Abstract

The operability region of a centrifugal compressor is bounded by the low-flow (or high-pressure ratio) limit, commonly referred to as surge. The exact location of the surge line on the map can vary depending on the operating condition and, as a result, a typical Surge Avoidance Line is established at 10% to 15% above the stated flow for the theoretical surge line. The current state of the art of centrifugal compressor surge control is to utilize a global recycle valve to return flow from the discharge side of a centrifugal compressor to the suction side to increase the flow through the compressor and, thus, avoid entering the surge region. This is conventionally handled by defining a compressor surge control line that conservatively assumes that all stages must be kept out of surge at all the time. In compressors with multiple stages, the amount of energy loss is disproportion-ally large since the energy that was added in each stage is lost during system level (or global) recycling.

This work proposes an internal stage-wise recycling that provides a much more controlled flow recycling to affect only those stages that may be on the verge of surge. The amount of flow needed for such a scheme will be much smaller than highly conservative global recycling approach. Also, the flow does not leave the compressor casing and therefore does not cross the pressure boundary. Compared to global recycling this inherently has less loss depending upon application and specific of control design.

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