Recycle systems are important components in the operation of centrifugal compressor stations. They are essential during a start-up operation, for surge protection and for emergency shutdown (ESD). These operations are inherently dynamic where interactions between equipment, control and gas flow occur in a complex manner with the associated risk of compressor surge. Of particular importance are the effects of recycle system capacity, the recycle valve characteristics, check valve dynamic behavior, piping geometry and capacitance around the compressor unit, and the performance characteristics of the centrifugal compressor itself. This paper presents numerical results of the effects of some of these parameters on surge control, ESD and unit startup. These parameters are: i) The effects of damping the surge control flow signal in an attempt to suppress the signal noise, on the integrity of the surge control system, ii) The effects of recycle valve characteristics, stroke time and valve capacity on ESD, iii) The effects of recycle line size on ESD and iv) The effects of the recycle valve closing time (or rate) on the startup operation, with the intent of shortening this time to minimum for environmental reasons. Results were obtained from the solution of the pertinent dynamic equations describing the gas and equipment dynamics which has been verified against field and laboratory measurements. The examples presented in this paper were applied to a 24 MW natural gas compressor station on the NOVA Gas Transmission system, and to a scale-down laboratory model. Influence of other parameters from this investigation were published elsewhere and are cited in the reference section.

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