It’s a topic the general public doesn’t know much about, but there would be no natural gas pipelines – hence no natural gas – without compressors. Today compression is a main topic of conversation in the industry for many reasons, environment – which includes siting, noise and emissions control – economics, and engineering/construction challenges. As the natural gas industry continues to expand and change direction, more pipelines will be built in the next few years, all dependent on compression.
On its long journey from extraction to the consumer, natural gas has to be compressed repeatedly to maintain the required discharge pressure in the pipelines. Russia’s leading supplier of automation equipment for the gas turbine compressors used for this purpose places its trust in the proven “made in Germany” control technology. This ensures reliable long-term operation as well as maximum supply quality and reliability during natural gas transport.
Until recently, many compressor operators considered black boxes the best available technology to maintain consistent compressor control, despite the technology’s many drawbacks. Chief among those are: 1) the lack of interoperability with other plant controls, 2) the difficulty of quickly accessing critical operating data, 3) the need for specialized tools to maintain or expand compressor control systems and 4) the demand for more redundancy and energy efficiency.
In modeling and control of power equipment, mathematical models are often used to develop robust control systems. The models are used both in the calculation of performance metrics and in determining control set-point parameters. These one-dimensional control functions require a method to determine an output value given some known input parameter. This article will describe various mathematical modeling methods that are used in compressor unit control systems as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
Fouling of compressor blades is an important mechanism leading to performance deterioration in gas turbines over time. Fouling is caused by the adherence of particles to airfoils and annulus surfaces. Particles that cause fouling are typically smaller than 2 to 10 ?m.
The number of compressors installed in each compressor station of a pipeline system has a significant impact on the availability, fuel consumption and capacity of the system. Depending on the load profile of the pipeline, the answers may look different for different applications.
MSI was asked by an end-user to help troubleshoot a newly commissioned critical compressor train that had begun to undergo unexplained vibration trips. These sudden vibration trips threatened to result in a substantial revenue loss for the end user.
Duke Energy uses a GE Frame 5 gas turbine to drive a compressor used in a natural gas pipeline. The intake system required retrofitting with a silencer to meet current regulations and the need also existed to reduce particle contamination. The pressure drop in the initial design was found to be 8.5 inches of water, much higher than the design specification which was 5.3 inches.
Early in January 2008 Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska approved an application from TransCanada Alaska Co., LLC/Foothills Pipeline, Ltd to build a gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It remains to be seen whether the line, as envisioned, will be built.