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COMPRESSION BASICS Part One Module Number: 251 TRAINING MODULE NOTES

The information contained in this document is the property of Agility. It must not be used for commercial or other purposes without prior approval of Agility.

Revision History
Date Rev No. 3 Original Description of Change Created By Checked By Approved By

25/03/04

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INDEX
GLOSSARY OF TERMINOLOGY AND KEY WORDS USED 1 GENERAL
1.1 What is a Compressor/Pump?

4 5
5

PURPOSE OF COMPRESSION AND PUMPING


2.1 Pipeline Throughput Increase by Looping

5
7

PRINCIPLES OF COMPRESSION
3.1 3.2 3.3 Compression by Volume Reduction. Compression by Velocity Increase. Compressor Efficiency.

8
8 9 10

RECIPROCATING COMPRESSOR
4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 General Reciprocating Compression Principle Double-Acting Reciprocating Compressor Advantages of Reciprocating Compressor Disadvantages/Limitations of Reciprocating Compressor

11
11 11 15 16 17

ACTIVITY 1 5 TURBOCOMPRESSORS
5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Centrifugal Compressor Basics Multi-Stage Centrifugal Compressor Axial Compressor Basics Mixed Flow Compressor Basics Advantages of Turbocompressors Disadvantages/Limitations of Turbocompressors

19 21
21 23 24 25 25 26

ACTIVITY 2

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GLOSSARY OF TERMINOLOGY AND KEY WORDS USED For definitions of generic Agility terminology, refer to the Agility Glossary. A. GENERIC AGILITY TERMINOLOGY USED

B. KEY WORDS FOR THIS MODULE compression pumping looping reciprocating compression centrifugal compression compression ratio multi-stage compression compressor lubrication

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GENERAL This module will deal with the basics of compression and pumping as used on Agility Services pipeline system. It will also cover the basics of typical prime movers used to power the compressors and pumps.

1.1

What is a Compressor/Pump? A compressor or pump is a mechanical device that increases the pressure of a fluid. Compressors increase the pressure of compressible fluids like natural gas and air. Pumps increase the pressure of incompressible fluids like liquid ethane and water. One type of equipment cannot normally be used for the other type of fluid damage to the components of the equipment is likely to occur.

PURPOSE OF COMPRESSION AND PUMPING Field Boost. In general, gas reservoirs do not maintain pressure as the gas is withdrawn from the production well. Over time, as more and more gas is withdrawn, the pressure in the well drops. Compression is used to suck out gas from the wells enabling it to overcome a back-pressure that would otherwise slow down or halt gas production.

Vapour Recovery Production. Gas is produced from processing crude oil. Crude oil processing produces gas at low pressures. The gas produced must be compressed to match pipeline gas pressures for transportation.

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Transmission Gas is delivered to the customer at an agreed delivery pressure. In the transmission of gas along a pipeline, its pressure drops. This is due to frictional losses between the gas molecules and the pipeline as well as between the moving gas molecules themselves. Lowered pressure also means that the flowrate of gas also reduces. Compression or pumping is used to propel the fluids through the pipeline to obtain higher flows and maintain line pressures. In many instances, as the demand for gas from a gas producer increases, compression is one of the ways of getting more throughput using the same pipeline ie. without having to increase the size of the pipe.

Compressed Air Compressed air is used extensively in industry for many applications including cleaning, as an energy source for actuating final control elements, in chemical processing of minerals, etc.

Product Storage and Shipping Compression is used to decrease the volume of gaseous products for storage and transportation, for example, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is compressed for shipping.

Refrigeration The refrigeration cycle used in domestic and industrial applications requires that the refrigerant be compressed.

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2.1

Pipeline Throughput Increase by Looping When a gas pipeline is initially installed, its pipe diameter is sized according to design throughput at the time of installation. Some allowance is usually made for flow increase. Over time, the demand for gas may increase to a point when the size of the pipe becomes a limiting factor in getting increased flow. Looping the pipeline or sections of the pipeline can be an alternative to compression. This involves installing parallel sections of pipe to enable more product to flow through. Sometimes, looping is done in conjunction with compression to achieve the desired throughput. The Roma to Brisbane natural gas pipeline has been extensively looped to increase flow. The selected solution is usually based on cost-performance considerations.

No Compression or Looping
MainLine 250 mm diameter pipe = 49,000 mm2

With Compression

Flow = >Q

Flow = Q

With Compression and Looping


Increase in area = about 2.5 times

Flow = >>Q

Loop Line 400 mm diameter pipe = 126,000 mm2

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PRINCIPLES OF COMPRESSION Pressure in a fluid can be increased in two ways:Decrease its volume in a trapped space. Increase its velocity in a confined space. Reciprocating compressors are based on the first principle and centrifugal compressors and pumps are based on the second.

3.1

Compression by Volume Reduction. Gases are compressible fluids, that is, its volume can be decreased. Liquids are incompressible, that is, its volume cannot be decreased. Gases are compressed by trapping a sample of it in a closed chamber and bringing one of the walls in. This can be done in a cylinder/piston arrangement.

Piston

Trapped quantity of gas

Pressure Temperature

Cylinder

Compressed gas

When this action is done to a gas two things happen: Its pressure increases - desired effect Its temperature increases - usually undesired side-effect.

This type of action is often referred to as positive displacement. An example of this principle at work is the reciprocating compressor.

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3.2

Compression by Velocity Increase. This action can be used for both incompressible fluids (liquids) as well as compressible fluids (gas). The principle at work here is a little more complex. Consider a device that will increase the velocity (speed) of the gas as it passes through. Gas entering the device is travelling at a certain velocity and is at a certain pressure.

Pi, Vi

Pd, Vd

Velocity Increase
The device accelerates the gas, increasing its velocity. On the discharge side of the device, the gas slows down but has increased in pressure. The increase in pressure is accompanied by an increase in temperature. Devices that use this principle are called turbocompressors. Examples of this principle at work are the centrifugal compressor and the centrifugal pump.

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3.3

Compressor Efficiency. The compression ratio of a compressor is the ratio of the discharge pressure to the inlet pressure. Hence, if the inlet of a compressor is at 1000kPa and the discharge is at 1500kPa, the compression ratio is 1.5 (1500/1000). The efficiency of a compressor is a measure of how much energy the compressor requires to attain a nominated compression ratio. Generally, the type of compressor selected depends on the operating pressure of the gas and the compression ratio required. When higher compression ratios are required, multi-stage compression is used. This means that the discharge of the compressor is fed into the suction of another compressor connected in series. Multistage compressors are often built as one unit.

86
Design Point

OVERALL COMPRESSOR EFFICIENCY %

84 82 80 78

Reciprocating Compressor Centrifugal Compressor

1.0

1.1

1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 COMPRESSION RATIO

1.6

1.7

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4 4.1

RECIPROCATING COMPRESSOR General A reciprocating compressor works by reducing the volume of a trapped quantity of gas. The reciprocating motion of a piston in a cylinder is used to draw in gas, compress it and then expel it. Gas enters the cylinder via an inlet valve and exits the cylinder via a discharge valve. The inlet and discharge valves are spring loaded and will let in or let out gas when their spring forces are overcome.

4.2

Reciprocating Compression Principle 1. Cycle Start/Bottom of Stroke Piston at bottom of the cylinder. Inlet and discharge valves shut. Pressure in cylinder equal to discharge pressure.

1 Start/Bottom of Stroke

Pd - Discharge Pressure Pd Pd

Pi - Inlet Pressure

Inlet Valve

Piston

Spring

Discharge Valve

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Discharge

Inlet

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2.

Expansion & Equalisation Piston moves up the cylinder; both inlet and discharge valves are still shut. As the piston moves up, the pressure of the gas inside the cylinder reduces. At some point of the upward stroke, the pressure in the cylinder becomes equal to the inlet pressure.

2 Pressure Equalisation

Pi Pd

3. Induction Piston continues to move up the cylinder. When the pressure inside the cylinder is less than the inlet pressure, Pi, the inlet valve opens and gas is drawn into the cylinder.

3 Induction

<Pi Pd

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Discharge

Pi Inlet

Pd

Discharge

Pi Inlet

Pd

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4. Top of Stroke Piston reaches the top of the cylinder. Inlet valves shut and cylinder pressure is about the same as inlet pressure.

4 Top of Stroke

Pi Pd

5. Compression Piston starts moving down the cylinder, compressing the gas. At this point, cylinder pressure is still less than discharge pressure.

5 Compression

<Pd Pd

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Discharge

Pi Inlet

Pd

Discharge

Pi Inlet

Pd

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6. Pressure Equalisation Gas pressure in cylinder keeps on rising as piston moves downward until pressure inside the cylinder becomes equal to the discharge pressure. Discharge valve starts to open.

6 Pressure Equalisation

Pd

Pd

7. Discharge Compressed gas is forced out of the cylinder by the piston through the discharge

7 Discharge

>Pd Pd

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Discharge

Pi Inlet

Pd

Discharge

Pi Inlet

Pd

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8. End/Bottom of Stroke Piston reaches bottom of cylinder. Discharge valve shuts when pressure inside the cylinder is equal to the discharge pressure.

8 End/Bottom of Stroke

Pi

Piston

Pd

Pd

Pd

4.3

Double-Acting Reciprocating Compressor The compressor described above is a single-acting reciprocating compressor. A double-acting reciprocating compressor works on exactly the same principle, except that the cylinder is elongated and the piston action works on both sides.

Compression/Induction
Inlet Pi

<Pd

Pd

Discharge

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Discharge

Inlet

Pd

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A corresponding set of inlet and discharge valves permit the compression cycle to be alternated between the opposing cylinders.

Typical Double-Acting Compressor Cut-Away

4.4

Advantages of Reciprocating Compressor Reciprocating compressors can handle gases over a wide range of pressures from 1 atmosphere to 2,000 atmospheres (1 atmosphere is approx. 101 kPa). They can also operate over a very wide power range, from a few kW to more than 10,000kW. They are very versatile and efficient. 86
Design Point

OVERALL COMPRESSOR EFFICIENCY %

84 82 80 78

Reciprocating Compressor Centrifugal Compressor

1.0

1.1

1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 COMPRESSION RATIO

1.6

1.7

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4.5

Disadvantages/Limitations of Reciprocating Compressor They require large foundations because they produce large amounts of vibration and unbalanced forces from the reciprocating action. They require relatively high levels of maintenance. The valves are fragile and can be damaged easily if: The gas contains abrasive solids; The gas contains liquids or droplets. Oil that is injected into the gas stream to aid valve, rod packing and piston ring lubrication must be filtered out, usually by a coalescing filter on the discharge side of the compressor. The vibrations caused by the reciprocating pistons can sometimes cause nearby components, pipework and fittings to fail.

Gas Inlet

Gas Discharge

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ACTIVITY 1 NAME: ______________________________________________ DATE: _____________

Activity 1
Why are compressors used on pipeline systems?

Explain how gas is compressed in a reciprocating compressor. Name the parts and features on this typical recip.
Inlet Discharge Inlet Valve Discharge Valve Piston Inlet Pressure Discharge Pressure

MODULE ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS

The following must be submitted in order to complete this module. 2 Activities.

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TURBOCOMPRESSORS Centrifugal compressors operate by passing the gas through an impeller. An impeller is a rotating wheel with vanes to direct the flow of gas. Centrifugal compressors turbocompressors. Turbocompressors include:Radial or centrifugal compressors; Axial compressors, and; Mixed flow compressors. fall into a category of compressors called

5.1

Centrifugal Compressor Basics Basic principle follows that of an object on a rotating turn-table, eg. a ball on a lazy susan will spin to the outside edge of the lazy susan . Gas enters the centre of the impeller axially. When the gas hits the base of the impeller, it changes direction and turns outwards. Vanes on the impeller guide the flowing gas outwards. As the gas flows radially out, it gains velocity.

Gas Out Impeller Vane Gas In Axis of rotation Gas In

Pd

Volute Vane Impeller

Pi
Shaft

Gas Out

Volute Gas Out

Pd

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When it leaves the edge of the impeller it slows down and at the same time, gains pressure. The centrifugal pump works on the same principle. Pressure at the inlet of the compressor is Pi and pressure of gas entering the volute is Pd. For a single stage centrifugal compressor, the actual discharge pressure of the compressor is somewhat higher than the volute pressure Pd. The compression ratio is equal to Pd/Pi as before. Turbocompressors need to spin at high revs (typically in the order of 10s of thousands of revolutions per minute) to attain acceptable levels of compression efficiency. Centrifugal pumps do not spin at such high speeds and are typically operated at hundreds of revolutions per minute.

Discharge Volute Impeller

Inlet

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5.2

Multi-Stage Centrifugal Compressor The compression ratio for each pass of the impeller is not very great. Hence, many centrifugal compressors are multi-stage. A series of impellers are mounted on a common shaft. The discharge of each impeller is directed to the centre of the next impeller. As the gas passes each stage of compression, its pressure progressively increases. The overall compression ratio for a multistage compressor is still Pi/Pd. Some multi-stage centrifugal compressors have several stages of compression.
Gas Out Stage 1 Discharge Volute Gas Flow Path Pd Pi - Inlet Pressure P1 P1 - Stage 1 Discharge Pressure Pd - Discharge Pressure

Pd

Pi

Shaft Pd

Stage 1 Impeller

Stage 2 Impeller

Pi

2-STAGE CENTRIFUGAL COMPRESSOR

Gas In

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5.3

Axial Compressor Basics In an axial compressor, the gas flows in the direction of the axis of the impeller. These types of compressors are not as common on the pipeline. However, their operating principle is used in turbine engines used to drive centrifugal compressors. The basic principle of operation is that of a ducted fan. An impeller or a set of impellers are mounted on a rotating shaft. The impeller is fitted with blades or vanes that accelerate the gas. The impeller vanes are angled relative to the gas flow, much like propellers or fans. As the gas leaves each impeller blade, it enters stationary guide vanes. These vanes straighten the flow in preparation for the next stage of compression. The impeller and its blades or vanes is referred to as the rotor (since it is rotating).
Two-Stage Axial Flow Compressor Gas In Gas Out

Gas In Impeller

Gas Out Vane Axis of rotation

Gas In

Gas Out

Pi

P1

Pd

Impeller Impeller Vanes

Guide Vanes

The guide vanes are referred to as the stator (since they are stationary).

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Pi is the inlet pressure, P1 is the first stage discharge pressure and Pd is the discharge pressure.

5.4

Mixed Flow Compressor Basics A mixed flow compressor is basically a cross between an axial flow compressor and a centrifugal flow compressor. Gas enters the impeller parallel to the axis of rotation and leaves the impeller at an angle somewhere between the axis of rotation and radial to the axis of rotation. Mixed flow impeller compressors are not very common on gas pipelines.
Gas In Gas Out Impeller

Axis of rotation

Vane Gas Out

5.5

Advantages of Turbocompressors Few moving parts, hence fewer parts to wear out. Lower running costs and lubricating oil consumption. Can handle small quantities of entrained fluids that would normally damage a reciprocating compressor. Produces little vibration because of balanced rotating shaft, hence: Does not require large foundations to absorb the vibrations compared with reciprocating compressors. Tend not to get component failure due to vibration. Continuous gas delivery without cyclic variations associated with reciprocating compressors. Cooling is not required unless multi-stage - less heat is generated in the process.

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5.6

Disadvantages/Limitations of Turbocompressors Cannot get as high a compression ratio as a reciprocating compressor by comparison. Tend to be much more costly to purchase initially. Maintenance and operations training costs tend to be higher due to the components being more complex and intricate. Compression ratio range is more limited compared to reciprocating compressors.

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ACTIVITY 2

Activity 2
Explain how gas is compressed in a centrifugal compressor.

Name the parts and features on this typical centrifugal compressor.

Eye of impeller Suction Discharge Impeller Vanes Volute

MODULE ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS

The following must be submitted in order to complete this module. 2 Activities.

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NOTES ON ASSESSMENT
Self-study of this module is recommended. This training module requires that a written assessment be completed. Please contact your team leader for assessment details.
There is nothing we do that is so important that we should hurt someone doing it. There is nothing we do that is more important than keeping people safe and well.

QUALITY, HEALTH, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENT POLICY


Your attention is drawn to the company's Health, Safety and Environment Policy as well as the company's Quality Policy. The Company is committed to the health and safety of its employees and to the protection and preservation of the environment.

The Company is committed to providing superior quality products and services to all its customers. This training module is a reflection of the company's commitment to this philosophy. If you are not already familiar with these two policies, please contact your team leader for a copy of these documents. Read these documents and ensure that you understand the company's corporate position with regard to these matters.

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