were at highest of around 25% humidity. [35]. Therefore no correction was performed on the density as the error is estimated to be within 1%. 1 1 ∆p = pu − pd = ρVd2 − ρVu2 2 2 (E. an orifice flow meter setup could be used and the incompressible Bernoulli’s equation was used to calculate the flow across the orifice flow meter. ORIFICE FLOW METER DETAILS 128 where Mm will be 0.2) where Vu and Vd are the upstream and downstream flow velocity of the orifice flow meter respectively. And to account for actual real flow of the air where viscosity and turbulence would be actually present. pu and pd are the upstream and downstream pressure respectively.APPENDIX E.6 to 0.2 can be extended further by continuity relationships and the velocities can be replaced by the cross sectional areas of the flow and the volumetric flow rate. The real volumetric flow equation. Applying the Bernoulli equation across the orifice of the horizontal pipe gives. it was a common practice to introduce a flow coefficient C f into the equation as well.3. Because the actual flow profile downstream of the orifice flow meter is very complex. However.

An orifice flow meter with upstream flow straightener was selected to measure the compressor flow. This would then change the gas constant used in the ideal gas equation to determine the density of the air [56]. This ensured the pressure readings were repeatable and accurate. ORIFICE FLOW METER DETAILS 129 Figure E.2: An illustration of the orifice flow meter by Lamdasquare with flow straighteners upstream overall molecular weight of the air as compared to pure dry air molecular weight.APPENDIX E. Therefore corrections would have to be done to the molecular weight of the high humidity air mixture by referring to psychometric charts for air. . using moles weights between air and water vapor and determine a new gas constant for the air-water mixture.2 shows the Lamdasquare orifice flow meter and the flow straighteners upstream of the orifice. The orifice flow meter was from Lamdasquare and the specifications of the orifice flow meter details can be found in Appendix E. Figure E. The combination of the upstream flow straightener was to ensure that the flow reaching the orifice would have a uniform flow profile and as laminar as possible.


it’s rpm would be stable. At around 4000 rpm. the chiller and power supply to motor is turned on. Reference to Sanadgol’s thesis Appendix D . it is always recommended to go around the test rig and hear for any abnormality. Checks . 1. adjustments would have to be made accordingly to this procedure. Speed would be around 2000 rpm.Ensure the air compressor to throttle valve.Ensure the compressor is properly levitated. Checks . The example and experience quoted in this procedure is based on the observations done during the surge testing for the shortest discharge plenum. 3.g. In general. Note that the VFD is sensitive and its amperage will fluctuate significantly at low speed.Instructions to operate the controller for magnetic bearings. Hence if alternate throttle valve position is used. when started from cold condition. 2. 300 rpm) and gradually brought up to speed. The compressor is recommended to always start at a low speed (E.Appendix F Procedure for testing surge on compressor This procedure provide the instructions to bring the compressor into instability and what are the parameters to be observed. 131 .

APPENDIX F. No personnel is allowed within the compressor rig for the high speed surge testing. It could be either at 100 % open or even at some mid opening position of e. At 5000 rpm. The experience and practice is the speed is gradually ramp up to desired speed of e. data recording would be done using Labview interface with data recording computer at the test rig. The amperage drawn by the motor and the throttle valve position data is not digitally recorded. 5. proceed to control room to begin testing. Upon reaching desired test speed. check the orbit plots of the compressor radial bearings using the control computer in the trailer. The throttle valve is progressively closed from its starting position. 8. 7. 16000 rpm at intervals of 2000 rpm. The experience is . 4. it is recommended to let the test rig runs at a good speed of e. the compressor is allowed to run smoothly. 50% open. Once orbit plots is good.we have detected a faulty bearing at low speed of around 1500 rpm on the motor.5000 rpm. PROCEDURE FOR TESTING SURGE ON COMPRESSOR 132 Check to ensure the throttle valve indicator shows open (Green).g. And typically at each speed. temperature and flow data. And especially when starting from a cold condition. proceed to gradually increase speed of compressor to desired testing speed. The throttle valve position is recorded from the Labview screen. Data collected are all the pressure.g. The valve is typically closed progressively by reducing valve opening by 5 %. 10000 rpm to allow motor and compressor for 15 minutes to allow all mechanical components to be thermally stable and smooth. The amperage data is read off from the panel of the VFD monitor via the remote video camera. Once test rig is running smoothly at around 3000 .g. Base on the testing . 6. Hence walking around the test rig during initial start up low speed does help in detection.

For future testing . As the throttle valve is closed gradually. 9. The larger plenum volume could create deeper surge and potentially more damaging to the compressor. 10. Therefore when throttle valve opening is within this region. The data is recorded as well at this point. Throttle valve position is also recorded for reference. the sound change and pressure fluctuations typically happen at around 25% to 31 % throttle valve open positions. At this same point. If the throttle valve is closed further and recorded. 12. it is recommended to reduce its opening by 1% or 2% opening to detect the sound change. the same procedure could be used but it would be very important during the first surge test to determine at approximately what throttle valve region the sound may start changing. it would be noticed the pressure fluctuating frequency would move to dominant of 7 Hz. to close the throttle valve slowly and do not stay too long than needed in the instability region.the pressure fluctuating frequency would be around 21 Hz at this detection point for this shortest plenum configurations. .APPENDIX F. This is determined as the onset of surge at this point of the testing.When the throttle valve position is moved further away from the compressor discharge. And it is always recommended when doing the test for the first time with a new discharge plenum volume. 11. an operating point would be reached where a low frequency pulsating sound would be heard from the compressor. PROCEDURE FOR TESTING SURGE ON COMPRESSOR 133 so far. if it was operated in that region from too long. This experience is for the smallest discharge plenum volume. The experience is . the pressure signature (real time) of would also starts to fluctuate. All pressure data. Analyze the recorded data first before refining this procedure and also making adjustments to the testing procedures. flow and temperature and magnetic bearings amperage data is recorded using the Labview control computer.

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