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Compressor Analysis: Surge Protection

Surge is a dynamic instability that occurs in compressor operation which can be described as violent air flow oscillating in the axial direction of a compressor. For the majority of modern compressors surge is a highly damaging, sometimes a destructive event.

The degree of damage to compressors during surge varies depending on design and application. As little as 30 minutes of accumulated surge could be enough to damage the compressor beyond acceptable level. Hence, operation of the compressor to the left of the Surge Limit Line (SLL) must be avoided and a surge event that evolves into surge cycling must be stopped immediately.

The ability to anticipate and mitigate the risk of compressor surge during the design stage, or when modifications are proposed for an existing system, can avoid millions of dollars in losses incurred to repair or replace the equipment and due to loss of productivity.

A rigorous dynamic compressor model is the key to anticipating and mitigating these risks, by predicting the precise dynamic response of a compressor when subjected to the conditions whereby surge can occur. Typically, these are rapid transient events such as those caused by an emergency shutdown (ESD), sudden power loss and other upset conditions like feed disturbances or sudden variations in demand, downstream of compressor.

In this webinar, we will take you through a quick overview on how the risk of surge can be evaluated using a dynamic simulation model and how we can perform and evaluate possible mitigation strategy if the surge control system is found inadequate. We will see case study example for the worst-case scenario of a surge control system, i.e. compressor emergency shutdown (ESD) using commercial process simulator software such as Aspen HYSYS.

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