Case Study: Reduction of Pulsation, Vibration and Noise through Modification of Piping
A turbo-expander that is part of a gas processing plant had experienced numerous failures. In order to aid in identifying the cause of these failures and develop a solution, on-site testing was performed. This testing included vibration, pulsation and acoustic noise measurements at multiple locations and various operating speeds. From results of this testing, turbulence in the discharge piping was identified through various means. A CFD model also confirmed the likelihood of turbulence generation. This model was further used to develop an alternate piping configuration that would reduce the amount of turbulence generation. Post-modification testing of the turbo-expander unit and piping in the vicinity revealed significant reductions in vibration, pulsation and noise. Additional lessons learned will also be discussed.