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Wet Gas Compression: Characterizing Two-Phase Flow Inside a Compressor With Flow Visualization

[+] Author Affiliations
Melissa Poerner, Ryan Cater, Craig Nolen, Grant Musgrove, David Ransom

Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX

Paper No. GT2017-64541, pp. V009T27A020; 12 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2017: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Oil and Gas Applications; Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles; Wind Energy
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, June 26–30, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5096-1
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Wet Gas Compression (WGC) continues to be an important topic as oil and gas production is driven further out into the ocean and moves critical equipment to the ocean floor. In the last year, significant milestones have been reached for WGC by the installation of the first wet gas compressor off the coast of Norway. Even with this achievement, there is a lack of understanding of the physics behind WGC and there are deficiencies in the ability to predict the compressor performance. Understanding the two phase flow structure inside the compressor is important for validating WGC simulations and being able to predict compressor performance. This paper reviews the results from a test program focused on characterizing the flow inside the compressor by using flow visualization. An open impeller centrifugal compressor was outfitted with windows to view the flow inside the compressor at the inlet, inside the impeller and in the diffuser section. Testing was conducted with an ambient suction pressure at various compressor speeds, flow rates, and liquid volume fractions. Images and videos were captured at the different conditions in order to observe the two phase flow structure. The general patterns and trends that characterize wet gas flow are discussed in this paper.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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