Compressor surge risks reduced by advanced valves

Siobhan Doyle

Advanced valve technology is available to reduce compressor surge risk.

With rapidly demanding dynamic performance requirements and targets for reducing plant emissions placing compressor equipment at risk of damage, proven anti-surge and compressor recycle valve technology is set to help the oil and gas industry avoid disruptive and costly unplanned compressor damage and consequently downtime.

Surge events can interrupt compression in upstream and midstream oil and gas, LNG and petrochemical facilities. If left unaddressed, this disruption may lead to compressor trips or system failures that require expensive remedial work to resolve damage, notes Mike Semens-Flanagan, global engineering director at IMI Critical Engineering.

“In demanding applications, the valve manages high dynamic forces, so failure risks must be minimised for best possible performance,” he notes. “Similarly, valve issues including vibration, noise, and erosion caused by the wide differential pressures that occur during these operations can impact nearby equipment if not addressed.”

So, what can be done?

To address these concerns, IMI Critical Engineering has developed an integrated anti-surge and compressor recycle valve that combines multiple, co-acting technologies to balance efficient production and equipment health. The valve consists of IMI CCI’s DRAG Control Valve technology with SC/V actuators and smart, high-performance FasTrak or QuickTrak controllers and positioners. The solution’s individual parts, developed in-house at IMI, continually interact to reduce the chance of cycle trips to optimise performance at start-up and during operation.

Designed for operations in the oil and gas sectors, the valve also uses a high number of stages for small openings at low flow conditions. As a result, greater velocity and flow control is provided, meaning that fewer cycles are required to achieve product compression targets, reducing the carbon footprint. This provides another way for the industry to reduce emissions by making processes more efficient.

Semens-Flanagan adds: “Having greater control over compressor systems is crucial to ensuring optimal flow levels through the valve and improving plant sustainability in line with ever-tightening environmental legislation. Our unique, fully integrated anti-surge and compressor recycling valve is an excellent example of this approach in action.

“By leveraging expertise across both the IMI Critical Engineering team and IMI plc, we have developed options for specific plant, system, and performance needs. We are committed to providing breakthrough engineering for a better world, and this unique design will be instrumental in reducing emissions, improving plant safety and making processes more efficient.”

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