Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Oil and Gas Applications

Transient Pressure Loss in Compressor Station Piping Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
Klaus Brun

Mechanical Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510kbrun@swri.org

Marybeth Nored

Mechanical Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238marybeth.nored@swri.org

Dennis Tweten

Mechanical Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238dennis.tweten@swri.org

Rainer Kurz

 Solar Turbines, Inc., 9330 Sky Park Court, San Diego, CA 92123kurz_rainer_x@solarturbines.com

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 133(8), 082401 (Apr 07, 2011) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002680 History: Received May 20, 2010; Revised May 21, 2010; Published April 07, 2011; Online April 07, 2011

“Dynamic pressure loss” is often used to describe the added loss associated with the time varying components of an unsteady flow through a piping system in centrifugal and reciprocating compressor stations. Conventionally, dynamic pressure losses are determined by assuming a periodically pulsating 1D flow profile and calculating the transient pipe friction losses by multiplying a friction factor by the average flow dynamic pressure component. In reality, the dynamic pressure loss is more complex and is not a single component but consists of several different physical effects, which are affected by the piping arrangement, structural supports, piping diameter, and the level of unsteadiness in the flow stream. The pressure losses due to fluid-structure interactions represent one of these physical loss mechanisms and are presently the most misrepresented loss term. The dynamic pressure losses, dominated at times by the fluid-structure interactions, have not been previously quantified for transient flows in compressor piping systems. A number of experiments were performed by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) utilizing an instrumented piping system in a compressor closed-loop facility to determine this loss component. Steady and dynamic pressure transducers and on-pipe accelerometers were utilized to study the dynamic pressure loss. This paper describes the findings from reciprocating compressor experiments and the various fluid modeling studies undertaken for the same piping system. The objective of the research was to quantitatively assess the individual pressure loss components, which contribute to dynamic pressure (nonsteady) loss based on their physical basis as described by the momentum equation. Results from these experiments were compared with steady-state and dynamic pressure loss predictions from 1D and 3D fluid models (utilizing both steady and transient flow conditions to quantify the associated loss terms). Comparisons between the fluid model predictions and experiments revealed that pressure losses associated with the piping fluid-structure interactions can be significant and may be unaccounted for by advanced 3D fluid models. These fluid-to-structure losses should not be ignored when predicting dynamic pressure loss. The results also indicated the ability of an advanced 1D Navier–Stokes solution at predicting inertial momentum losses. Correspondingly, the three-dimensional fluid models were able to capture boundary layer losses affected by 3D geometries.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Measured vibration in recycle line

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Figure 2

Measured pulsation near recycle line tee

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Figure 3

Speed sweep data to determine system resonance at 435 rpm for 2x order (both dynamic pressure transducers on upstream and downstream end of pipe shown)

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Figure 4

Schematic of experimental test setup and measurement points

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Figure 5

SwRI air compressor discharge piping

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Figure 6

Experimental dynamic pressure losses for free (unrestrained) and constrained pipe fluid dynamic models

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Figure 7

CFD model of experimental system

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Figure 8

Comparison of measured and calculated pressure losses in the discharge pipe



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