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1.

COMPRESSOR SELECTIONS

It is not always obvious what type of compressor is needed for an application. Of the many types of compressors mostly used in the process industry, some of the more significant are the centrifugal, axial, rotary, and the reciprocating compressors. They fall into three categories, as shown in Figure 1-2. For very high flows and low-pressure ratios, an axial-flow compressor is best. Axial-flow compressors usually have a higher efficiency, as seen in Figure 1-3, but a smaller operating region than a centrifugal machine. Centrifugal compressors operate most efficiently at medium flow rates and high-pressure ratios. Rotary and reciprocating compressors (positive-displacement machines) are best used for low flow rates and high-pressure ratios. The positive displacement compressors, more commonly known as the reciprocating compressor, were the most widely used compressors in the process and pipeline industries up to and through the 1960s.

Figure 1-2: Performance characteristics of different types of compressors.

TYPES OF COMPRESSORS Positive Displacement Centrifugal Axial

PRESSURE RATIO Industrial Up to 30 1.2 1.9 1.05 1.3 Aerospace 2.0 7.0 1.1 1.45 Research 13 2.1

EFFICIENCY 75% 82% 75% 87% 80% 91%

OPERATING RANGE Large 25% Narrow 3% 10%

The industrial pressure ratio is low for the reasons that the operating range needs to be large. The operating range is defined as the range between the surge point and the choke point. Figure 1-4 shows the operating characteristics of a compressor. The surge point is the point when the flow is reversed in the compressor. The choke point is the point when the flow has reached a Mach=1.0, the point where no more flow can get

through the unit, a "stone wall." When surge occurs, the flow is reversed and so are all the forces acting on the compressor, especially the thrust forces, which can lead to total destruction of the compressor. Thus, surge is a region that must be avoided. Choke conditions cause a large drop in efficiency but do not lead to destruction of the unit.

Figure 1-4: Operating characteristics of a compressor.

2.0

AXIAL-FLOW COMPRESSORS

Axial-flow compressors are used mainly as the gas compressor in large gas turbines, due to their smaller frontal area for the same high flow. They have also been used as process compressors where efficiency is important, the flow high, and the pressure ratio low. They are used sparingly in the process industry because they are much more expensive than their centrifugal counterpart, they have a narrower operation margin (surge to choke margin), and they are very susceptible to foreign object damage. An axial-flow compressor compresses its working fluid by first accelerating the fluid, and then diffusing it to obtain a pressure increase. The fluid is accelerated by a row of rotating airfoils or blades (the rotor) and diffused by a row of stationary blades (the stator). The diffusion in the stator converts the velocity increase gained in the rotor to a pressure increase. One rotor and one stator make up a stage in a compressor. A compressor usually consists of multiple stages. One additional row of fixed blades (inlet guide vanes) is frequently used at the compressor inlet to ensure that air enters the

first-stage rotors at the desired angle. In addition to the stators, an additional diffuser at the exit of the compressor further diffuses the fluid and controls its velocity. In an axial compressor, air passes from one stage to the next, with each stage raising the pressure slightly. By producing low-pressure increases on the order of 1.1:1 1.4:1, very high efficiencies can be obtained. Using multiple stages permits overall pressure increases up to 40:1. The rule of thumb for a multiple stage gas turbine compressor is that the energy rise per stage would be constant, rather than the pressure rise per stage. Figure 1-5 shows a multistage high-pressure axial flow turbine rotor. The turbine rotor depicted in this figure has a low-pressure compressor followed by a high-pressure compressor. There are also two turbine sections; the reason there is a large space between the two turbine sections is that this is a reheat turbine, and the second set of combustors are located between the high pressure and the low pressure turbine sections. The compressor produces 30:1 pressure in 22 stages.

Figure 1-5: A high pressure ratio turbine rotor. (Courtesy ALSTOM) As with other types of rotating machinery, an axial compressor can be described by a cylindrical coordinate system. The Z-axis is taken as running the length of the compressor shaft, the radius r is measured outward from the shaft, and the angle of rotation is the angle turned by the blades in Figure 1-6. This coordinate system will be used throughout this discussion of compressors in this book.

Figure 1-6: Coordinate system for axial flow compressor. Figure 1-7 shows the pressure, velocity, and total enthalpy variation for flow through several stages of an axial compressor. It is important to note here that the changes in the total conditions for pressure, temperature, and enthalpy occur only in the rotating component where energy is inputted into the system. As seen in Figure 1-6, the length of the blades and the annulus area, which is the area between the shaft and shroud, decreases through the length of the compressor. This reduction in flow area

compensates for the increase in fluid density as it is compressed, permitting a constant axial velocity.

Figure 1-7: Variation of flow and thermodynamic properties in an axial flow compressor.

3.0

CENTRIFUGAL FLOW COMPRESSORS

Centrifugal compressors are an integral part of the petrochemical industry, finding extensive use because of their smooth operation, large tolerance of process fluctuations, and their higher reliability compared to other types of compressors. They are also used in small gas turbines. The centrifugal compressors range in size from pressure ratios of 1.3:1 per stage in the process industries, to 3-7:1 per stage in small gas turbines, and as high as 13:1 on experimental models. This means that the compressor pressure ratio must be between. This is considered a highly loaded compressor. With pressure ratios that exceed 5:1, flows entering the diffuser from the impeller are supersonic in their mach number (M>1.0). This requires special design of the diffuser. The centrifugal compressor has a limited stable operating range. The capacity varies from 45% to 90% of rated capacity. This may affect the economics of operating at partial load. The centrifugal type compressor should be selected for the worst possible conditions, but at the same time, meet other design requirements. The operating speed of the centrifugal compressor is higher than that for other compressors. For aircraft and space applications, the rpm can range from 50,000 to 100,000. Most commercial units run below 20,000 rpm. With the trend toward increasing the rpm, problems due to bearing lubrication, vibration, and balancing are becoming more significant at higher speeds. Centrifugal compressors are well suited for direct connection to gas or steam turbine drives which have variable-speed control.

Due to absence of inertia forces, centrifugal compressors require smaller and less expensive foundations. These machines have a high availability factor, frequently operate for 2 to 3 years without shutdown, and require less maintenance than the reciprocating type. In a typical centrifugal compressor, the fluid is forced through the impeller by rapidly rotating impeller blades. The velocity of the fluid is converted to pressure, partially in the impeller and partially in the stationary diffusers. Most of the velocity leaving the impeller is converted into pressure energy in the diffuser as shown in Figure 1-8. It is normal practice to design the compressor so that half the pressure rise takes place in the impeller and the other half in the diffuser. The diffuser consists essentially of vanes, which are tangential to the impeller. These vane passages diverge to convert the velocity head into pressure energy. The inner edge of the vanes is in line with the direction of the resultant airflow from the impeller, as shown in Figure 1-9.

Figure 1-8: Aerodynamic and thermodynamic properties in a centrifugal compressor stage.

Figure 1-9: Flow in a vaned diffuser. In the centrifugal or mixed-flow compressor, the air enters the compressor in an axial direction and exits in a radial direction into a diffuser. This combination of rotor (or impeller) and diffuser comprises a single stage. The air initially enters a centrifugal compressor at the inducer, as shown in Figure 1-8. The inducer, usually an integral part of the impeller, is very much like an axial-flow compressor rotor. Many earlier designs kept the inducer separate. The air then goes through a 90 turn and exits into a diffuser, which usually consists of a vaneless space followed by a vaned diffuser. This is especially true if the compressor exit is supersonic, as is the case with high-pressure ratio compressors. The vaneless space is used to reduce the velocity leaving the rotor to a value lower than Mach number =1 (M<1). From the exit of the diffuser, the air enters a scroll or collector. The centrifugal compressor is slightly less efficient than the axial-flow compressor, but it has higher stability. A higher stability means that its operating range is greater (surge-to-choke margin).

The fluid comes into the compressor through an intake duct and can be given a prewhirl by the IGVs. The inlet guide vanes give circumferential velocity to the fluid at the inducer inlet. IGVs are installed directly in front of the inducer or, where an axial entry is not possible, located radially in an intake duct. The purpose of installing the IGVs is usually to decrease the relative Mach number at the inducer-tip (impeller eye) inlet because the highest relative velocity at the inducer inlet is at the shroud. When the relative velocity is close to or greater than the sonic velocity, a shock wave takes place in the inducer section. A shock wave produces shock loss and chokes the inducer. The flow can enter the impeller axially, with a positive rotation (rotation of the flow in the direction of rotation of the impeller), or with a negative rotation (rotation of the flow in the direction opposite to the rotation of the impeller). It then flows into an inducer with a minimal incidence angle, and its flow direction is changed from axial to radial. An impeller in a centrifugal compressor imparts energy to a fluid. The impeller consists of two basic components: (1) an inducer such as an axial-flow rotor, and (2) the blades in the radial direction where energy is imparted by centrifugal force. Flow enters the impeller in the axial direction and leaves in the radial direction. The velocity variations from hub to shroud resulting from these changes in flow directions complicate the design procedure for centrifugal compressors. The fluid is given energy at this stage by the rotor as it goes through the impeller while compressing. It is then discharged into a diffuser, where the kinetic energy is converted into static pressure. The flow enters the scroll from which the compressor discharge is taken. There are three impeller vane types, as shown in Figure 1-10. These are defined according to the exit blade angles. Impellers with exit blade angle vanes. Impellers with
2 2 2

= 90 are radial

< 90 are backward-curved or backward-swept vanes, and for

> 90, the vanes are forward-curved or forward-swept. They have different characteristics of theoretical head-flow relationship to each other. In Figure 1-10, the forward-curved blade has the highest theoretical head. In actual practice, the head characteristics of all the impellers are similar to the backward-curved impeller. Most applications use backward curved blades since they have the lowest velocity leaving the impeller, thus the diffuser has a much smaller dynamic head to convert. Also, backward curved blades have a much larger operational margin. Table 1-2 shows the advantages and disadvantages of various impeller designs. Table 1-2: Impeller designs advantages and disadvantages. Open table as spreadsheet TYPES OF IMPELLERS ADVANTAGES Radial Blades 1. Reasonable compromise between low energy transfer and high absolute outlet velocity 2. No complex bending stress 3. Ease in manufacturing 1. Low outlet kinetic energy 2. Low diffuser inlet Mach Number 3. Surge margin is widest of the three

DISADVANTAGES Surge Margin is Narrow

Backward Curved Blades

Forward Curved

High Energy Transfer

1. Low energy transfer 2. Complex Bending Stress 3. Difficulty in Manufacturin g 1. High-outlet Kinetic

Table 1-2: Impeller designs advantages and disadvantages. Open table as spreadsheet TYPES OF IMPELLERS Blades ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES Energy 2. High Diffuser Inlet Mach Number 3. Complex Bending Stress 4. Difficulty in Manufacturin g

Figure 1-10: Theoretical head characteristics as a function of the flow in a centrifugal impeller. Diffusers form an important part of a centrifugal compressor, and usually are the most difficult to design. The function of the diffuser in a compressor is the conversion of dynamic or kinetic head generated by the impeller to pressure energy. This conversion is essential for obtaining the required pressure rise of the compressor and also for achieving good efficiency in the gas transmission along the supply pipe. In a gas turbine engine using a centrifugal compressor, the air is required to negotiate through several narrow passages and bends before arriving at the combustion chamber. The bends in these narrow passages will reduce the total energy of airflow; this energy loss can be reduced when an efficient diffuser, and hence low velocities, occur in these passages and bends. A low velocity is also essential in the combustion chamber for achieving high combustion efficiencies. A diffuser is, hence, a component of critical importance when optimum efficiency is a requirement in turbomachinery. Figure 1-8 shows the static pressure and velocity changes in a centrifugal compressor and diffuser. The diffuser assembly may be an integral part of the compressor casing or a separately attached assembly. In each instance, it consists of a number of vanes formed tangentially to the impeller as seen in Figure 1-9. The vane passages are divergent to convert the kinetic energy into pressure energy, and the inner edges of the vanes are in line with the direction of the resultant airflow from the impeller. The clearance between the impeller and the diffuser is an important factor, as too small a clearance will set up aerodynamic buffeting impulses that could be transferred to the impeller and create unsteady airflow and vibration.

Table 1-3: Applications of centrifugal compressors. Open table as spreadsheet INDUSTRY OR APPLICATION Gas Turbines Power Drive Iron and Steel Blast furnace SERVICE OR PROCESS Compression Compression Combustion Off gas Bessemer Converter Cupola Coke Oven Mining and Metallurgy Power Furnaces Oxidation Combustion Compression For Tools and Machinery Copper and nickel Purification Pelletizing (Iron Ore Concentration) Natural Gas Production Distribution Processing Re-pressuring oil wells Transmission Natural Gasoline Separation Refrigeration Refrigeration Chemical Various Processes TYPICAL GAS HANDLED Air Air Air Blast furnace gas Air Air Coke Oven Gas Air Air

Air

Natural Gas Natural Gas Natural Gas

Propane and methane Butane, Propane, Ethylene, Ammonia

Table 1-3: Applications of centrifugal compressors. Open table as spreadsheet INDUSTRY OR APPLICATION SERVICE OR PROCESS TYPICAL GAS HANDLED Special Refrigerants Industrial & Commercial Utilities Steam Generators Air conditioning Soot blowing Combustion Cyclone furnaces City Gas Manufacturing Distribution Miscellaneous Sewage Treatment Industrial Power Paper Making Material handling Gas Engines Agitation Power for tools and Machines Fourdrinier vacuum Conveying Supercharging Air Special Refrigerants Air Air Air Fuel gas Fuel gas Air Air Air and water vapor

4.0

CENTRIFUGAL COMPRESSORS IN GAS TURBINES

Many small gas turbines that produce below 5 MW incorporate centrifugal compressors, or combinations of centrifugal and axial compressors, as well as radialinflow turbines. A small turbine will often consist of a single-stage centrifugal compressor producing a pressure ratio as high as 6:1, a single side combustor where temperatures of about 1,800F (982C) are reached, and radial-inflow turbines. Figure 1-11 shows a schematic of such a typical turbine. Air is induced through an inlet duct to the centrifugal compressor, which, rotating at a high speed, imparts energy to the air. On leaving the impeller air with increased pressure and velocity, it passes through a high-efficiency diffuser, which converts the velocity energy to static pressure. The compressed air, contained in a pressure casing, flows at low speed to the combustion chamber, which is a side combustor. A portion of the air enters the combustor head, mixes with the fuel, and burns continuously. The remainder of the air enters through the wall of the combustor and mixes with the hot gases. Good fuel atomization and controlled mixing ensure an even temperature distribution in the hot gases, which pass through the volute to enter the radial inflow turbine nozzles. High acceleration and expansion of the gases through the nozzle guide vane passages and turbine combine to impart rotational energy, which is used to drive the external load and auxiliaries on the cool side of the turbine.

Figure 1-11: A small radial flow gas turbine cutaway showing the turbine rotor.

The efficiency of a small turbine is usually much lower than a larger unit because of the limitation of the turbine inlet temperature and the lower component efficiencies. Turbine inlet temperature is limited because the turbine blades are not cooled. Radial-flow compressors and impellers inherently have lower efficiencies than their axial counterparts. These units are rugged, and their simplicity in design assures many hours of trouble-free operation. A way to improve the lower overall cycle efficiencies, 18% 23%, is to use the waste heat from the turbine unit. High thermal efficiencies (30% 35%) can be obtained, since nearly all the heat not converted into mechanical energy is available in the exhaust, and most of this energy can be converted into useful work. These units, when placed in a combined heat power application, can reach efficiencies of the total process as high as 60% 70%. Figure 1-12 shows an aeroderivative small gas turbine. This unit has three independent rotating assemblies mounted on three concentric shafts. This turbine has a three-stage axial flow compressor followed by a centrifugal compressor, each driven by a single stage axial flow compressor. Power is extracted by a two-stage axial flow turbine and delivered to the inlet end of the machine by one of the concentric shafts. The combustion system comprises a reverse flow annular combustion chamber, with multiple fuel nozzles and a spark igniter. This aeroderivative engine produces 4.9 MW and has an efficiency of 32%. Figure 1-12: A small aeroderivative gas turbine. ST30 marine and industrial gas turbine engine. (Courtesy Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation)

Micro-turbines usually refer to units of less than 350 kW. These units are usually powered by either diesel fuel or natural gas. The micro turbines can be either axial flow or centrifugal-radial inflow units. The initial cost, efficiency, and emissions will be the three most important criteria in the design of these units. As seen in Figure 1-13, today's micro turbines are using radial flow turbines and compressors, due to the compactness and ruggedness of these types of compressors and turbines.

Figure 1-13: A compact microturbine schematic. (Courtesy Capstone Corporation)

Table 1-4: Industrial centrifugal compressor classification based on casing design. Open table as spreadsheet CASING TYPE APPROXIMATE MAXIMUM RATINGS Approximate Pressure psig (Bar) 1. Integral Gear Type Compressor Single Stage Multistage 45 psig (3.0 bar) More than 600 psig (40 bar) 250,000 cfm (7,079 cmm) 60,000 cfm (102 cmm) 3,000 HP (2,241 kW) 10,000 HP (7,470 kW) Approximate Inlet Capacity cfm (cmm) Approximate Power Horsepower (kW)

2. Horizontally Split Casings Single Stage (double suction) Multistage 15 psig (1.03 bar) 1000 psig (69 bar) 650,000 cfm (18,406 cmm) 200,000 cfm 5,663 cmm 10,000 HP (7,457 kW) 35,000 HP (26,100 kW)

3. Barrel Type Compressor Pipeline 1200 psig (82 25,000 cfm 20,000 HP

Table 1-4: Industrial centrifugal compressor classification based on casing design. Open table as spreadsheet CASING TYPE APPROXIMATE MAXIMUM RATINGS Approximate Pressure psig (Bar) bar) Multistage More than 5500 psig (379 bar) Approximate Inlet Capacity cfm (cmm) (708 cmm) 20,000 cfm (566 cmm) Approximate Power Horsepower (kW) (14,914 kW) 15,000 HP (11,185 kW)

Integrated gear type units have impellers, which are usually mounted on the extended motor shaft, and similar sections are mounted to obtain the desired number of stages. Casing material is either steel or cast iron. These machines require minimum supervision and maintenance and are quite economic in their operating range. The integrated gear casing design is used extensively in supply of lighter gases, such as CO, CO2, H2, and air. Figure 1-14 is a typical integral gear multistage centrifugal compressor.

Figure 1-14: An integral geared centrifugal compressor, showing intercoolers below the compressor base plate. (Courtesy Atlas Copco Comptec, Inc.) The horizontally split type have casings split horizontally at the mid-section and the top as shown in Figure 1-15. The bottom halves are bolted and doweled together as shown in Figure 1-16. This design type is preferred for large multistage units. The internal parts such as shaft, impellers, bearings, and seals are readily accessible for inspection and repairs by removing the top half. The casing material is cast iron or cast steel.

Figure 1-15: Horizontally split centrifugal compressor, with closed-face impellers. (Courtesy ManTurbo)

Figure 1-16: Horizontal casing centrifugal compressor. (Courtesy MAN Turbomaschinen AG Schweiz) There are various types of barrel or centrifugal compressors. Low-pressure types with overhung impellers are used for combustion processes, ventilation, and conveying applications. Multistage barrel casings are used for high-pressures in which the horizontally split joint is inadequate. Figure 1-17 shows the barrel compressor in the background and the inner bundle from the compressor in front. Once the casing is removed from the barrel, it is horizontally split, as shown in Figure 1-18.

Figure 1-17: Horizontal casing centrifugal compressor. (Courtesy Dresser Rand Corporation)

Figure 1-18: The inner bundle of a barrel centrifugal compressor opened (Courtesy MAN Turbomaschinen AG Schweiz) Compressor trains can be a combination of axial flow compressors as well as centrifugal compressors. Figure 1-19 shows a long train, which is a typical arrangement for nitric acid plants. Here the train is driven by a 5.9 MW steam turbine, an axial air compressor, followed by a centrifugal compressor for the nitrous gas, and a tail gas 11MW axial flow expander.

Figure 1-19: The long train is a typical arrangement for acid nitric plants (process UHDE) steam turbine (43.5 t/h; 5.9MW) as driver, axial air compressor (AV56-14; 139300Nm3/h), centrifugal compressor (R71-3; 122500Nm3/h) for nitrous gas and tail gas expander (E56-4; 111300Nm3/h, 11MW). (Courtesy MAN Turbomaschinen AG Schweiz)

Integrated gear type units have impellers, which are usually mounted on the extended motor shaft, and similar sections are mounted to obtain the desired number of stages.

Casing material is either steel or cast iron. These machines require minimum supervision and maintenance and are quite economic in their operating range. The integrated gear casing design is used extensively in supply of lighter gases, such as CO, CO2, H2, and air. Figure 1-14 is a typical integral gear multistage centrifugal compressor.

Figure 1-14: An integral geared centrifugal compressor, showing intercoolers below the compressor base plate. (Courtesy Atlas Copco Comptec, Inc.) The horizontally split type have casings split horizontally at the mid-section and the top as shown in Figure 1-15. The bottom halves are bolted and doweled together as shown in Figure 1-16. This design type is preferred for large multistage units. The internal parts such as shaft, impellers, bearings, and seals are readily accessible for inspection and repairs by removing the top half. The casing material is cast iron or cast steel.

Figure 1-15: Horizontally split centrifugal compressor, with closed-face impellers. (Courtesy ManTurbo)

Figure 1-16: Horizontal casing centrifugal compressor. (Courtesy MAN Turbomaschinen AG Schweiz) There are various types of barrel or centrifugal compressors. Low-pressure types with overhung impellers are used for combustion processes, ventilation, and conveying applications. Multistage barrel casings are used for high-pressures in which the horizontally split joint is inadequate. Figure 1-17 shows the barrel compressor in the background and the inner bundle from the compressor in front. Once the casing is removed from the barrel, it is horizontally split, as shown in Figure 1-18.

Figure 1-17: Horizontal casing centrifugal compressor. (Courtesy Dresser Rand Corporation)

Figure 1-18: The inner bundle of a barrel centrifugal compressor opened (Courtesy MAN Turbomaschinen AG Schweiz) Compressor trains can be a combination of axial flow compressors as well as centrifugal compressors. Figure 1-19 shows a long train, which is a typical arrangement for nitric acid plants. Here the train is driven by a 5.9 MW steam turbine, an axial air compressor, followed by a centrifugal compressor for the nitrous gas, and a tail gas 11MW axial flow expander.

Figure 1-19: The long train is a typical arrangement for acid nitric plants (process UHDE) steam turbine (43.5 t/h; 5.9MW) as driver, axial air compressor (AV56-14; 139300Nm3/h), centrifugal compressor (R71-3; 122500Nm3/h) for nitrous gas and tail gas expander (E56-4; 111300Nm3/h, 11MW). (Courtesy MAN Turbomaschinen AG Schweiz) Table 2-1: Dimensions of Major Variables. Open table as spreadsheet DIMENSIONAL SYSTEM Mass (m) Force (f) Length (L) Time (t) Temperature (T) Work (w) Heat (q) Volume Velocity (v) Acceleration (a) Frequency (N) Area (a)
*

FMLTtQ M F L t T FL Q L
3 -1 -2

BRITISH ENGINEERING UNITS lbm lbf ft sec R lbf-ft Btu ft


3

METRIC ENGINEERING UNITS kg newton m sec K dyne-cm kJ m3 m/sec

Lt Lt t t
2

ft/sec ft/sec 1/sec ft2


2

-1

cm/sec2 1/sec cm2

Table 2-1: Dimensions of Major Variables. Open table as spreadsheet DIMENSIONAL SYSTEM Coefficient of thermal expansion ( ) Density ( ) Dimensional constant (gc) Specific heat at constant pressure (cp) at constant volume (cv) Heat transfer coefficient (h) overall (U) Work rate (W) Heat flow rate (q) Kinematic viscosity (v) Mass flow rate (m) Pressure (p) Angular velocity ( ) Volume flow rate Thermal conductivity (k) Thermal Diffusivity Viscosity, absolute ( ) The independent parameters lead to forming various dimensionless groups, which are used in the fluid mechanics of turbomachines. The specific speed compares the head and flow rate in geometrically similar machines at various speeds. (2-1) t
-1 3 -1 *

FMLTtQ

BRITISH ENGINEERING UNITS 1/R

METRIC ENGINEERING UNITS 1/K

lbm/ft

kg/m
2

lbm/lfbfsec Btu/lbmR

m/sec

kJ/kgK

Btu/sec ft R

kJ/sec m K

ft lbf/sec Btu/sec ft2/sec lb/sec lbf/ft


2

kJ/sec kJ/sec cm /sec kg/sec bar rad/sec m /sec dyne-cm/cm-secK m2/sec kg/sec-m
3 2

rad/sec ft3/sec ft/lbf/ft-sec-R

Lt

L2t-1

ft2/sec lbm/sec-ft

Get MathML where H is the adiabiatic head, Q is the volume rate, and N the speed. The specific diameter compares head and flow rates in geometrically similar machines at various diameters.

(2-2)

Get MathML The flow coefficient is the capacity of the flow rate expressed in dimensionless form. (2-3)

Get MathML Many compressor applications, especially centrifugal compressors, are also given by the following relationship: (2-4)

Get MathML where Vm is the meridional value and U2 is the tip speed of the impeller. The pressure coefficient is the pressure or pressure rise expressed in dimensionless form (2-5)

Get MathML For many applications, the pressure coefficient can be written as: (2-6)

Get MathML The temperature coefficient is given as (2-7)

Get MathML The previous equations are some of the major dimensionless parameters. For the flow to remain dynamically similar, all the parameters must remain constant; however, constancy is not possible in a practical sense, so one much make choices. Reducing the Momentum Equation (Navier-Stokes) to non-dimensional form obtained the Reynolds Number and the Froude Number. Reducing the Energy Equation of a viscous compressible flow to a non-dimensional form introduces the non-dimensional parameters such as Mach Number, Reynolds Number, and the Prandtl Number. The significance of the Reynolds number and the Froude Number can be seen from the requirements of dynamic similarity of an incompressible viscous flow. The Reynolds number is the ratio of the inertia forces to the viscous forces.

(2-8)

Get MathML Where is the density of the gas, V the velocity, D the diameter of the impeller, and v the viscosity of the gas. The significance of the Reynolds number can be seen in the requirement of similarity of flows of an incompressible viscous fluid, where not only the bodies must be geometrically similar but also the Reynolds number in the two flow patterns must be equal in magnitude. This is a major requirement in the testing of Compressors. The Froude Number is a very useful parameter in open channel flow when the flow is mainly due to gravity; it is the ratio of the dynamic force to the gravitational force: (2-9)

Get MathML where g is the gravitational force and L is the length In the case of flows in similar bodies in various compressible fluids, there are three additional similarity parameters: Mach Number, ratio of specific heats, and the Prandtl Number. The Mach Number is the ratio of velocity to the acoustic speed (a) of a gas at a given temperature (2-10) Get MathML The ratio of the specific heats is (2-11)

Get MathML The Prandtl Number is a ratio of the momentum diffusivity or kinematic viscosity to the mass thermal diffusivity. (2-12)

Get MathML For a complete similarity of flows of viscous compressible fluids, the flows must have the same Reynolds Number, Mach Number, Froude Number, Prandtl Number, and the ratio of specific heats. Flow coefficients and pressure coefficients can be used to determine various off-design characteristics. The Reynolds number affects the flow calculations for skin friction and velocity distribution. When using dimensional analysis in computing or predicting performance-based tests performed on smaller-scale units, it is not physically possible to keep all parameters constant. The variations of the final results depend on the scale-up factor and the difference in the fluid medium. It is important in any type of dimensionless study to understand the limit of the parameters and that the geometrical scale-up of similar parameters must remain constant. Many scale-ups have developed major problems because stress, vibration, and other dynamic factors were not considered.

5.0

NOZZLES AND DIFFUSERS

It is in the nozzle that a change in enthalpy is converted into a change in kinetic energy, and in the diffuser, a change in kinetic energy is converted into a pressure head. In the nozzle the velocity is increased and the static pressure and temperature are reduced, while in the diffuser the velocity is decreased and the static pressure and temperature are increased. There are no changes in total pressure and temperature in the nozzle or diffuser. The two equations of some importance in steady state flow-through nozzles are the energy equation and the continuity equation and these are shown below. For a stationary nozzle The Energy Equation: (2-13)

Get MathML and The Continuity Equation: (2-14) Get MathML where A V = Area = Velocity = Density J = Mechanical equivalent of heat = Gravitational constant = Enthalpy = Mass flow the flow per unit area can be written as follows: (2-15)

gc

Get MathML where the Mach Number (M) is defined as: (2-16)

Get MathML It is important to note that the Mach Number is based on Static Temperature. The acoustic velocity (a) in a gas is defined by the following relationship:

(2-17)

Get MathML For an adiabatic process (s = entropy = constant), the acoustic speed can be written as follows: (2-18)

Get MathML where Ts = static Temperature

For an isentropic adiabatic process; where cp and cv are the specific heats of the gas at constant pressure and volume respectively and can be written as: (2-19) Get MathML where (2-20)

Get MathML It is important to note that the pressure measured can be either total or static, however, only total temperature can be measured. The relationship between total and static conditions for pressure and temperature are as follows: (2-21)

Get MathML where Ts = static temperature, and V = gas stream velocity and (2-22)

Get MathML Equations 2-17, and 2-18 can be written in terms of the Mach Number as follows: (2-23)

Get MathML and (2-24)

Get MathML

The point in the nozzle where the minimum area occurs and the Mach Number = 1 is known as the throat. This reduces the above relationships as follows: (2-25)

Get MathML (2-26)

Get MathML (227)

Get MathML where = 1.329 for steam = 1.12 for wet steam = 1.3 for superheate d steam = 1.4 for air at 60F To reach the Mach number above, M=1.0, a convergent-divergent nozzle would have to be used. The speed of sound (acoustic velocity) results from three-dimensional effects, and accurate results occur from the one-dimensional effect of small disturbances. Large disturbances such as shock waves propagate at a much higher velocity. These small disturbances, which are pressure waves, propagate in a gaseous medium, in this case superheated steam. Figure 2-1 shows the aero-thermal properties of the flow in a convergent-divergent nozzle. The flow leaving the nozzle is supersonic. A convergent-divergent nozzle is designed to handle an expansion between certain expansion states. If the backpressure of the discharge region is less than the design pressure at the discharge boundary, an under-expansion occurs. A free expansion occurs after the steam leaves the nozzle, and since the steam is supersonic, an expansion wave will occur. If the backpressure of the discharge region is higher than the design pressure at the discharge boundary, an over-expansion occurs. A standing shock wave occurs in the divergent area of the nozzle. Across this shock there is a sharp irreversible increase in pressure, an increase in entropy, and a decrease in velocity.

Figure 2-1: An ideal convergent divergent nozzle. The convergent-divergent nozzle may have any cross sectional shape to fit the application. The elements of the surface of the divergent nozzle are generally straight for ease of manufacture of nozzles used in steam turbines. The nozzle is proportioned after the nozzle throat area is determined. The throat area is the smallest area in the nozzle and is where the flow reaches a Mach Number equal to one. The flare of the sides of the divergent section should be within good fluid dynamic limits, so that no separation of the flow occurs, which is an inclusive angle between 12 15.

6.0 ADIABATIC EFFICIENCY


The work in a compressor under ideal conditions occurs at constant entropy, as shown in Figure 2-5. The dotted line indicates the actual work done. The isentropic efficiency of the compressor can be written in terms of the total changes in enthalpy: (2-74)

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Figure 2-5: Enthalpy-entropy diagram for a compressor. This equation can be rewritten for a thermally and calorically perfect gas in terms of total pressure and temperature as follows:

(2-75)

Get MathML The process between 1 and 2' is defined as a polytropic process by the following equation of state: (2-76)

Get MathML Where n is a polytropic process. The adiabatic efficiency can then be represented by: (2-77)

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7.0 POLYTROPIC EFFICIENCY


Polytropic efficiency is another concept of efficiency often used in compressor evaluation. It is often referred to as small stage or infinitesimal stage efficiency. It is the true aerodynamic efficiency exclusive of the pressure-ratio effect. The efficiency is the same as if the fluid is incompressible and identical with the hydraulic efficiency. Rewriting equation (2-77) by assuming that P2t can be substituted by P1t+dP the following relationship is obtained: (2-78)

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which can be expanded in a Taylor's series, assuming that (2-79)

Get MathML Neglecting second-order terms, the following relationship is obtained:

(2-80)

Get MathML From this relationship, it is obvious that polytropic efficiency is the limiting value of the isentropic efficiency as the pressure increase approaches zero, and the value of the polytropic efficiency is higher than the corresponding adiabatic efficiency. Figure 2-6 shows the relationship between adiabatic and polytropic efficiency as the pressure ratio across the compressor increases. Another characteristic of polytropic efficiency is that the polytropic efficiency of a multistage unit is equal to the stage efficiency if each stage has the same efficiency.

Figure 2-6: Relationship between polytropic and adiabatic efficiency for a compressor. The polytropic process also has the polytropic head associated with the process. This, then, requires the Head equation (2-34) to be modified to the polytropic process instead of the adiabatic process.

8.0 CENTRIFUGAL COMPRESSOR SELECTION


In selecting turbomachines, the choice of specific speed and specific diameter determines the most suitable compressor, as seen in Figure 2-7, and 2-8. It is obvious from these figures that high-head and low-flow require a positive displacement unit; a medium-head and medium-flow require a centrifugal unit; and high-flow and low-head require an axial-flow unit. Figure 2-7 also shows the efficiency of the various types of compressors. This comparison can be made with the different compressors. While results from Figures 2-7 and Figure 2-8 may vary with actual machines, the results do give a good indication of the type of turbomachine required for the head at the highest efficiency.

Figure 2-7: Variation of adiabatic efficiency with specific speed for three types of compressors.

Figure 2-8: Compressor selection map. Figure 2-9 shows the relationship between the flow coefficient and polytropic efficiency for various rotational Mach numbers (U2/ao) in centrifugal compressors. From these curves it is seen that the maximum peak efficiency, regardless of the Mach number, occurs between a flow coefficient of 0.30 and 0.4. As the rotational Mach number is increased at a constant flow, coefficient peak efficiency may be expected to drop.

Figure 2-9: The effect of flow coefficient and Mach number on the polytropic efficiency of centrifugal compressors. Figure 2-10 shows the effect of flow coefficient on the polytropic head coefficient for radial and backward curved blades at various degrees of impeller reaction with no inlet prerotation. From this figure it can be concluded that the flow coefficient decreases linearly. It is obvious that backward curve blades must be run faster to produce the same polytropic head.

Figure 2-10: Effect on polytropic head as function of flow coefficient, blade angle, and degree of reaction.

9.0 COMPRESSOR PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS


Compressor performance can be represented in various ways. The commonly accepted practice is to plot the speed lines as a function of the pressure delivered

and the flow. Figure 2-11 is a performance map for a centrifugal compressor. The constant speed lines shown in Figure 2-11 are constant aerodynamic speed lines, not constant mechanical speed lines. The operating margin of a compressor is defined by the flow margin between the surge point and the choke point of the compressor at a constant speed line.

Figure 2-11: A typical centrifugal compressor performance map. The actual mass flow rates and speeds are corrected by factor ( / ) and (1/ ) respectively, reflecting variations in inlet temperature and pressure. The surge line joins different speed lines where the compressor's operation becomes unstable. A compressor is in surge when the main flow through a compressor reverses direction for short time intervals, during which the back (exit) pressure drops and the main flow assumes its proper direction. This process is followed by a rise in backpressure, causing the main flow to reverse again. If allowed to persist, this unsteady process may result in irreparable damage to the machine. Lines of constant adiabatic efficiency (sometimes called efficiency islands) are also plotted on the compressor map. A condition known as choke indicates the maximum mass flow rate possible through a compressor at operating speed as seen in Figure 2-11. Flow rate cannot be increased, since at this point it is beyond Mach one at the minimum area of the compressor, or a phenomenon known as stone walling occurs, causing a rapid drop in efficiency and pressure ratio. Figure 2-12 shows a typical compressor map presented from a slightly different viewpoint. On this map, the constant aerodynamic speed lines are functions of the horsepower and flow rate. Constant pressure lines and efficiency islands are also shown on the same map. This map is very useful in matching a compressor with its driver. Figure 2-13 shows pressure, efficiency, and shaft horsepower curve as a function of inlet volume gas.

Figure 2-12: A modified compressor performance map where speed lines are a function of power and flow rate.

Figure 2-13: Variation of power and pressure rise as a function of flow. Within the limits of compressor design, if it is operated at the peak of its efficiency curve, the following relationships hold approximately true: Volume handled is proportional to speed Pressure rise across the compressor is proportional to the square of the speed Shaft horsepower is proportional to the third power of the speed For high-compression ratios, the last relationship will not hold over a wide range. When the gas characteristics or the pressure conditions require use of a highpressure ratio unit, the stable operating range usually decreases. This causes the characteristics for a multistage unit to be steeper. Figure 2-14 shows the comparison between a low-pressure ratio and a high-pressure ratio compressor.

Figure 2-14: The effect of pressure ratio on the operating range of centrifugal compressor. Another factor to be considered for compressor performance is the type of load. The type of load will influence the demand curve, which has to be known when designing controls. Figure 2-15 illustrates this by showing a characteristic head capacity curve AB. The normal operating point is A. This is a variable speed unit, and the head capacity curves for lower speeds are also shown. If the demand curve is influenced by pipe friction, the head capacity relationship will be as shown by curve AC. If the resistance is entirely a backpressure with very little piping, the head will be as shown by the curve AD. For a situation requiring a combination of the two, the demand curve will look like AE.

Figure 2-15: Effect of load characteristics on compressor performance. Figure 2-16 shows the effect of the air temperature on the input power and the discharge pressure. The pressure is dependent on air temperature because the temperature controls the density of the air. From these curves, it is apparent that a machine designed to handle air at a given pressure will not maintain the same pressure if it is used to compress some other gas having a different density. For this reason, the inlet air to the compressor should always be taken from the coolest location in or outside the plant.

Figure 2-16: Effect of temperature on the performance of a centrifugal compressor. An interesting feature of the power curve is that it increases with increase of volume output. This may put the unit in danger of overspeed if the inlet becomes obstructed while the unit is operating at full capacity. Motor driven units do not have an overspeeding problem, since electric motors cannot exceed their design speed. Figure 2-17 shows a typical multistage centrifugal compressor. The map shows the number of stages that would be required to meet discharge conditions. These maps vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but their characteristics are very similar.

Figure 2-17: Typical compressor performance map for a multistage centrifugal compressor.

10.0

CENTRIFUGAL COMPRESSORS

API Standard 617 and 672 These standards are used by the petrochemical industry as the main standards used in specifications for driven centrifugal compressors. The concepts provide the reader with an outline of centrifugal compressor requirements in various applications. API Standard 617 was revised in February 1995 and is intended to cover centrifugal compressors, which develop more than five lbs/sq in. The API Standard 672 was revised in September 1996 and is intended to cover air compressors for instrument air. The definitions of various terminologies used in the field and in the standards are well defined. The design of the casings, inlet vanes, rotating elements, seals, bearings, and rotor dynamics are discussed.

The casings for most of the API 617 compressors should be horizontally (axially) split except in high-pressure compressors. Where the partial pressure of the H2 exceeds 200 psig, the casing should be vertically (radially) split. The calculation of the hydrogen partial pressure is given by the following relationship: Maximum casing working pressure (psig) for axially split compressors can be written as follows: (3-8) Get MathML The casings should include a one-eighth inch corrosion allowance and sufficient strength and rigidity to limit change of alignment to 0.002 inches if caused by the worst combination of pressure, torque, or allowable piping stress. The rotating elements consist of the impeller and the shaft. The shaft should be made of one-piece, heat-treated forged steel, with the shaft ends tapered for coupling fits. Interstage sleeves should be renewable and made of a material, which is corrosion resistant in the specified service. The rotor shaft sensing area observed by the noncontact probes should be concentric with the bearing journals and free from any scratches, marks, or any other surface discontinuity. The surface finish should be 16 32 micro inches root mean square, and the area should be demagnetized and treated. Electromechanical runout should not exceed 25% of the maximum allowed peak-topeak vibration amplitude or 0.25 mils, whichever is greater. Though not mentioned in the standard, chrome plating of the shaft in the sensing area is unacceptable. Maximum vibration should not exceed 2.0 mils as given by the following relationship: (3-9)

Get MathML At the trip speed of the driver (105% for a gas turbine), the vibration should not exceed this level by more than 0.5 mil. The impellers can be an open-face (stationary shroud) or closed-face (rotating shroud) design. As long as the tip velocities are below 1,000 ft/sec, closed-face impellers can be used. The standards allow the impellers to be welded, riveted, milled, or cast. Riveted impellers are unacceptable, especially if the impeller loading is high. Impellers are to be assembled on the shaft with a shrink fit with or without a key. Shrink fits should be carefully done because excessive shrink fits can cause a problem known as hysteresis whirl. In compressors where the impellers require their thrust to be balanced, a balance drum is acceptable and preferred. Seals of many types can be used and are detailed in the standard. Labyrinth seals may include carbon rings in addition to the labyrinth. Also, mechanical contact seals must be provided with labyrinths and slingers to minimize oil leakage. Buffer gas may be used to prevent contamination of the oil. The compressor must operate in a region away from any critical speed. The amplification factor used to indicate the severity of the critical speed is given by the relationship (3-10) Get MathML

(3-11)

Get MathML where (N2 - N1) are the rpm's corresponding to the .707 peak critical amplitude. The amplification factor should be below eight and preferably below five. A rotor response plot is shown in Figure 3-10. The operational speed for units operating below their first critical speed should be at least 20% below the critical speed. For units operating above their first critical speed, the operational speed must be at least 15% above the critical speed and/or 20% below any higher critical speed. The preferred bearings for the various types of installation are tilting-shoe radial bearings and the self-equalizing tilting pad/thrust bearings. Radial and thrust bearings should be equipped with embedded temperature sensors to detect pad surface temperatures.

Figure 3-10: Rotor response plot. Figure 7 of Standard 617, Centrifugal Compressors for General Refinery Services, 4th Edition, 1979. (Courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute). Accessories such as couplings, gearboxes, lubrication systems, and controls are also dealt with in the codes. The codes also deal with the various tests and test requirements. The major tests are the hydrostatic test, the impeller over speed test, the mechanical test, and the performance test. The hydrostatic test consists of testing all pressure-containing parts to one-half times their maximum working pressure. The impeller over speed test subjects each impeller to 115% of maximum continuous speed for a minimum duration of one minute. The mechanical run test is conducted at 10% increments over the entire speed range. The compressor is run for at least 15 minutes at an overspeed of 110%, then the speed is reduced and the compressor run for four hours at maximum continuous speed. It is advisable for the user to witness these tests and tape the vibration signals. They may be used at a later date as base-line data. The performance test should be conducted per ASME Power Test Code 10. The standards call for a minimum of five points, including surge and overload. This minimum is not adequate, and the user should ask for at least three speed lines with a minimum of three points per line, including the surge point. These tests are very expensive ($100,000 plus), and, in many cases, the unit cannot be run at full-load conditions or with the actual gas. These performance test results will, therefore, have to be corrected to represent actual conditions. Field tests are more appropriate, but if a field test is scheduled, careful planning should go into it at the designing and planning stages. The codes also deal with the guarantee, warranty, and vendors' data required. These codes are well written and are based on experience.