Compressor plants operate continuously or frequently at unsteady operational conditions. This is due to pressure fluctuations within the plant, variable flow demand, or unsteady inlet conditions, as well as compressor shaft speed variations. Also, following demand, the compressor plants often work intermittently and they frequently start and stop.

An experimental and analytical study of a screw compressor plant operating under unsteady conditions has been carried out. For this purpose the one dimensional model of the processes within a compressor was extended to include other plant components. This was based on the differential equations of the conservation of mass and energy. The results derived from the model have been verified by experiment in order to obtain a reliable tool that can simulate a variety of scenarios which may occur in everyday compressor plant operation.

The analytical model was then extended to demonstrate the whole plant transient operation when a screw compressor is connected through connecting pipes with storage tanks, control valves and heat exchangers in a complete system.

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