Pulsation Analysis

Pulsation analysis is the study and control of acoustic resonances in gas pipe systems caused by strong harmonic forcing from reciprocating gas compressors. These acoustic resonances can reduce the efficiency of compressors and also increase the wear-rate of their valves. When the frequency of these acoustic resonances coincides with mechanical resonances in the attached pipework, there can be excessive vibration and fatigue failure.

Pulsation analysis is used as a design tool, especially for new process gas compressors purchased to API 618. It is also used for pulsation dampener design or as part of the trouble shooting process where pipe failure has arisen and system modifications are required. Sometimes existing compressor systems need re-evaluating when gas conditions change significantly, or the pipework is significantly altered.

Spectrum Fluid Dynamics is a world leader in the provision of pulsation analysis and dampener design services and we use our own well-established PIPAC® acoustic analysis software. Mechanical analysis of compressors, their pipework, and support structures is carried out using ANSYS finite element software. Over the last 25 years, simulations and site measurements have been undertaken for all the world’s main compressor manufacturers, and many of the leading engineering contractors and oil companies – a total of over 550 studies. Spectrum carry out site troubleshooting services worldwide.

Spectrum have evaluated the requirements of the 5th Edition of API 618 (2007); updated the PIPAC® software and successfully completed a number of 5th Edition studies.

Projects include:

  • Engen refinery, Republic of South Africa, for Dresser Rand UK
  • Dow Chemical Iberica SA, Spain, for Thomassen Compression Systems
  • Troubleshooting at Kharg Chemical Company, Iran for Ralph M Parsons
  • NODCO refinery, Qatar, for Burckhardt Compression AG
  • PNEM Eindhoven Holland, for Neuman and Esser
  • KPI fertilizer plant, Indonesia, for Mikuni Engineering
  • Repsol Cartegena refinery, Spain, for ABC Compressors

Photograph courtesy of Thomassen Compression Systems – one of the world’s leading suppliers of innovative compression solutions for both greenfield and revamp petrochemical projects.

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