LNG Propane Compressor Performance Prediction and Large Scale Test Validation
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This paper presents results of the large scale testing of the first two stages, including incoming sidestream flow of a LNG propane compressor. The large scale test was performed at 90% scale of the production propane compressor. The four section propane compressor contains five stages and three incoming sidestreams. The last four stages are of the same impeller family. Therefore, only the first two stages were tested. This paper will describe the complete process from initial selection and design to the scaled testing. Performance requirements for this compressor were tighter than standard API-617 guarantees. The limitations required for the test were +2% for power, -1% for speed and +3% for head at design flow, ±2% for sidestream pressures and -2% for surge/stall and overload/choke margins. The design process of the stationaries (IGV, diffuser and return channel vanes) and the sidestream plenum and mixing section will be described. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analyses were used to size the plenum and mixing section in order to reduce losses and ensure a uniform flow distribution for the subsequent stage. Internal stage performance (IGV, impeller, diffuser, and return channel) predictions were also generated using CFD analysis tools. A newly developed tool (presented at 2012 Texas A&M Turbomachinery Symposium) was used to predict the sectional performance and flange pressures. Due to the tighter performance limitations, the impellers were single piece fabricated and an advanced laser 3D scanning method was used to ensure components met specified manufacturing tolerances. This paper will describe the test rig, instrumentation and test procedures employed. The test was completed for two full (overload to surge) speed lines at the design flow ratio. Test results will be compared against the CFD predictions for stage and sectional performance. Conclusions and recommendations will be presented, including ASME PTC10 guidelines suggested changes.
Pacheco, Jorge E.; Fakhri, Syed; Vezier, Clémentine; Koch, Jay M. (2013). LNG Propane Compressor Performance Prediction and Large Scale Test Validation. Texas A&M University. Turbomachinery Laboratories. Available electronically from