Mechanical Performance Of A Two Stage Centrifugal Compressor Under Wet Gas Conditions
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As subsea compression becomes a vital technology to the successful production of gas reserves in the North Sea, several technology issues will come to the forefront of the oil and gas industry. One of these important subjects is the capability to compress gas which includes a significant amount of liquids. Compressing wet gas requires knowledge in areas such as the prediction of turbomachinery performance with the mixed phase flow as well as the mechanical reliability of machinery in the same environment. This paper presents experimental results from a wet gas test campaign which, among other goals, is focused on characterizing the mechanical performance of a two stage compressor operating under wet gas conditions. Various mechanical parameters are monitored in the test program including rotor radial and axial vibration, rotor thrust, and shaft torque. A full array of wet gas conditions are tested with a suction pressure of 20 bar (300 psia) and liquid volume fractions in the range of 0.5 to 5%. The operating fluids are air and water, and the two stage compressor is operated at three speed lines ranging from high flow to low flow conditions. Significant variations are noted in the axial thrust, axial vibration and shaft torque. Thrust variations range from seemingly neutral thrust conditions at very low water injection rates to significant thrust increases (as compared to dry condition) for very high water injection rates. Rotor axial vibration is characterized by large amplitude and very low frequency, especially for the case in which the rotor thrust is balanced by the water injection. During higher levels of water injection, rotor axial vibration is generally characterized by relatively large amplitude and slightly higher frequency, although still very low as a percent of running speed. Variations in radial vibration are also noted, but to a much lesser extent.
Ransom, David; Podesta, Luigi; Camatti, Massimo; Wilcox, Melissa; Bertoneri, Matteo; Bigi, Manuele (2011). Mechanical Performance Of A Two Stage Centrifugal Compressor Under Wet Gas Conditions. Texas A&M University. Turbomachinery Laboratories. Available electronically from