ADVANCED RECIPROCATING COMPRESSION TECHNOLOGY (ARCT)

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The U.S. natural gas pipeline industry is facing the twin challenges of increased flexibility and capacity expansion. To meet these challenges, the industry requires improved choices in gas compression to address new construction and enhancement of the currently installed infrastructure. The current fleet of installed reciprocating compression is primarily slow-speed integral machines. Most new reciprocating compression is and will be large, high-speed separable units. The major challenges with the fleet of slow-speed integral machines are: limited flexibility and a large range in performance. In an attempt to increase flexibility, many operators are choosing to single-act cylinders, which are causing reduced ... continued below

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Deffenbaugh, Danny M.; Brun, Klaus; Harris, Ralph E.; Harrell, J. Pete; Mckee, Robert J.; Moore, J. Jeffrey et al. December 1, 2005.

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The U.S. natural gas pipeline industry is facing the twin challenges of increased flexibility and capacity expansion. To meet these challenges, the industry requires improved choices in gas compression to address new construction and enhancement of the currently installed infrastructure. The current fleet of installed reciprocating compression is primarily slow-speed integral machines. Most new reciprocating compression is and will be large, high-speed separable units. The major challenges with the fleet of slow-speed integral machines are: limited flexibility and a large range in performance. In an attempt to increase flexibility, many operators are choosing to single-act cylinders, which are causing reduced reliability and integrity. While the best performing units in the fleet exhibit thermal efficiencies between 90% and 92%, the low performers are running down to 50% with the mean at about 80%. The major cause for this large disparity is due to installation losses in the pulsation control system. In the better performers, the losses are about evenly split between installation losses and valve losses. The major challenges for high-speed machines are: cylinder nozzle pulsations, mechanical vibrations due to cylinder stretch, short valve life, and low thermal performance. To shift nozzle pulsation to higher orders, nozzles are shortened, and to dampen the amplitudes, orifices are added. The shortened nozzles result in mechanical coupling with the cylinder, thereby, causing increased vibration due to the cylinder stretch mode. Valve life is even shorter than for slow speeds and can be on the order of a few months. The thermal efficiency is 10% to 15% lower than slow-speed equipment with the best performance in the 75% to 80% range. The goal of this advanced reciprocating compression program is to develop the technology for both high speed and low speed compression that will expand unit flexibility, increase thermal efficiency, and increase reliability and integrity. Retrofit technologies that address the challenges of slow-speed integral compression are: (1) optimum turndown using a combination of speed and clearance with single-acting operation as a last resort; (2) if single-acting is required, implement infinite length nozzles to address nozzle pulsation and tunable side branch absorbers for 1x lateral pulsations; and (3) advanced valves, either the semi-active plate valve or the passive rotary valve, to extend valve life to three years with half the pressure drop. This next generation of slow-speed compression should attain 95% efficiency, a three-year valve life, and expanded turndown. New equipment technologies that address the challenges of large-horsepower, high-speed compression are: (1) optimum turndown with unit speed; (2) tapered nozzles to effectively reduce nozzle pulsation with half the pressure drop and minimization of mechanical cylinder stretch induced vibrations; (3) tunable side branch absorber or higher-order filter bottle to address lateral piping pulsations over the entire extended speed range with minimal pressure drop; and (4) semi-active plate valves or passive rotary valves to extend valve life with half the pressure drop. This next generation of large-horsepower, high-speed compression should attain 90% efficiency, a two-year valve life, 50% turndown, and less than 0.75 IPS vibration. This program has generated proof-of-concept technologies with the potential to meet these ambitious goals. Full development of these identified technologies is underway. The GMRC has committed to pursue the most promising enabling technologies for their industry.

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  • Report No.: none
  • Grant Number: FC26-04NT42269
  • DOI: 10.2172/876564 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 876564
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc877392

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • December 1, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2016, 7:10 p.m.

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Deffenbaugh, Danny M.; Brun, Klaus; Harris, Ralph E.; Harrell, J. Pete; Mckee, Robert J.; Moore, J. Jeffrey et al. ADVANCED RECIPROCATING COMPRESSION TECHNOLOGY (ARCT), report, December 1, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc877392/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.