It was 1964, and Ernest Hotze, a mechanical engineer who put himself through Oklahoma University working in oilfields, was trying to sell Tennessee Gas Pipeline some large compressors. Hotze worked for Clark Brothers, one of four big compressor manufacturers, and the business was very different from its modern incarnation.
This article highlights new developments and lessons learned from recent experiences in the pipeline industry in relation to 1) the selection, 2) the design, 3) the manufacturing, 4) the anti-surge systems and 4) the operation of axial compressors.
Old-fashioned high-pressure reciprocating compressors and oil-sealed heavy-bolted-head high-pressure centrifugal compressors have been used in high-pressure pipeline stations for decades. However, they seem unreliable, inefficient, heavy, bulky and wasteful. Modern high-pressure gas stations use vertically split, dry-gas-sealed, shear-ring head centrifugal compressors for high-pressure service.
Atlas Copco Compressors Product Company has dedicated a new 96,000 square foot facility in Houston, housing customer relations for North and South America as well as producing a wide range of air compressors, dryers and skid packages. The new building brings together 150 employees from several Atlas Copco subsidiaries under one roof to create its largest office in the United States.
Surge is defined as the operating point at which centrifugal compressor peak head capability and minimum flow limits are reached. Actually, the working principle of a centrifugal compressor is increasing the kinetic energy of the fluid with a rotating impeller. The fluid is then slowed down in a volume called the plenum, where the kinetic energy is converted into potential energy in form of a pressure rise.
Pulsation fluid models for reciprocating and screw compressor piping have become more sophisticated as the horsepower and speed ranges for the compressors have increased. This is due, in large part, to the need to more reliably predict system responses for control of high vibrations.
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.
Questar Pipeline Company (QPC) recently held an open season to seek binding support for the reconfiguration of compression facilities and piping modifications at its Fidlar compressor station in Uintah County, UT.
Dresser Waukesha has introduced 12-cylinder and 16-cylinder versions of its 275GL Series engine. The 16V275GL+ high-performance engine (16 cylinders) was rolled out in April and its sister 12-cylinder version was unveiled in late July. Both are for gas compression applications and are said to offer class-leading power and low emissions levels.
Oil production generally involves the processing of upstream fluids into a crude oil that meets certain specifications. This is typically done at a field processing facility and involves a number of operations in different processing systems within the facility. One primary function of this processing is “phase separation” to remove water, solids and gas from the produced fluid, thereby producing crude oil that meets the specifications and provides the main source of income for the operator.
The internal combustion engine (ICE) fueled by natural gas has moved in the direction of efficiency and environmental friendliness with lean-burn technology. Cameron’s AJAX®LE uses a CleanBurn™ prechamber type of combustion system that allows for operation with very stable combustion at lean air fuel mixtures.
Most natural gas reserves are not in the vicinity of consumers. One method to transport gas to the places where it is needed is by pumping it through pipelines.