January 2004

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HP Reliability: Upgrade your compressor antisurge control valves

Compressor “surge” is a low-flowphenomenon known to exist in “dynamic,” i.e., centrifugal and axialcompressors found in petrochemical plants, liquefied natural gas(LNG) facilities ..

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Compressor “surge” is a low-flow phenomenon known to exist in “dynamic,” i.e., centrifugal and axial compressors found in petrochemical plants, liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and pipeline compressor stations. A simplified definition would describe surge as a series of rapidly occurring reversals of the pressurized gas flow. Surging can cause serious damage to compressor internals. Thus, surge must be prevented by applying a suitable control strategy. In typical antisurge systems, a quick-acting valve recycles a portion of the compressor discharge flow back to the compressor suction. The compressor itself is thus always exposed to a gas volume suffi

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