Performance Evaluation of Rotary Screw Compressors

Photo of Brian Burdine, Alex Cernoch, Kevin McMenamy Students: Brian Burdine, Alex Cernoch, Kevin McMenamy

Sponsor: Chevron

Date: Fall 2011

Requirements:
The method must be in the form of an algorithm capable of being implemented into a programming language. This algorithm must apply to remotely monitored machinery, which includes dry, oil flooded, and water injected compressors. It is constrained to Chevron's existing instrumentation. Ultimately, the algorithm must accomplish two objectives. First, it must remotely evaluate the operational performance of in-service screw compressors. Second, it must predict compressor performance before the compressors are operational, using data from the Factory Acceptance Tests. These tests are conducted by the compressor manufacturer and use a different process and cooling fluid. Chevron requires a means to translate the results from these tests to predicted field performance.

Problem:
This project required developing a performance evaluation method applicable to rotary screw compressors. The scope of the project includes the derivation of dimensionless performance parameters, an analysis of the thermodynamic effects of liquid injection, and the development of a performance analysis program that can track compressor degradation over time.

Solution:
The team selected the following performance parameters: pressure ratio, adiabatic efficiency, volumetric efficiency, flow Mach number, and tip Mach number. The efficiencies measure losses due to entropy and leakages, while the Mach numbers reveal the significance of compressibility effects. The algorithm displays these parameters graphically, showing a baseline curve along with actual run-time data points. The curve indicates the predicted value of the parameter at varying flow rates, while the data points display the parameter values at actual service conditions.

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