In 1997 Alberta Natural Gas Co. Ltd (ANG) completed a field testing program of its centrifugal compressor fleet. Field performance and surge testing of centrifugal compressors in pipeline service was done for efficiency evaluation and to re-establish surge line control.
By confirming the actual location of the surge line, surge controllers are adjusted to allow a more efficient and greater operating range resulting in fuel savings and operating flexibility. The results of this testing provides an accurate operating window for the compression equipment which is then transferred to a hydraulic analysis computer model used to provide accurate capacity estimates in support of additional gas transmission contractible volumes. As part of the surge testing, suction to impeller eye differential pressure readings (used for surge control) were evaluated to determine strength, stability and repeatability. Finally, baseline data was established to determine current compressor operating efficiencies and will be used to determine future efficiency degradation.
ANG is a wholly owned subsidiary of TransCanada PipeLines, one of North America’s leading transporters of natural gas through its energy transmission businesses. ANG owns and operates the British Columbia segment of the Alberta-California pipeline system (ref Figure 1). Compression is provided at three compressor stations with eleven compressors totalling 187,000 installed ISO HP.