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Compressor stations are facilities located along a natural gas pipeline which
compress the gas to a specified pressure, thereby allowing it to continue traveling along
the pipeline to the intended recipient.
Although mainline natural gas compressor stations vary widely in size and layout,
the basic components of such a station include compressor units, scrubber/filters, cooling
facilities, emergency shutdown systems, and an on-site computerized flow control and
dispatch system that maintains the operational integrity of the station. Almost all mainline
compressor stations, except the smallest, contain multiple compressor units and are
designed with enough horsepower and throughput capacity to meet the requirement of
pipeline operator.

Generalized Compressor Station Schematic

Compressor Unit
The compressor unit is a complete package which actually comprises of two
major elements.
1 Prime Mover (Gas Turbine Engine)
2 Gas Compressor (Booster)

A gas turbine engine is a type of internal combustion engine. Essentially, the engine
can be viewed as an energy conversion device that converts energy stored in the fuel to
useful mechanical energy in the form of rotational power. The term “gas” refers to the
ambient air that is taken into the engine and used as the working medium in the energy
conversion process.

This air is first drawn into the engine where it is compressed, mixed with fuel and ignited. The
resulting hot gas expands at high velocity through a series of airfoil-shaped blades
transferring energy created from combustion to turn an output shaft. The residual thermal
energy in the hot exhaust gas can be harnessed for a variety of industrial processes.

Major Components

The compressor takes in outside air and then compacts and pressurizes the air molecules
through a series of rotating and stationary compressor blades.


In the combustor, fuel is added to the pressurized air molecules and ignited.
The heated molecules expand and move at high velocity into the turbine section.


The turbine converts the energy from the high velocity gas into useful rotational power
though expansion of the heated compressed gas over a series of turbine rotor blades.

Output Shaft & Gearbox

Rotational power from the turbine section is delivered to driven equipment through the output
shaft via a speed reduction gearbox.


The engine’s exhaust section directs the spent gas out of the turbine section and into the

Temperature and Pressure Stations

 T1- Inlet to the compressor
 T2- Compressor discharge
 TPZ- Combustor flame temperature
 T3- Inlet to the first stage turbine rotor
 T5- Inlet to the third stage turbine rotor
 T7- Exhaust

Process (Brayton cycle)

Brayton cycle is the thermodynamic cycle for all gas turbines. This cycle consists of:

 Adiabatic compression
 Constant pressure heating
 Adiabatic expansion
Fig. 1—Simplified simple-cycle gas turbine diagram.

Fig. 2—typical “open” Brayton cycle for gas turbines.

Air enters the compressor inlet at ambient conditions (Point 1), is compressed (Point 2), and
passes through the combustion system, where it is combined with fuel and “fired” to the
maximum cycle temperature (Point 3). The heated air is expanded through the gas producer
turbine section (between Points 3 and 5), where the energy of the working fluid is extracted
to generate power for driving the compressor, and expanded through the power turbine to
drive the load (Point 7). The air is then exhausted to the atmosphere. A starting system is
used to get the air compressor up to sufficient speed to supply air for combustion with the
fuel injected into the combustor. A turbine’s continuous-burning combustion cycle, combined
with continuous rotation of the turbine rotor, allows virtually vibration-free operation, as well
as fewer moving parts and wear points than other prime movers.

Horsepower equation
Output power of gas turbine or Shaft horse power is product of mass flow rate through
gas turbine and enthalpy change.

SHP= Shaft Horse Power
Wa= Mass Flow of air
Cp= Specific heat
∆t= temperature change

Thermal efficiency
Thermal efficiency of gas turbine engine depends on its compression ratio(CR) and ratio
of specific heat(Cp/Cv)

Thermal efficiency= 1-(1/CR)^k-1/k

CR= compression Ratio
k= Cp/Cv

Prameters that affect Performance

there are two types of factors that affect the performance
1- Primary Parameters
2- Secondary Parameters

1- Primary Parameters
Followings are considered as Primary Parameters
 Inlet air temperature
 Barometric Pressure
 Inlet Pressure loss
 Exhaust back pressure
 Output speed
 Gear loss

2- Secondary Parameters
There are, in addition, other parameters that have lesser effect on gas turbine
performance are categorized as Secondary Parameters.These includes
 Relative humidity
 changing gas fuel composition
 Water injection
 Accessory Power extraction
 Bleed air
2 Gas Compressor (Booster)
Gas compressor or commonly called booster is centrifugal compressor coupled
with gas turbine engine.
The centrifugal compressor also known as the radial compressor is a compressor consist
of three main components.

1. A stationary casing
2. Rotating impeller
3. A diffuser

Stationary case
The casing is the pressure containing component of the centrifugal compressor. The
casing houses the stationary internal components as well rotating components. Bearings
are provided in the case to support impeller. Inlet and outlet are also integral to the
stationary case.

Impeller rotor

The compressor rotor is an assembly of impellers mounted on a steel shaft. Impeller

consists of a set of blades. As impeller start rotating the vanes draws low-pressure fluid
from the center of the impeller and pushes outward to its periphery by centrifugal force.
The rotating vanes accelerate the fluids as it moves from impeller input known as inducer
or eye to the outlet known as exducer.


The diffuser can be vaned, vaneless, or its combination. The gas exits impeller vanes at
very high velocity and enters to the diffuser. The kinetic energy of the gas is converted
into pressure as it passes over the diffuser. The volute casing collects the gas from the
diffuser and directed to the outlet.

The phenomenon of flow reversal due to stalling of compressor blades. When surge
condition approaches the operation of the compressor becomes unstable and steady flow
in the compressor breaks down. Compressor basically imparts Kinetic Energy to the fluid
in impeller and conversion of this energy into pressure energy by decreasing speed in
Diffuser. So, if maximum head capacity is reached, then pressure in diffuser will be
greater than pressure at impeller outlet. This will prevent fluid from moving further at
impeller outlet and causes the fluid in diffuser to flow back, i.e. flow reversal takes place.

If flow increases, and discharge pressure decreases, then it means that back pressure
experienced by the fluid will be less, i.e. resistance to flow is decreased. Hence, flow
increases, and flow velocity increases up to maximum MACH1 i.e. sonic speed. This is
very high speed and may cause severe damage to the compressor. This can be prevented
by maintaining minimum flow resistance to the fluid flow by providing Anti-choke
valves at discharge which closes to restrict the flow and hence preventing Choke.
Surge process
Assuming the compressor operates at point A (PA, ṁA) on the characteristic curve
(let at constant speed N4) as shown in Figure. Now if the flow rate is reduced to ṁB by
closing a control valve on the delivery pipe, the static pressure upstream of the valve is
increased. This increased pressure (PB) is then matched by the increased delivery pressure
(at B) which is developed by the compressor. Now further reducing the flow (to ṁC and
ṁS ), the increased pressures in the delivery pipe are again matched by the compressor
delivery pressures at C and S on the characteristic curve.
On the characteristic curve at the flow rates below ṁS provides lower pressure as seen in
the fig. at D and E. But now the pipe pressures due to further reduction of flow by valve
(let at point D) will be higher than the pressure at D and E. This unbalance between the
pipe pressure and the compressor delivery pressure only exist for a very short time. This
is because there is higher pressure in the pipe than the air pressure produced by the
compressor and due to this reversing of the flow takes place and it leads to a complete
break-down of the normal steady flow from the compressor to the pipe.

Ref:. Wikipedia