Chapter 10
Pulsation and Vibration Analysis of Compression and Pumping Systems


Flow and acoustic phenomena associated with various mechanical components in compressions and pumping systems have been the subject of considerable effort over the past few decades [1–15]. Research efforts concentrated on three main topics: (i) pulsation transmission characteristics of various pipeline elements, such as orifice plate, valves, compressors and branches; (ii) pulsation generation whether it's flow-induced or resulting from reciprocating machines; and (iii) methods to suppress these pulsations by means of passive elements (such as pulsation bottles, mufflers, Helmholtz resonators, or side branch resonators) or actively by active control (e.g., active control of incipient surge in centrifugal compressor). Flow-generated pulsations in pipeline facilities can be broad-band or single-tone with amplitude levels over 20 times higher than the dynamic pressure in main pipe [1]. Such a high level of pulsation disturbs flow measurements [9, 10, 13] and causes vibration of the piping elements. The latter can result in fatigue and serious accidents.

This chapter briefly presents the current knowledge of technology in this field and the basis of numerical analyses that are often conduced during the design phase of the compression and pumping systems. Examples are taken from meter stations, reciprocating compressor stations, and a pressure-regulating station.

  • 10.1 Introduction
  • 10.2 Pulsation Transmission Through Piping Elements
  • 10.2.1 Acoustic Transfer Matrix for a Pipe Element
  • 10.2.2 Acoustic Transfer Matrix for a Throttle Element
  • 10.2.3 Acoustic Transfer Matrix for a Volume Element
  • 10.2.4 Acoustic Transfer Matrix for a Centrifugal Compressor
  • 10.3 Pulsation Generation
  • 10.3.1 Flow-Generated Pulsation from Throttling Elements
  • 10.3.2 Flow-Generated Single-Tone Pulsation from Closed End Side Branch
  • 10.3.3 Pulsation Generated by Reciprocating Compressors and Pumps
  • 10.4 Solution Techniques
  • 10.5 Acoustic Boundary Conditions and Resonance
  • 10.6 Techniques for Pulsation Suppression
  • 10.6.1 Reactive Silencers
  • 10.6.2 Spoilers for Pulsation Suppression at Source
  • 10.6.3 Suppression of Noise from Blowdown Stacks
  • 10.7 Liquid Versus Gas Applications
  • 10.8 Standards and Guidelines
  • 10.8.1 API 618 Standard
  • 10.8.2 API 674 Standard
  • 10.8.3 Shaking Forces Arising form Pressure Pulsation
  • 10.9 Case Study Examples
  • 10.9.1 Case Study #1: Single-Source Pulsation
  • 10.9.2 Case Study #2: Multiple Source Pulsation
  • 10.9.3 Case Study #3: Pulsation Generated by a Reciprocating Compressor
  • 10.9.4 Case Study #4: Pulsation Generated by Plunger Pumps
  • References

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