Basic Operating Characteristics of Centrifugal Equipment
This paper discusses basic operating characteristics of centrifugal compressors and pumps. Items covered are surge, stonewall, efficiency, head, capacity, inlet condition effects, and cavitation. The natural gas industry is increasingly relying on centrifugal compressors as a means of gas compression. The operating characteristics of centrifugal compressors differ greatly from their reciprocating counterparts/ Effective management of pipeline pressures and equipment operating costs rely on knowledge of how changes in pipeline conditions effect the operation of a centrifugal compressor. While the installation of centrifugal compressors in gas transmission service is increasing, centrifugal pumps have been installed at compressor stations since early times. Additions to cooling capacity loops have often been done without evaluating the effects on pump performance. While they are usually small horsepower, pump performance is critical to adequate cooling loop operation.