Investigation Results for Surge Phenomena of Centrifugal Compressor Related with Piping Arrangements and Test Conditions
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The shop performance test of a hydrogen recycle gas compressor for refinery plant was conducted with the suction pressure of 50barA based on ASME PTC-10 Type-2 test. During testing, a surge phenomenon was observed at a flow rate 15 % higher than the predicted surge flow. From the FFT results of the shaft vibration and the pressure pulsation at the discharge of the compressor, the peaks of sub-synchronous components were observed at two frequencies of 2Hz and 30Hz near surge flow. The sub-synchronous vibration at 30Hz was considered to be caused by rotating stall, but the 2Hz was too low to be attributable to rotating stall. As an assumption of the root cause, the acoustic characteristics of shop test loop were checked. The calculated and measured Helmholtz resonance frequency of the shop test loop was in agreement with the sub-synchronous frequency of 2Hz. For further investigation, additional tests were carried out with a fully instrumented test loop. Many different test cases were carried out by changing the suction pressure and piping size, with and without installing a perforated plate near the compressor. The originating flow points of the surge were different in each case. The originating flow point of the surge was small when the suction pressure was high and/or the perforated plate was installed. From the investigation results, it was found that the mode of the acoustic characteristics of test loop was related with the originating flow point of surge. In case the compressor discharge is the node of pressure pulsation, it becomes the anti-node of flow fluctuation. In this case, if the flow approaches surge, the flow fluctuation at the compressor discharge is increased. It transmits to the compressor suction, and it would cause the surge of the compressor. In case the perforated plate was installed near the compressor discharge, the pressure pulsation at the compressor discharge was increased. It decreased the flow fluctuation of the compressor discharge, and the surge became suppressed.
Kiuchi, Daisuke; Nakaniwa, Akihiro; Tokuyama, Shinichiro; Matsuyama, Keisuke (2013). Investigation Results for Surge Phenomena of Centrifugal Compressor Related with Piping Arrangements and Test Conditions. Texas A&M University. Turbomachinery Laboratories. Available electronically from