Enhancing Operation of the Existing Natural Gas Compression Infrastructure (DOE Research Review)
This paper presents early results from an investigation into methods to optimize the operation of integral engine compressors in gas transmission service: the first set of results obtained on a project funded by the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) as part of their Natural Gas Infrastructure Reliability Program. The project is co-funded by the Gas Machinery Research Council (GMRC) and PRC International (PRCI). The results show the influence of operational choices (speed, load, and load step) and balancing methods on integrity, capacity, system efficiency, and fuel flow for an HBA8 two-stroke engine compressor. The instruments used to acquire this data include the strain data capture module, which measures crankshaft bending strain during operations; the rod load monitor, a device which measures load on each rod as a basis for system horsepower determination; simultaneous measurement of cylinder pressure on the engine and the compressor; fuel flow measurement; instantaneous crankshaft rotational velocity; bearing centerline vibration; dynamic pressures in the manifolds for inlet air and exhaust; header pressures and temperatures. The paper includes preliminary analysis into the use of this data as a basis for operational optimization.