SwRI-developed test rig performs well under wet gas condition

September 27, 2010
SwRI has designed a test loop for evaluating compressor performance under wet gas conditions.

Engineers in Southwest Research Institute's (SwRI) Mechanical Engineering Division have successfully tested a two-stage centrifugal compressor for offshore production. A test loop designed and built at SwRI was used to evaluate the compressor’s performance under wet gas conditions. The testing was conducted for a major energy producer.

Compressors, in general, are designed for dry applications. However, natural gas production often includes the presence of liquids. The ability to separate liquids from the gas is advantageous, especially if the liquid is a useful commodity. Conventional separation is practical for land-based applications, but can be difficult when production is offshore due to space and weight constraints.

The objective of the test program was to validate the client's design of a dry gas extraction system for use in a wet gas environment. Testing was conducted at an inlet pressure of 300 psia, with liquid volume fractions up to 5 percent. Performance measurements included shaft power, gas power, water injection flow rates, axial thrust, radial and axial vibration, and separator performance.

"We developed a test loop that allowed us to evaluate the system under closed loop conditions at elevated suction pressure," said Principal Engineer David Ransom, who serves as project manager for the test effort. "This condition is more representative of anticipated field conditions, providing more meaningful performance data for comparison to our client’s wet gas compression performance models."

Explore further: NASA's Marshall Center Successfully Tests 48-inch Solid Rocket Motor

Related Stories

Carbon sequestration field test begins

May 16, 2007

The U.S. Department of Energy says its Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium has started its first enhanced oil recovery field test in Illinois.

NASA Engineers Complete Engine Test Series For Ares I Rocket

August 19, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., have completed a series of tests on a key component of the J-2X engine. The J-2X powers the upper stage of the Ares I rocket, which will ...

Recommended for you

Xbox gaming technology may improve X-ray precision

December 1, 2015

With the aim of producing high-quality X-rays with minimal radiation exposure, particularly in children, researchers have developed a new approach to imaging patients. Surprisingly, the new technology isn't a high-tech, high-dollar ...

Making 3-D imaging 1,000 times better

December 1, 2015

MIT researchers have shown that by exploiting the polarization of light—the physical phenomenon behind polarized sunglasses and most 3-D movie systems—they can increase the resolution of conventional 3-D imaging devices ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.