Combining Technologies for Extending the Operating Range of Reciprocating Compression Assets
Several new technologies have emerged over the last few years which are designed to bring the aged large-bore reciprocating horsepower base of the gas compression industry into compliance with continuously tighter emissions requirements. High energy ignition systems,enhanced mixing technologies and advanced air delivery systems have emerged as the de facto standard in retrofits to reduce exhaust emissions in nonattainment areas to meet these requirements. When combined with advanced control strategies, these technologies have proven reliable and effective in achieving and maintaining compliance to permitted emissions limits. These technologies offer significant improvements in combustion stability, at exceptionally lean levels of air fuel ratio. Since the focus of these technologies has been to reduce the harmful exhaust emissions, the systems have typically been configured for ultra-burn, low NOx operation. The pipeline operations requirements have been changing as well. The demands for flexibility in operating compression assets have often been de-emphasized when these compression assets are being considered for emissions retrofit or replacement. The ever changing needs of gas control require that compression assets must become more flexible to handle the increasing demands to maintain flow set points with fewer units and fewer personnel to run them. This paper presents an approach to the integration and tuning of several of these newer technologies, including high pressure fuel injection, pre-chamber ignition systems, enhanced monitoring, and automatic balancing, to evaluate and document the operability of compression assets when the systems are tuned for expanded operation. Testing was completed to evaluate the flexibility of the compression asset for increased and decreased load and speed conditions. The typical operational guarantee allows for speed and load ranges of 75 to 100% of the OEM rated operating conditions. Testing was done to evaluate how well the o
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