Design Challenges for Reciprocating Compressors in Specialty Gas Services
Many different software tools are used to simulate compressor performance and pressure pulsations in piping systems. A challenge for designers of reciprocating equipment is the accurate simulation of gas properties and pressure pulsations for specialty gases to reflect the real operation of the compressor. The authors use two case studies to outline the root causes behind inaccurate performance and pulsation predictions and the consequences to the compressor operation. The first case study is a reciprocating compressor used to ethylene in a polyethylene facility; the second case study is a reciprocating compressor used for ethane at a midstream gas company. This paper outlines a number of design tips and lessons learned that will be helpful to engineers involved in all reciprocating compressor applications.