Centrifugal Compressor Modifications and Their Effect on High-Frequency Pipe Wall Vibration

[+] Author and Article Information
R. W. Motriuk, D. P. Harvey

NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL), P.O. Box 2535, Station M, Calgary, Alberta T2P 2N6, Canada

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 120(3), 276-282 (Aug 01, 1998) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2842058 History: Received January 07, 1998; Revised February 26, 1998; Online February 11, 2008


High-frequency pulsation generated by centrifugal compressors, with pressure wavelengths much smaller than the attached pipe diameter, can cause fatigue failures of the compressor internals, impair compressor performance, and damage the attached compressor piping. There are numerous sources producing pulsation in centrifugal compressors. Some of them are discussed in literature at large (Japikse, 1995; Niese, 1976). NGTL has experienced extreme high-frequency discharge pulsation and pipe wall vibration on many of its radial inlet high-flow centrifugal gas compressor facilities. These pulsations led to several piping attachment failures and compressor internal component failures while the compressor operated within the design envelope. This paper considers severe pulsation conditions at an NGTL compression facility which resulted in unacceptable piping vibration. Significant vibration attenuation was achieved by modifying the compressor (pulsation source) through removal of the diffuser vanes and partial removal of the inlet guide vanes (IGV). Direct comparison of the changes in vibration, pulsation, and performance are made for each of the modifications. The vibration problem, probable causes, options available to address the problem, and the results of implementation are reviewed. The effects of diffuser vane removal on discharge pipe wall vibration as well as changes in compressor performance are described.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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