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What are

compressors?
Compressors are mechanical devices that
compresses gases. It is widely used in
industries and has various applications

How they are different from pumps?

Major difference is that compressors handles the gases and pumps handles
the liquids.
As gases are compressible, the compressor also reduces the volume of gas.
Liquids are relatively incompressible; while some can be compressed

Centrifugal pump

What are its applications?


Compressors have many everyday uses, such as in :
Air conditioners, (car, home)
Home and industrial refrigeration
Hydraulic compressors for industrial machines
Air compressors for industrial manufacturing

Refrigeration compressor

What are its various types?


Compressor classification can be described by following flow chart:

What are dynamic


compressors?
The dynamic compressor is continuous flow compressor is characterized by rotating
impeller to add velocity and thus pressure to fluid.
It is widely used in chemical and petroleum refinery industry for specific services.
There are two types of dynamic compressors
Centrifugal Compressor
Axial Flow Compressor

Centrifugal Compressor
Achieves compression by applying inertial forces to the gas by means of
rotating impellers.
It is multiple stage ; each stage consists of an impeller as the rotating
element and the stationary element, i.e. diffuser
Fluid flow enters the impeller axially and discharged radially
The gas next flows through a circular chamber (diffuser), where it loses
velocity and increases pressure.

Axial flow compressor


Working fluid principally flows parallel to the axis of rotation.
The energy level of air or gas flowing through it is increased by the
action of the rotor blades which exert a torque on the fluid
Have the benefits of high efficiency and
large mass flow rate
Require several rows of airfoils to achieve
large pressure rises making them complex and
expensive

What are positive displacement


compressors?
Positive displacement compressors causes movement by trapping a fixed amount of
air then forcing (displacing) that trapped volume into the discharge pipe.
It can be further classified according to the mechanism used to move air.
Rotary Compressor
Reciprocating compressor

Rotary compressors
The gas is compressed by the rotating action of
a roller inside a cylinder.
The roller rotates off-centre around a shaft so
that part of the roller is always in contact with the
cylinder.
Volume of the gas occupies is reduced and the
refrigerant is compressed.
High efficient as sucking and compressing
refrigerant occur simultaneously.

Rotary compressors
These compressors use rotors in place of pistons,
giving a pulsating free discharge air. These rotors
are power driven. They have the following
advantages over reciprocating compressors:
o They
o They
air
o They
o They
have

require a lower starting torque


give a continuous, pulsation free discharge
generally provide higher output
require smaller foundations, vibrate less, and
lesser parts, which means less failure rate

Subtypes:
Depending on the action and geometry of
the rotors, these are classified as follows:
Rotary
compresso
rs
Lobe
compressors

Screw
compresso
rs

Vane
compresso
rs

Scroll
compresso
rs

Lobe compressor
Also called the roots blower, its essentially a low pressure
blower and is limited to a discharge pressure of 1 bar in a
single-stage and 2.2 bar in two stage-design.

12

Rotary screw compressors:


Rotary screw compressors use two meshed
rotating positive-displacement helical screws
to force the air into a smaller space (see
figure).
These are usually used for continuous
operation in commercial and industrial
applications and may be either stationary or
portable.
Because of simple design and
few wearing parts, rotary screw
air compressors are easy to
install, operate, and maintain.

13

Rotary vane compressors:


One of the oldest compressor technologies,
rotary vane compressors consist of a rotor
with a number of blades inserted in radial
slots in the rotor.

14

The rotor is mounted offset in a larger housing that


is either circular or a more complex shape. As the
rotor turns, blades slide in and out of the slots
keeping contact with the outer wall of the housing.
Thus, a series of decreasing volumes is created by
the rotating blades
They can be either stationary or portable, can be
single or multi-staged, and can be driven by electric
motors or internal combustion engines. They are
well suited to electric motor drive and is
significantly quieter in operation than the equivalent
piston compressor. They can have mechanical
efficiencies of about 90%
15

Scroll compressors:
A scroll compressor, also known as scroll pump
and scroll vacuum pump, uses two interleaved
spiral-like vanes to pump or compress air.
Often, one of the scrolls is fixed, while the other
orbits eccentrically without rotating, thereby
trapping and pumping or compressing pockets of
fluid or gas between the scrolls (see figure).

16

Due to minimum clearance volume between


the fixed scroll and the orbiting scroll, these
compressors have a very high volumetric
efficiency. They operate more smoothly,
quietly, and reliably than other types of
compressors in the lower volume range.

17

Reciprocating
compressor
It is a positive-displacement compressor that
Uses pistons driven by a crankshaft to deliver
high pressure.

gases at

The intake gas enters the suction manifold, then flows into
the compression cylinder
It gets compressed by a piston driven in a reciprocating
motion via a crankshaft,
Discharged at higher pressure

RECIPROCATING
COMPRESSORS
Detailed Analysis

Block diagram of reciprocating


compressor
It is a piston and cylinder
device with (automatic)
spring controlled inlet and
exhaust valves

There is a clearance
between the piston crown
and the top of the
cylinder.

Centrifugal compressors

Widespread use, many applications


Gas is accelerated outwards by
rotating impeller
Can be built for operation as low
pressure requirement 0f 4 to 6 bar
Sizes range from 300 hp to 50,000 hp
DIFFUSERS

Cross section of horizontal split


Picture of horizontal split
Cross section of barrel
type compressor
Picture of barrel
type compressor
Cross section of
bull gear compressor

IMPELLERS

Single Case CompressorCentrifugal Impeller

Picture of bull
gear compressor
Picture of (bull)
gear and impellers

Cross section of horizontal split


Discharge volutes
Impellers

Impeller inlet
labyrinth seals
Shaft and
labyrinth seal

Drive coupling

Journal bearing

Casing
(horizontally
split flange)

Thrust bearing
Compressor
discharge nozzle
Compressor
inlet nozzle

Picture of horizontal split

Axial compressors
Gas flows in direction of rotating shaft
Can be built for higher pressures ratio of 10 to
12.
High flow rate
Efficient
Not as common as centrifugals
Stator Blades

Shaft

Rotor Blades

Casing

Rotor
Blades

Stator
Blades
Casing

Cross section of axial compressor


Guide-vane
actuator linkage

Labyrinth seals

Compressor rotor

Rotor blades

Adjustable guide vanes


Compressor
inlet nozzle

Thrust bearing

Compressor
outlet nozzle

Picture of axial compressor

Advantages and Disadvantages of


dynamic compressors
Advantages

Disadvantages

Centrifugal

Wide operating range


High reliability
Low Maintenance

Instability at reduced flow


Sensitive to gas composition
change

Axial

High Capacity for given size


High efficiency
Heavy duty
Low maintenance

Low Compression ratios


Limited turndown

Dynamic
Compressors

Advantages and disadvantages of


positive displacement type
compressor
Advantages
Disadvantages
Positive displacement compressor
Reciprocating

Wide pressure ratios


High efficiency

Heavy foundation required


Flow pulsation
High maintenance

Diaphragm

Very high pressure


Low flow
No moving seal

Limited capacity range


Periodic replacement of diaphragm

Screw

Wide application
High efficiency
High pressure ratio

Expensive
Unsuitable for corrosive or dirty
gases

Developing the compressor curve


Rc
Process limit

Adding
control
margins
Surge limit

Maximum speed
Power limit

Stonewall or
choke limit

Actual available
operating zone

Minimum
speed

Stable zone
of operation

Qs,

vol

Developing the compressor curve


P
Differential
Pressure
PR
)process,2
or
R
P
R
H
DischargeRatio
Pressure
Pressure
Head
(Pd/P(P
or
(P
cd
cp c Polytropic
s)(P
2)d 2s/P
1) (P2 P1)
R

process,1

Rc2
Rc1

O.P.
Compressor
curve for a
specific speed
N1

Q2

Q1

Qs,

normal
vol
mass

Surges in centrifugal
compressors
What are surges?
o Surge is defined as the operating point at which centrifugal
compressor peak head capability and minimum flow limits are
reached.
o When the plenum pressure behind the compressor is higher than
the compressor outlet pressure, the fluid tends to reverse or
even flow back in the compressor.
o As a consequence, the plenum pressure will decrease, inlet
pressure will increase and the flow reverses again.
o This phenomenon, called surge, repeats and occurs in cycles
with frequencies varying from 1 to 2 Hz.
39

Effects on performance
o Surging can cause the compressor to overheat to the point at
which the maximum allowable temperature of the unit is
exceeded.
o Also, surging can cause damage to the thrust bearing due to
the rotor shifting back and forth from the active to the inactive
side. This is defined as the surge cycle of the compressor.

Surge points for centrifugal compressors running at varying spee

40

Surge description
Flow reverses in 20 to 50 milliseconds
Surge cycles at a rate of 0.3 s to 3 s per cycle
Compressor vibrates
Temperature rises
Whooshing noise
Trips may occur
Conventional instruments and human operators
may fail to recognize surge

Some surge consequences


Unstable flow and pressure
Damage in sequence with
increasing severity to seals,
bearings, impellers, shaft
Increased seal clearances and
leakage
Lower energy efficiency
Reduced compressor life

Major Process Parameters during


Surge
FLOW

2
TIME (sec.)
PRESSURE

2
TIME (sec.)

Rapid pressure
oscillations with
process instability
3

TEMPERATURE

2
TIME (sec.)

Rapid flow oscillations


Reversal flow leads to
reversal thrust
Potential damage

Rising
temperatures
inside compressor
which can be seen
at the Discgarge

Operators may fail


to recognize surge

Graph showing operating regions


of various compressors

Table showing operating conditions


of various compressors