Centrifugal compressors must avoid the potential for surge at low flow conditions. Surge is an unstable operating mode wherein pressure and flow oscillates, in some cases violently. Surge can happen when a compressor’s inlet flow decreases to a point where it is not physically able to overcome the downstream pressure requirements leading to flow reversal through the compressor. As downstream pressure is relieved, the compressor can push discharge pressure again, increasing the downstream pressure. This surge cycle can take place several times per second.
The instability created during surge can be quite severe and could potentially damage bearings, seals and thrust faces. It is therefore very important to control surge. L.A. Turbine can provide a full service solution to surge control, or can supply any component desired. Contact us today for additional details.