This paper discusses the value of an effective compressor control system and the problems it may prevent.
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There is a growing need to diversify our energy supply choices. Natural gas has become a viable choice, but presents the challenge of transporting the gas from production site to consumer. Pipelines are not always available. An efficient means of accomplishing transportation is in the form of LNG.
The design of an LNG plant is based upon differing liquefaction processes. One process incorporates a refrigeration cascade, another is a multi-component refrigeration process (MCR) and another is a precooled, propane mixed refrigerant. The compressors used in the plant design are among the most critical and expensive pieces of equipment.
A compressor in an LNG plant is a sizeable investment and ongoing expense. Equipment failure and shutdowns are major risk events that significantly impact not only the plant’s production, but the equipment’s life cycle. The main purpose of a compressor system is to maximize the production throughput and enhance product quality. An integrated control system for the compressors is highly critical for safe, efficient and reliable operations. These control systems are utilized to protect the compressors from risk events such as surge, suction pressure, and control element failure.