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A compressor is a mechanical device that transports any gas or a mixture of gasses by increasing its pressure and reducing its volume. Compressors are similar to pumps: both are used for transportation by increasing the pressure of a transported fluid. As gases are compressible, their volume is reduced inside the compressor. Many compressors can have stages in which the fluid can be compressed several times. The upcoming stage is physically always smaller than the current one, and each stage compresses the gas and increases its pressure even more.

There are two main types of compressors. Positive displacement and dynamic compressors.  Positive displacement compressors can be separated into rotary and reciprocating compressors, which can be separated further several more types.  While dynamic compressors can be separated into centrifugal and axial types of compressors.  All compressors can be operated by an electric motor can (using a variable frequency drive or power inverter) or by built-in oil pumps.

The application of compressor is wide, such as in pipeline transport of purified natural gas from the production site to the consumer, petrochemical and chemical plants, refrigeration and air conditioner equipment, gas turbine systems, manufacturing of PET plastic bottles and containers, aircraft and jet engines and others.

A turbine is a rotary mechanical device or a turbomachine that extracts useful energy from a fluid (gas or liquid) flow. It consists of at least one moving part (rotor) with special blades attached which are moved by the fluid.  There are several types of turbines: steam turbines are used to drive electrical generators in thermal power plants, aircraft gas turbines used as engines, transonic turbine, contra-rotating turbines, stator-less turbines, ceramic turbines, shrouded turbines, water turbines, wind turbines, and many others.

The application of compressor is wide, such as in electrical power plants, gas turbine engines on the land, sea, and air, piston engines, space shuttle main engines, refrigeration in industrial processes, and others.


Primary Process Control Improvements for Compressor and Turbine Units

Prior to any advanced process control (APC) project, even in compressor and turbine units, base-level PID tuning and optimization is a critical pre-requisite step. Unless base-level PID control loops are well tuned, advanced process control (APC) cannot work well, since advanced process control (APC) will be manipulating the setpoints of the base-level PID control loops. Therefore, the first necessary step in the overall process control improvement procedure for compressor and turbine units is PID tuning and optimization of primary or base-level PID controllers. The benefits of PID tuning and optimization in compressor and turbine unit is the reduction of the oscillation amplitude or increase of the controller action by a factor of 2 or 3. This allows to enable smoother running of the compressor and turbine unit with increased stability in all control loops avoiding unnecessary compressor and turbine unit problems such as: damage and/or to fast wear and tear of the equipment, plant irregular shutdowns or off spec product properties and/or grades.

Many engineers are worried about causing shut-downs and operating problems when tuning PID controllers on equipment like compressors, turbines and others. Trial-and-error PID tuning methods can be ineffective and even catastrophic since these processes are super-fast and very unforgiving. PiControl Solutions LLC has extensive experience in PID tuning and optimization for PID controllers in the compressor and turbine units. We understand and know how to tackle with typical PID control loop problems and have customized PID tuning and optimization software tools to help optimize all compressor and turbine unit controllers.

PiControl Solutions software is the most powerful PID tuning for high speed rotating equipment tool in the world. For analyzing high-speed data from compressors, turbines, extruders and other rotating equipment, consider our software.  The software can be used for very high-speed data – as fast as 1 millisecond or even faster.Our unique and novel closed-loop system identification technology makes it possible to tune and optimize base-level PID control loops quickly, efficiently and precisely. With our closed-loop technology we can perform system identification and PID tuning optimization of the following critical base-level PID controllers easily. Moreover, all process and data analysis and PID tuning and optimization work can be easily performed remotely by PiControl Solutions LLC process control engineers.

Advanced Process Control (APC) Improvements for Compressor and Turbine Units

PiControl Solutions LLC has extensive experience in advanced process control optimization for compressor and turbine units.  We understand the economics factors that drive the profit margin and have customized multivariable closed-loop system identification and advanced process control (APC) design and optimization tools to help optimize and improve the compressor and turbine units.

Because of the relatively small size of many compressor and turbine units, it is more cost-effective to implement DCS-based APC (advanced process control) rather than model predictive control (MPC) techniques. DCS-based APC (advanced process control) approach is fast, cost effective, all inside the existing DCS/PLC, avoiding the complications of OPC/other data communication links from computer to DCS.

We focus to analyze the process and provide the right economic advanced control solution for each compressor and turbine unit. Our DCS-based APC (advanced process control) methodology has proven particularly successful in the compressor and turbine units.

Our DCS-based APC (advanced process control) design will result in the following compressor unit benefits:

  • Optimal control of a process gas at the specified pressures or flow rates
  • Stable quality of compressors controls, final control elements and machine life and plant operating costs
  • Prevented surge conditions which can produce damage to the compressor (damage to the seals, bearings, shaft, blades and internally-mounted sensors), associated piping and upsets to the process
  • Avoided safety trips or temperature-dependent damages to the shaft and rotor
  • Reduced running costs, expensive equipment repairs, more frequent compressor overhauls, expensive plant down times
  • Designed optimal anti-surge compressor control will maintain a safe minimum flow through the compressor with a blow-off or recycle valve
  • Designed optimal capacity compressor control based on a suction and discharge pressures and flow by manipulating a suction and discharge valves, guide vanes or rotational speed
  • Automated and consistent start-ups and shutdowns of compressor by avoiding surge conditions
  • Designed process control logic for optimal performance of parallel operated compressors keeping the common discharge header pressure stable and minimizing the interactions between the parallel compressors
  • Designed process control logic for optimal performance of serial operated compressors keeping the same required pressure ratio

Advanced Process Control (APC) Improvements for Cement Production Processes

A properly implemented and optimized compressor control system prevents unnecessary process trips, minimizes the effect of process disturbances, avoids surge and surge damage, provides consistent and automated compressors start-up and shutdown, increases efficiency by minimizing recycle or blow-off and allows to operate at lowest possible energy level.

Our DCS-based APC (advanced process control) design will result in the following turbine unit benefits:

  • Optimal air to fuel ratio
  • Desired power turbine speed control regardless of load or fuel quality variations
  • Desired power turbine load control regardless of pressure or fuel quality variations
  • Power turbine and gas generator over speed protection for the
  • Safety control against fluid and turbine temperature and pressure limitations
  • Anti-surge control for the gas generator compressor
  • Automated start-ups, shutdowns and turbine loading
  • Advanced control strategies for: BF (Boiler Follow), TF (Turbine Follow) and CC (Coordinated Control) control modes

After DCS work on advanced process control (APC) schemes is complete and all advanced process control (APC) parameters are calculated and optimized, PiControl Solutions LLC will over factory acceptance test (FAT) make sure that the advanced process control (APC) design is complete, correct and operable.  After completion of process control (APC) control project, PiControl Solutions LLC will conduct dedicated process control training for compressor and turbine company.  PiControl Solutions has designed, optimized and started more than several well-proven compressor and turbine control algorithms utilizing above features in order to protect a compressor against surge and turbine from other negative effects, while maintaining the increased compressor and turbine capacity.

PiControl is an innovative process control software and services company that offers state of-the art, modern solutions at a lower cost, implemented in shorter time compared to competitors.

PiControl Solutions is the only process control and automation company in the world which can perform any advanced process control (APC) project completely remotely. Nowadays, every country uses high speed and reliable internet connection and with a help of medium to high resolution cheap web-cameras or even over widely used remote meeting and screen sharing applications it is possible to do complete design, tuning and optimization, FAT test and start-up of any advanced process control project. Over this low cost online/remote approach huge travel and accommodation costs can be saved and human health and safety can be kept on the high level.

For more information and details, please send us an email: [email protected] or call the Tel: (832) 495 6436.