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# Introduction to Vibration Problems

at Compressor Stations

Presented by:
Gary Maxwell, Chris Harper, Shelley Greenfield
(Beta Machinery Analysis)
Welcome…

##  Purpose: Introduction to compressor vibration

(for more detail, recommend the 2.5 day GMRC Course in May)

##  Focus on practical issues.

 Audience participation…demo’s, case studies,
questions, etc.
(We can’t take you to the field, so we are bringing the field to the classroom)

 Presenters introductions
 Questions for the parking lot?
Vibration Induced Pipe Fatigue Failure
Compressors, Pumps, Engines, Turbines and other Rotating Machines
Cause Vibration Related Problems

## HIGH IMPACT FAILURES:

• Significant financial costs
• Safety/environmental liabilities
Today’s Topics

1. Vibration Overview
2. Sources of Vibration
3. Pulsation Control
4. Mechanical Resonance
5. Torsional Analysis
6. Pipe Strain
7. Small Bore Piping
8. Start-up Vibration Survey
9. Summary
1. Vibration Overview

## Presented by: Chris Harper

How Equipment Fails

##  Vibration is the leading cause of mechanical

problems
 Equipment and piping fail due to excessive
STRESS (fatigue failure)

## Pulsation Forces Vibration Stress Failure

What is vibration?

##  Vibration = periodic motion about an

equilibrium position
 Vibration can be described with:
 Amplitude and

 Frequency (number of
cycles per time) or
 Period (time to
complete one cycle)
Vibration frequency

##  Number of cycles per unit of time

 CPM = cycles per minute

##  For simplicity, frequency is measured in Hz

 Convert from CPM or RPM to Hz by dividing
by 60
 3600 RPM  60 Hz
Vibration amplitude

##  Three related units

 Displacement
(µm, mils)
 Velocity
(mm/s, in/s or
ips)
 Acceleration
(mm/s2, in/s2,
g’s)
 Only related when
vibration is simple,
like in a spring-
mass system
Two Ways to Look at Vibration
Time domain amplitude
typically higher …

Time-domain
Units = seconds
Overall vibration
… than frequency
domain amplitude

Frequency-domain
Individual vibration
Units = Hz
Time domain  frequency domain
Another way to visualize it

##  Time domain and frequency domain show the

same information, just in different ways
 Frequency domain breaks out the
components of the time domain
 Time domain is
measured
 Frequency domain
is calculated
Overall time-domain vibration -
terminology

peak
peak

Peak-to-peak
Peak-to-peak
RMS

RMS

##  Peak (measure of deflection) is used more

often than RMS (measure of energy)
 Frequency domain is either peak or RMS (not
peak-to-peak)
Vibration Directions (common terminology)

Vertical
Axial: along crankshaft

Horizontal: direction
of piston motion
Video #1 – Vibration Equation
Demo #1 – Scrubber Vibration
BETA guidelines - velocity

 Dashed lines
SwRI
 Piping guideline
also applicable for
vessels, and for
small bore
piping (≤ 2“ NPS)
 At individual
frequencies, not
overall (time-
domain) vibration
Comparison

 Many different
vibration guidelines
 Remember than
vibrations over
guideline mean
more
investigation
needed
 Use 1 ips (FD) or
1.5 ips (TD) as a
screening guideline
for piping
18
2. Sources of Vibration

## Presented by: Shelley Greenfield

Vibration Risk Areas
Mechanical
Pulsation Torsional
(Acoustics)

Small Bore

## Skid & Foundation (Dynamics)

Risk Areas and Design Considerations

Thermal Expansion:
Piping Layout and
Supports

Off-skid Pulsations

Interaction
Between Other Units
Risk Areas and Design Considerations

Thermal Expansion;
Piping Layout and Supports

System Pressure
Drop (performance
issue, losses)
Off-skid
Pulsations
Responsibility Owner

Engineering firm
 Pulsations and thermal growth cross
Packager
boundaries of responsibility
 Vibration consultant hired by packager Vibration consultant
may be acceptable for small gathering
systems
 good specifications
and communication
 Large critical pipeline,
storage, or
offshore units -
recommend vibration
consultant hired by
owner
Dynamic force on
reciprocating compressor

## Unbalanced Forces and Moments

Pulsation Shaking due to Reciprocating Motion
Forces in Piping

Forces (Cylinder
Stretch)
Forces occur at “multiples of runspeed”

## 1x Compressor primary forces & moments

Pulsation shaking forces (single-acting)
2x Compressor secondary forces & moment
Cylinder gas forces
Pulsation shaking forces (double-acting)
3x … Cylinder gas forces
Pulsation shaking forces
How High Can Pulsation Forces Get?

## Cooler Nozzle Failure

System:
• Ariel JGK/2 compressor
• Booster service (0.605 specific gravity)
• Waukesha L7042GSI engines (700-1200
RPM)
• 880 - 1000 psig suction pressure, 1058 -
1270 psig discharge pressure
• HEVV pockets, double acting, 1 stage

Problem:
• The cooler nozzle cracked shortly after
start-up
• Many other problems

## Beta Mobilized to Site

• Collected vibration and pulsation data
Pulsation Shaking Forces Can Be Very
High

## Guesses as to how high force

could be in this run of piping?
6” pipe - area = 26 in2

Original
Bottles

## To solve problem, Beta conducted acoustical study

and recommended new bottles
As Found Unbalanced Forces

## 11000 lbf pk-pk at 38 Hz

What speed?

Vertical 38 Hz x 60 s/min ÷ 2
Riser to = 1140 RPM
Cooler
Gas Forces Cause Cylinder Motion

##  Act on cylinder, bottles, scrubber and piping

 Create high vibrations around compressor

Example:
ODS Field Data
Vibration Risk: Compressor APPLICATION

## 1 # of Units Online Many

Offshore or
Convenient Location
Remote
Critical to the
Not Unit Criticality
Process
Not
Efficiency Important
Important
Vibration Risk: Compressor CONFIGURATION

## Sweet Gas Composition Sour, Heavy

1 Step, DA Load Steps DA + SA
(>50% turndown)

## Fixed Suct./Disc. Pressure Wide range;

Fixed Speed Wide Range
2 stg (4 or Compressor Stages 1 stg (many
6 cylinder) cylinders)
CR > 1.7 Compression Ratio < 1.3
< 150 HP/ Cylinder > 750
Vibration Study Scope
Compressor •Pulsation/mechanical analysis
Package •Torsional vibration analysis
•Options: thermal, skid analysis

## Off-Skid Piping •Pulsations & other units

Vibration •Mechanical analysis (supports)
•Transient analysis

## Foundation •Dynamic analysis to

& Structure avoid resonance

## Small Bore •Design review

Piping and/or field audit
3. Pulsation Control

## Presented by: Shelley Greenfield

Pulsation animation

##  Pulsations in non-flowing gas

 Notice change in pressure and velocity
Video #2 - Pulsations and Other Forces
Pulsation Forces In Piping System
Example: Interstage System

Cooler

Suction
Discharge
Piping
Piping
Pulsation Forces – DA vs. SA
Cylinder vertical forces

 Can be significant
 Pulsations controlled
with orifice
plates
 Vibration controlled
with outboard
supports
Case Study:
Compressor Vibration

## Before - Vibration Problem After Modifications

Compressors Installed – Vibration Problem

## 6 Compressors – 1700 HP each

Vibration Problems

##  Customer tried to fix problem – no success

 Units not fully operational … very expensive
 … called BETA for help
Unacceptable
Vibration

## Vibration Test Points (from Client)

Example: Piping to Cooler (Riser)
Excessive Pulsation Forces (lbf Pk-Pk)

As Found:
Forces > 3 time guideline

guideline
Excessive Vibration
(forced response model)
Other Problem Locations
(Unbalanced Forces, lbf pk-pk)

Suction Discharge
Bottle Forces Bottle Forces

guideline
guideline

## • Excessive forces in suction & discharge system

• Major changes required
Recommendations
Modify Piping and
New Bottles
Supports (including
(Suction; Discharge)
off-skid)
Recommendations Implemented

BEFORE AFTER

Location: Piping
Riser to Cooler
Case Summary

##  Vibration problems are expensive

 Small errors during design stage are avoidable
 Illustrates how vibration analysis techniques
used to solve or prevent problems (compared
to trial and error fixes)
What Happens to Pulsations if
Operating Envelope Changes?
Design Change: Increased #
Initial Operating Points of Load Steps and Ps Range

ACCEPTABLE Bottle
Shaking Forces Bottle Shaking Forces >200% of
Guideline. High Risk of Vibration
Problem
Bottle sizing

## Risks of incorrect bottle sizes:

 Oversized bottles:
 Mechanical problems (i.e., low MNF  bracing)
 Expensive – materials and welding

 Undersized bottles:
 Pulsations/forces not controlled  secondary volumes
 Orifice plates  pressure drop  lost capacity, fuel
gas costs
Pulsation mitigation

##  Surge volumes and resistive elements (orifice

plates) are simple but can be costly (capital
and pressure drop)

##  Acoustic filtering offers much more pulsation

control with some capital cost but very little
pressure drop
Factors affecting pulsation mitigation

Difficulty Difficulty
Speed Valve
controlling controlled
pulsations vibration
Fixed Very low Low
Narrow Low Medium
Wide Medium High
Fixed  Medium Low
Narrow  High Medium
Wide  Very high High
For example, fixed speed =1200rpm, narrow speed range = 900 - 1200rpm,
wide speed range = 600 - 1200rpm
Optimizing Pulsation Control
Case study - Impact of off-skid piping

 Case study:
 One stage, two-throw Dresser-Rand 5BVIP2

##  Off-skid piping comes several weeks after pulsation

study was completed - two units with two coolers
 Stages of analysis:
 Bottle sizing with a “damper check”

Piping layout

## Damper Check Piping Layout

On-Skid Piping Layout
Off-Skid Piping Layout

Pulsations:
- Cylinder nozzle
- Bottle outlet nozzle
- Skid edge

Shaking Forces:
- Cylinder
- Bottle
- Crossover piping
Pulsations - discharge nozzle

25
Damper Check
On-Skid
Pulsations, psi pk-pk

20
Off-Skid
15

10

0
1x, SA 1x, DA 2x, SA 2x, DA
Shaking force - crossover piping

450
On-Skid
400
Shaking Forces, lbf pk-pk

Off-Skid
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
2x, SA 2x, DA
What was the difference?

##  Hint: the length between

the discharge bottle and the
 Half-wave between bottle
volume amplified pulsations
Multiple compressors – beat frequency
Unit A and B run at slightly different speeds

## Because of this, the pulsations go in and

Unit A out of phase

Unit A

Unit B

Unit B

## Total pulsation amplitude is sum

of pulsations from each unit

## Beat frequency is related to the Combined Pulsations

speed differential between Unit A
and B Animation courtesy of Dr. Dan Russell, Kettering University
Summary

##  Shaking forces are more important to control

than pulsations
 Acoustic filters are more effective than orifice
plates for controlling pulsations
 More pressure drop is required to filter
pulsations when wider speed ranges are used
or unit single-acting
study improves accuracy and reduces risk
4. Mechanical Resonance

## Presented by: Chris Harper

Summary
Example of Mechanical Analysis Model
Mechanical Analysis - MNFs

 Frequencies where
small forces result
in large vibration
response of
structure
Modal Analysis

##  Finite Element Analysis

(FEA) used to calculate
Mechanical Natural
Frequencies (MNFs)
 Elastic Modulus

 Geometry

 Density

##  Measure MNFs with Bump

Test
Demo #2 – Mechanical Natural Frequency
Mechanical Resonance

## • We define resonance when force frequency is +/- 10% of MNF

• At resonance, displacement can be magnified by 40 times – can cause fatigue
failure
• What happens at 3X? What about 4X? 6X? Potential resonance,
but insufficient force
to cause problems

MNFs

Forces

| | | | | |
1x 2x 3x 4x 5x 6x
Frequency Change design to shift
MNF away from resonance
Mechanical Analysis Design Goal

Forces

MNF
| | | |
1x 2x 3x 4x
API 618 Design Goal
MNF > 2.4 x
Wide speed range

##  Frequency avoidance becomes challenging as

speed range is increased
 Blocking out speeds may help avoid
resonance
Magnitude
Speed of
No room for
of Force
driver
MNF to hide
1200 rpm

700 rpm

MNF

| |
1x 2x
Frequency (orders of run speed)
MNFs of Main Components in Relation to
Compressor Harmonics

Bottle MNFs:
40-70 Hz Typ.
Cylinder MNFs:
30-50 Hz Typ.

## Scrubber Example: Scrubber Design

MNFs: Move MNF to Higher Frequency
15-30 Hz Typ. = Extra costs; design modification

20 Hz 40 Hz 50 Hz 60 Hz 70 Hz

## Poor Installation/Design: Better Design:

Cylinder compressor
and
piping

skid
Pile

foundation
Example: Mechanical Analysis

##  Demonstrates MNF (Mechanical Natural

Frequency), resonance, cylinder gas loads, forced
response Analysis, LWN (Long Weld Neck) solution
for suction bottles.
 Ariel KBZ-6, Gas Load of 7,500 lbs (0-pk) at 3x on
stage 3
Case Study – 3rd Stage MNF (API 618 Step
3a)
Case Study – 3rd Stage MNF
Case Study – Cylinder Gas Loads at 3x?

## TABLE L.2 - Cylinder Gas Forces (kips,0-Pk) in Horizontal direction

Unit: Ariel KBZ/6

STAGE#3 CYLINDER# 2
COND# 01X 02X 03X 04X 05X 06X 07X 08X 09X 10X
1 75.0 5.7 4.3 0.7 3.4 1.2 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.8
2 69.6 5.5 6.5 1.1 2.9 1.2 0.7 0.9 0.9 0.8
3 67.8 5.4 7.0 1.2 2.7 1.2 0.9 0.9 0.8 0.8
4 65.8 5.3 7.5 1.3 2.5 1.1 1.0 1.0 0.7 0.8
5 49.1 4.5 5.2 4.1 1.6 1.1 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.6
6 48.4 4.3 5.5 4.1 1.6 1.2 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.5

##  Therefore 7500 lbs (0-pk) at 3x compressor run speed.

 (Weight of large SUV fully reversing 43.5 times per second!)
 Causes “cylinder stretch”
Case Study – Forced Response Analysis
(API 618 Step 3b1)
Case Study – 3rd Stage MNF, with LWN
Case Study – 3rd Stage MNF, with LWN
Case Study – Cylinder Gas Loads at 4x?

## TABLE L.2 - Cylinder Gas Forces (kips,0-Pk) in Horizontal direction

Unit: Ariel KBZ/6

STAGE#3 CYLINDER# 2
COND# 01X 02X 03X 04X 05X 06X 07X 08X 09X 10X
1 75.0 5.7 4.3 0.7 3.4 1.2 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.8
2 69.6 5.5 6.5 1.1 2.9 1.2 0.7 0.9 0.9 0.8
3 67.8 5.4 7.0 1.2 2.7 1.2 0.9 0.9 0.8 0.8
4 65.8 5.3 7.5 1.3 2.5 1.1 1.0 1.0 0.7 0.8
5 49.1 4.5 5.2 4.1 1.6 1.1 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.6
6 48.4 4.3 5.5 4.1 1.6 1.2 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.5

##  Gas Loads are less at 4x compressor run speed than at 3x

Case Study – Forced Response Analysis
Conflict Between Thermal and Dynamic Study

##  Thermal solution has large distance between

clamps, thermal loops, and resting supports
 Dynamic solution has short distance between
clamps and avoids elbows
 Balanced solution has clamps
and thermal loops
 API 618 recommends same
company conduct
both studies
Solutions - Scrubber Bracing

##  Increase MNF of scrubbers

to guideline levels, or
inter-tune if possible
 May be required on some
high RPM compressors
 Scrubber attachments
more likely to fail
5. Torsional Vibration

## Presented by: Chris Harper

Torsional Vibration – Crank Failures
Torsional Vibration – Coupling Failures
Video #3 – Torsional Vibration
Purpose of Torsional Analysis

## To predict excessive vibratory stress or amplitude

problems in driveline of driver / coupling /
compressor

##  Potential Torsional Problems

 Compressor/Engine Crankshaft failure
 Motor Shaft Failures or Spider Failure (welded joints)
 Coupling Failure (Disk Pack, Rubber, Other)
 Compressor auxiliary drive amplitudes
 Engine Free End Amplitudes (Gear Problems)
 Motor Free End Amplitudes (Fan)
 Current Pulsation
Torsional Vibration - Applications

## A TVA should be done for:

 Any new driver or compressor combination
 Any change in compressor configuration (different cylinders)
 Different motor (same frame rarely means same rotor inside)
 Different operating conditions (than what was originally studied)
 Drive trains experiencing failures
 VFD applications
 Critical applications

##  Risk Chart May help to determine if a Study is required

_Design_Services/001_-
_Reciprocating_Compressors/Recip_RISK_Chart_Vibration_Control_3.
1.xls
Thorough Checks Required

##  Analyze full operating map PLUS upset conditions

 Include tolerance band to consider fabrication and
installation uncertainty
 Motor stub shaft to be the
same diameter as the
compressor stub

Risk of Failure
at some
pressures and
speeds
6. Pipe Strain

Pipe Strain

##  Several recent jobs where

we encountered unexplained
high frequency vibrations
and failures
 Isolated the cause as pipe
strain
Effects

##  Pipe strain can:

 Increase natural frequencies (like a
guitar string)
 Reduce damping (high frequency
vibrations increase)
 Increase mean stress in system (making
it more likely to fail due to vibrations)
Contributing Factors

 Misaligned flanges
 Gaps between pipe and support
Flange Misalignment

alignment
Solutions

##  Custom or modified spool pieces, orifice

plates, etc.
 Shim between piping and supports, rather
than just tightening clamp bolts
 Post-weld heat treating (e.g., vessel nozzles)
 Designing more flexibility into system

##  Small details are

important!
7. Small Bore Piping Vibration

## Presented by: Chris Harper

Small Bore Piping - Introduction

##  Also called Branch Connections

 Generally 2 inches (50mm) or less
 Instrumentation connection (taps, thermowells, gauges), vent
lines, drains, site glasses, etc.
 Common on piping and vessels
near compressors, pumps, etc.
Demo #3 – Small Bore Piping
Video #4 – Small Bore Piping Vibration
Why is SBP a High Risk Problem?

##  Small bore piping is often overlooked:

 May not be explicitly designed - field
installed
 Not shown on compressor package GAs

##  Not included in typical pulsation/vibration

study
 Difficult to measure properly in the field
 Failure can lead to significant downtime
Field Measurements

##  Measure Relative Vibration,

if required
 Transient (Start-up)
 Further check/investigation if
exceeds screening guideline
Assessment Methods

 Energy Institute
 Need dynamic force & poor design & poor
location = high likelihood of failure
 GMRC
 Tables of lengths
and weights
 FEA
 Calculate allowable
vibration before failure
8. Start-up Vibration Survey

## Presented by: Chris Harper

Steps for Commissioning

pressure, temperature, SG)
 Take vibration readings (remember units!) at
consistent locations
 When to call an expert
 Solutions
Typical vibration measurement points

## Scrubber: Top seam

Both ends of bottle (seam); sometimes
Bottle:
middle

## Compressor frame Crank height drive and

& engine: non-drive ends

## Pipe: Elbows, between supports

PSV: Top of valve body
Main skid: Front and rear corners
Small Bore Piping: End of cantilever; between supports

## Plus other points if vibrations at above points are suspect!

Not all vibrations are alike

##  Be clear what is being measured and what

guideline is being applied
 Overall vs. individual frequencies

##  Peak or RMS (or pseudo RMS)

 Frequency range

##  Apply appropriate guidelines (time-domain

vs. frequency domain guidelines)
When do I call an expert?

##  Basic repairs/modifications do not work

 Try temporary bracing first

##  Very high vibration levels

 Vibrations are high in multiple areas
 Vibrations are high for multiple operating
conditions
 Suspect pulsations are high
 High vibrations away from compressor

Solutions

## Vibration = Dynamic Force x Dynamic Flexibility

 Control forces
 Pulsation control devices like orifice plates

##  Moving acoustic natural frequencies

 Control flexibility
 Gussets

 Bracing

##  Moving mechanical natural frequencies

Braces – Test temporary brace

as field test
9. Summary

## Presented by: Shelley Greenfield

Video #5 - Summary
Summary - Vibration

## Vibration = Dynamic Force x Dynamic Flexibility

 Vibration cannot be eliminated, but can be
controlled through a balance between cost,
performance and reliability
 The earlier vibration risk is identified, the
easier (and cheaper) it is to deal with
Draft Vibration Specification (GMRC)
Scope of Work for Compressor System (Pipeline, Gas Injection/Withdrawal, Critical Application)
Study Analysis Step Description
A. Preliminary Design Review & Project Planning Stage:
layout options.
Provide preliminary pulsation control scheme and estimated vessel sizing.

B. Torsional Vibration Analysis (TVA) Assess stress and vibration on crankshaft(s) (driver and compressor system), and coupling dynamic torque
effects.
C Pulsation Analysis Pulsation study of compressor and piping system (including package and station piping). Provide final
recommendations on pulsation control solution.

D Pressure Drop and Performance Evaluate pressure drop of pulsation control devices and piping system concurrently. Evaluate impact on
Report compressor performance.

E Mechanical Mechanical dynamic analysis of on-skid piping, supports, and vessels. FEA modelling can be applied where
Analysis necessary.

Provide recommendations for small bore piping support and vibration control.

Optional: Forced Response Analysis of the Compressor Manifold and Vessels when necessary.
(Proper design practices using resonance avoidance can eliminate the need for this task.)

## Optional: Forced Response Analysis of Off-Skid Piping System when necessary.

(Proper design practices using resonance avoidance can eliminate the need for this task.)

F Piping Flexibility (Thermal Stress) Static Analysis of piping and vessels to evaluate stress and equipment loads due to weight, pressure and
Analysis temperature changes.

G Skid Dynamic and Static Analysis Evaluate vibration of the skid and equipment mounted on the skid due to dynamic loads from the compressor
and driver. The foundation and the geotechnical properties should be considered. Evaluate skid design relative
to lifting.

H Commission Testing Evaluate vibration of compressor, piping, skid, foundation and small bore piping. Evaluate pulsation, pressure
drop, performance, and torsional vibration.
Key Take-Aways

##  Properly specify vibration studies (scope, etc.)

 Assess vibrations on-skid and off-skid (across
operating envelope)
 Thermal/Mechanical: performed by same group
 Consider small bore vibration survey
 Attention to details (alignment, installation, etc.)
 Start vibration study early

## Attend GMRC’s 2.5 day course, “Compressor Station

Vibration,” for more training.
Questions?

##  Chris Harper (charper@betamachinery.com)

 Shelley Greenfield
 Gary Maxwell