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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Turbomachinery

Measurement and Prediction of Centrifugal Compressor Axial Forces During Surge—Part I: Surge Force Measurements

[+] Author and Article Information
Klaus Brun

Southwest Research Institute,
San Antonio, TX 78238
e-mail: klaus.brun@swri.org

Sarah Simons

Southwest Research Institute,
San Antonio, TX 78238
e-mail: sarah.simons@swri.org

Rainer Kurz

Solar Turbines Incorporated,
San Diego, CA 92123
e-mail: rkurz@solarturbines.com

Enrico Munari

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Università Degli Studi di Ferrara,
Ferrara 44121, Italy
e-mail: mnrnrc@unife.it

Mirko Morini

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Università Degli Studi di Parma,
Parma 43121, Italy
e-mail: mirko.morini@unipr.it

Michele Pinelli

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Università Degli Studi di Ferrara,
Ferrara 44121, Italy
e-mail: michele.pinelli@unife.it

Contributed by the Turbomachinery Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received June 19, 2017; final manuscript received July 10, 2017; published online September 19, 2017. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 140(1), 012601 (Sep 19, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: GTP-17-1223; doi: 10.1115/1.4037662 History: Received June 19, 2017; Revised July 10, 2017

Centrifugal compressor impellers and shafts are subject to severe fluctuating axial and radial forces when operating in surge. These forces can cause severe damage to the close clearance components of a centrifugal compressor such as the thrust and radial bearings, interstage and dry gas seals, and balance piston. Being able to accurately quantify the cyclic surge forces on the close clearance components of the compressor allows the user to determine whether an accidental surge event, or emergency shutdown (ESD) transient, has caused damage requiring inspection, repair, or part replacement. For the test, a 700 hp (∼520 kW) industrial air centrifugal compressor was operated in surge at speeds ranging from 7000 to 13,000 rpm and pressure ratios from 1.2 to 1.8. The axial surge forces were directly measured using axial load cells on the thrust bearings. Suction and discharge pressures, proximity probe axial shaft position, flows, and temperatures were also measured. Time domain and frequency plots of axial vibration and dynamic pulsations showed the impact of the operating conditions on surge force amplitudes and frequencies. A surge severity coefficient was also derived as a simple screening tool to evaluate the magnitude of potential damage to a compressor during surge.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Topics: Compressors , Surges , Damage
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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Measured surge frequency and fluctuating force versus downstream piping volume

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Fig. 2

Impeller damage after surge event

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Fig. 3

Photo of the test loop arrangement

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Fig. 4

Centrifugal compressor performance map

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Fig. 5

Processing and instrument diagram of the test loop with all relevant dimension

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Fig. 6

Axial load cell on rotor thrust bearing

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Fig. 7

Axial vibration for no-surge and surge case (at 13,000 rpm)

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Fig. 8

Discharge nozzle pulsations during surge at 10,000 rpm

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Fig. 9

Surge and nonsurge axial forces (at 13,000 rpm)

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Fig. 10

Frequency spectrum of surge forces (at 13,000 rpm)

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Fig. 11

Surge and nonsurge axial forces versus speed

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Fig. 12

Difference between no-surge and surge forces versus pressure ratio

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Fig. 13

Surge peak-to-peak vibrations versus speed

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Fig. 14

Surge peak-to-peak forces calculated from displacement data

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Fig. 15

Surge frequency versus speed

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