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Natural Gas Compressor Operation Optimization to Minimize Gas Turbine Outboard Bleed Air

[+] Author Affiliations
K. K. Botros

NOVA Research & Technology Center, Calgary, AB, Canada

H. Golshan, B. Sloof, Z. Samoylove, D. Rogers

TransCanada Pipelines Limited, Calgary, AB, Canada

Paper No. IPC2012-90047, pp. 681-689; 9 pages
  • 2012 9th International Pipeline Conference
  • Volume 1: Upstream Pipelines; Project Management; Design and Construction; Environment; Facilities Integrity Management; Operations and Maintenance; Pipeline Automation and Measurement
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 24–28, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International Petroleum Technology Institute, Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4512-7
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Gas turbine (GT) engines employed in natural gas compressor stations operate in different modes depending on the power, turbine inlet temperature and shaft speeds. These modes apply different sequencing of bleed valve opening on the air compressor side of the engine. Improper selection of the GT and the driven booster compressor operating conditions can lead to larger bleed losses due to wider bleed valve openings. The bleed loss inevitably manifests itself in the form of higher overall heat rate of the GT and greater engine emission. It is therefore imperative to determine and understand the engine and process conditions that drive the GT to operate in these different modes. The ultimate objective is to operate the engine away from the inefficient modes by adjusting the driven booster compressor parameter as well as the overall station operating conditions (i.e. load sharing, control set points, etc.). This paper describes a methodology to couple the operating conditions of the booster compressor to the modes of GT bleed valve opening (and the subsequent air bleed rates) leading to identification of the operating parameters for optimal performance (i.e., best overall efficiency and minimum CO2e emission). A predictive tool is developed to quantify the overall efficiency loss as a result of the different bleed opening modes, and map out the condition on the gas compressor characteristics. One year’s worth of operating data taken from an existing compressor station on TransCanada Pipelines’ Alberta system was used to demonstrate the methodology. This station employs GE-LM1600 gas turbine driving a Cooper Rolls-RFBB-30 centrifugal compressor. The results from the analysis conclusively indicate that there are operating regions on the gas compressor map where losses due to bleed valves are reduced and hence lower CO2 emissions, which presents an opportunity for operation optimization.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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