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Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Vol. 47, Nos. 56, September, 2011 (Russian Original Nos.

56, MayJune, 2011)



V. V. Elksnin,1 O. A. Priimak,2 and V. V. Elksnin3

Problems of designing chemical and oil and gas equipment components are reviewed. The efficiency of equipment depends a great deal on how adequately the design parameters of its components (assemblies and individual parts) have been taken into account in the mathematical model. This issue acquires special importance when designing articles consisting of a large number of components (units) integrated into a system where the behavior of any component depends on other components. In this regard, one cannot restrict oneself to the scrutiny of one individual component, but must scrutinize all components of the system. Not infrequently, the dimension of the problem to be solved by mathematical modeling is so huge that the available resources (power) of the computer are not enough to get an acceptable solution. In that situation, it will be judicious to use in the mathematical model supercomponents that allow one to get a solution of large problems on computers with limited resources. The example of substantiation of the efficiency of FPL-type dust trap filter, cited in this article, illustrates the effectiveness of application of mathematical modeling using supercomponents for solving problems associated with designing of chemical and oil and gas equipment. The problems are solved with the aid of ANSYS finite-element program.

Central Oil Equipment Design Bureau (TsKBN) is engaged in developing modern equipment for removing mechanical impurities and liquid from natural gas (NG) delivered to compressor stations (CS) of gas fields (GF) and booster compressor stations (BCS) of underground gas storages (UGS) and fields. The operating conditions of purification apparatuses and their specifications are similar in that in all cases mechanical impurities and liquid occur in NG in varying quantities (with the exception of variants of dry dust and pure liquid), and the demands placed on the purification efficiency and mechanical strength of the internal devices are quite high. So, it is advisable to develop a variety of designs of apparatuses (based on universal standard gas purifying components) for gas purification. Cyclone-type centrifugal components proved to be the best where the NG contains not only dropping liquid but also mechanical impurities, so special attention is focused on improving their designs for use in new apparatuses. TsKBN has developed unitized filter cartridges for using them as filtering and separating elements.

1 2

Central Oil Equipment Design Bureau, Gazprom Comapany (TsKBN Gazprom), Podolsk, Russia. Expert Technical Center, Central Oil Equipment Design Bureau (ETTs TsKBN), Podolsk, Russia. 3 Gidropress Experimental Design Bureau, Podolsk, Russia. Translated from Khimicheskoe i Neftegazovoe Mashinostroenie, No. 5, 3338, May, 2011.


0009-2355/11/0506-0342 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

Fig. 1. FPG-type filter-dust trap.

Based on minicyclones and filter cartridges, several designs of apparatuses for gas purification at CS of GF and BCS of UGS and fields have been developed. FPG- and FPL-Type Filter-Dust Traps Filter-dust traps are designated for thorough purification of gas from mechanical impurities and dropping liquid in installations for preparing process gas at CS of GS. FPG-type filter-dust traps (Fig. 1) are intended for use in head-end CS and CS having high liquid content (up to 1 g/m3 and for cases of sudden influx of liquid) in the gas being transported. FPL-type filter-dust traps are intended for CS having a steady and relatively small content of liquid (up to 0.1 g/m3) in the transported gas. In gas purification efficiency, such an apparatus substitutes two successively installed apparatuses, namely, dust trap and filter-separator. In the FPG-type filter-dust trap, the unpurified gas is fed through the inlet pipe into the gas entry assembly where it is preliminarily purified from large mechanical impurities and liquid. Thereafter, the gas flow acquires a rotary motion along the wall of the apparatus housing, whereupon the mechanical particles and liquid precipitate in the housing under the action of centrifugal forces and run down under gravity to the lower part of the apparatus through the annular gap in the protective plate. The protective plate separates the mechanical impurity collection area from the gas flow. The impurities accumulate in the lower part of the apparatus under the protective plate and leave the apparatus through the liquid discharge pipeline and the drainage pipeline. A part of the gas reaching below the plate through the annular gap and from the lower part of the gas inlet assembly flows out through the central hole in the protective plate and joins the common gas stream that moves through the central pipe into the dust trapping section where it spreads across the minicyclones. 343

Fig. 2. Main assemblies and components of FPL filter-dust trap.

In the minicyclones, the gas flow acquires a swirling motion in axial-flow vortex generators and the dropping liquid and mechanical impurities separate under the action of centrifugal forces. The separated mass is collected in a bin whose bottom is made in the form of an inclined plate and is removed therefrom through a special drain assembly. Thereafter, the gas ascends through the outlet pipes of the minicyclones to the upper part of the apparatus and reaches the final gas purification stage, namely, the filtering elements, which effect the final purification of the gas from the mechanical impurities and dropping liquid. The purified gas leaves the upper part of the apparatus through a gas exit nipple. The liquid accumulates in the plate of the filtering elements and is removed through the liquid exit nipple and drainage. The FPL filter-dust trap differs from the FPG in having a simpler design of the inlet assembly, smaller mass and size, and a reduced liquid collector. Let us examine the FPL filter-dust trap. Its main assemblies and elements are shown in Fig. 2. The dust trapping section is confined across the height by perforated plates, between which lie the elements of the section (minicyclones) and across the periphery, by the dust trap shell. The lower plate has a central hole where a bent pipe is inserted for gas delivery. At the other end, the pipe is attached to a gas delivery nozzle entrenched into the shell. The minicyclones are made in the form of two coaxially placed pipes of different diameters interconnected at a certain length by helically arranged vortex generating blades welded to the pipes by spot welding. The pipe with the larger diameter (minicyclone housing) has a conical nozzle, which is securely fixed around the hole in the lower perforated plate. The pipe with the smaller diameter (discharge pipe) is fixed around the hole in the upper perforated plate. In designing the dust trapping section, the task is to base the efficiency of its elements on the pressure differential arising from narrowing of the gas flow section due to fouling or deposition of impurities on the walls. 344

Fig. 3. Geometric (a) and finite-element (b) models of dust trap.

Fig. 4. Finite-element model of assembled minicyclone (a) and with casing and discharge tube having blade vortex generators hypothetically displaced along the axis (b).

In order to substantiate the efficiency, it is essential to have information about the stressed-strained state (SSS) in the dust trap components. In modeling the SSS of the dust trap, it is necessary to take account in the mathematical model of all of its key components: shell, perforated plates, all minicyclones, and gas delivery pipe. While modeling, it is always desirable to reduce the cost of developing the mathematical model and of machine resources. In this example, it is advisable to reduce the dimen345

Fig. 5. Supercomponent (a) and typical finite-element (b) parts of dust trap model.

sion of the task by half applying the conditions of symmetry relative to the plane where the gas delivery pipe is bent, i.e., it is possible to examine half of the dust trap structure. The geometric and finite-element models of the dust trap are shown in Figs. 3 and 4, respectively. For modeling, the elements of the shell are used. The elements inside the dust trapping section are loaded by differential pressure of 0.3 MPa. The shell, elliptical head, and gas delivery pipe are loaded by pressure of 7.5 MPa. The dust trap is made of 09G2S steel, with the exception of the minicyclones, which are made of corrosion-resistant steel. The rated wall temperature is 80C. A distinctive feature of the design of the described dust trap is presence of a large number of single-type elements: minicyclones, which are connected at one end with the lower perforated plate and at the other, with the upper one. The finiteelement model of the assembled minicyclone is shown in Fig. 4a and the minicyclone casing and the discharge pipe having blade vortex generators, in Fig. 4b. For modeling the minicyclones themselves (especially for giving detailed descriptions of the connection of the casing with the discharge pipe with the help of the blade vortex generators), a relatively large number of finite elements and nodes are required. However, only a relatively small number of nodes (external) connect each minicyclone with the nodes of the adjacent elements of the structure (perforated plates), while the other nodes are internal. This feature of the dust trap structure helps derive additional advantage in modeling the SSS in its elements because of use of supercomponents in the mathematical model. For supercomponent analysis there is no need for solving the problem relative to all nodes of the finite-element model. The whole structure is hypothetically divided into supercomponent and typical (finite-element) parts (the structure may be hypothetically considered as consisting only of supercomponents of different levels). For each supercomponent, the internal nodes are excluded and a matrix of rigidity and load vector relative to the supernodes, i.e., nodes, with the help of which the supercomponent is connected with the nodes of the adjacent elements of the structure, is formed. A complete solution is found for the nodes of the typical part (if it exists) and a reduced solution, for the supernodes. Thereafter, one can find a solution within the confines of each supercomponent using the derived solutions for the respective supernodes as boundary conditions. Supercomponents help use the memory of the machine economically by solving the problem with models of very high dimension. In the ANSYS program, two major possibilities of supercomponent analysis are realized.


Fig. 6. Conventional elastic stresses for typical finite-element part (general view).

The first one (from the bottom upward) helps build the supercomponent and typical parts of the model without prior building of the full model. If there are geometry- and load-wise similar supercomponent parts, one builds a single supercomponent, which is then copied into different points of the model. In doing so, one must take care that nodes of one supercomponent are not superposed on other nodes. The second possibility (from the top downward) helps get the supercomponent and typical parts of the model based on prebuilt complete model. In this case, there is no need for keeping track of the nodes of the supercomponents because they are already there in the complete model for building each supercomponent and separating the part having typical finite elements. Supercomponent analysis (substructure analysis) proposes to use three major steps called passes. 1. Generation pass building of supercomponents. In the generation pass, a group of regular finite elements is packed into a separate supercomponent. The packing is carried out with identification of the set of major degrees of freedom. In this case, an interface is established between the supercomponent and other typical finite elements. The supercomponent generation procedure consists of two basic steps: a model is built; loads are applied and a supercomponent matrix is created. In the generation pass, the main task is to build a part of the model, namely, the supercomponent. The typical finiteelement part, if there is one, is determined later in the use pass. However, it is necessary to formulate the modeling approach for both parts before the model is built. In particular, it is necessary to foresee how the supercomponent will be connected with the other elements. To ensure connection, the same number of nodes has to be used in the interface. The solution of the generation pass consists of matrices of supercomponents. As in any other analysis, in the supercomponent analysis, the type of analysis and option is determined, loads are applied, options of load step are determined, and solution is initialized. 2. Use pass use of supercomponents. In the use pass, use of supercomponents is realized in the analysis as with a part of the model. The complete model may be a single supercomponent or the supercomponent may be linked with the typical part of the model. The solution in the use pass consists only of reduced solution for the supercomponent (the degrees of freedom of solution are determined only for the major ones, i.e., for the supercomponents) and completed solution for the typical finite-element part. The use pass consists of a new model and new loads. So, the first step must be to clean the existing database.


Fig. 7. Stresses in perforated plates.

Fig. 8. Stresses for supercomponent: a) surface; b) median.

The model is built in a preprocessor (PREP7) and consists of the following actions: the supercomponent (MATRIX50) is determined as one of the types of the element; other types of finite elements are determined for the typical part; and the geometry of the typical finite-element part is determined. Special attention is paid to the determination of the interfaces where the typical finite elements are connected with the supercomponents. The location of the interface nodes must correspond exactly to the location of the respective key nodes in the supercomponents. Thereafter, loads are applied and we get a solution that consists of the completed solution for the typical finite-element part and reduced solutions with respect to the main degrees of freedom for the supercomponents. The completed solution for the typical finite-element part is recorded in the data file. The reduced solutions are recorded in the Jobname.dsub file. In order to analyze the reduced solution of all elements within the confines of the supercomponent, it is essential to accomplish the expansion pass discussed below.


3. Expansion pass the results of expansion within the confines of the supercomponent. In the expansion pass, launching is accomplished from the initial reduced solution and the result for all degrees of freedom is calculated within the confines of the supercomponent. If many supercomponents are examined in the use pass, separate expansion pass will be required for each supercomponent. In order to get the expanded solution within the confines of each supercomponent, it will be necessary to exit and repeatedly enter the solver. In this work, use has been made of the second possibility of supercomponent analysis in the ANSYS (from the top downward). The complete dust trap model corresponds to the finite-element model (Fig. 3b). The model is hypothetically divided into supercomponent and typical finite-element parts. The supercomponent part (Fig. 5a) includes 35 minicyclones. The typical part (Fig. 5b) consists of a cylindrical shell having an elliptical head part, an upper and a lower perforated plate, and a pipe for gas delivery into the dust trapping section. The supercomponent part, which includes internal nodes of the finite elements, comprises a substantial part of the whole model. The internal nodes of the supercomponent part do not partake in the main process of solution of the problem (in the process of determination of the main degrees of freedom for the supernodes), which helps reduce the constraints put on the capacity of the computer RAM. Let us briefly discuss the use of the above-referred three major steps (passes) of supercomponent analysis pertaining to the dust trap model. In the generation pass, the primary task is to build a part of the model, namely, the supercomponent. The solution of the generation pass consists of supercomponent matrices for all 35 minicyclones. In the use pass, the solution is initialized for getting the result of the typical part and the reduced solutions for all 35 supercomponents (minicyclones). The results obtained in the use pass for the typical part can be used for illustration and analysis. To analyze the stressed state, use is made of equivalent stresses eq (eq = 1 3, where 1 and 3 are the main stresses). The stresses for the shell components are characterized by surface eq.sur and median stresses. The results of calculations of surface stresses for a typical finite-element part are shown in Fig. 6 (the elliptical head parts are not shown) and for perforated plates, in Fig. 7. Stresses attain the maximum on the contour of the hole in the upper perforated plate and comprise 373.7 MPa. In the expansion pass, the solution for the expansion pass is initialized. After completion of the solution, the results of determination of the SSS can be scrutinized within the confines of all supercomponents (minicyclones). Analysis of the obtained data within the confines of the supercomponents shows that the maximum surface stresses eq.sur are realized in the local area around the conical part of the minicyclone housing located near the gas delivery pipe. These stresses comprise 525 MPa. In this case, the median stresses comprise 258 MPa. For the referred minicyclone, the distribution of surface stresses is shown in Fig. 8a and median stresses in Fig. 8b. In this example, no specific goal is set for substantiating the strength of the elements of the test dust trap with category-wise classification of stresses and with their analysis as is normally required [2]. The goal is to demonstrate clearly the advantages derived from use of supercomponent by supercomponent analysis one can get all necessary information about the SSS for substantiation of the operating efficiency of the dust trap components much more cheaply than by typical finiteelement analysis. The discussed issues do not claim to be a full elucidation of all problems of use of supercomponents, but the cited example is not so complicated and cumbersome that its solution is possible only by using supercomponent. At the same time, the cited example is a typical one a candidate for use of supercomponents since it offers a possibility of showing clearly that use of supercomponent allows efficient utilization of machine resources (power) and effective solution of the problem with very large models. The discussed example illustrates the effectiveness of application of mathematical modeling making use of supercomponents for solving practical problems relating to substantiation of efficiency of chemical and oil and gas equipment. The obtained data can be used for designing filter-dust traps based on minicyclones for gas purification at CS (compressor stations) of GF (gas fields) and BCS (booster compressor stations) of UGS (underground gas storages) and oil fields.


REFERENCES 1. 2. GOST R 52857.22007, Vessels and Apparatuses. Norms and Methods of Strength Calculation. Calculation of Cylindrical and Conical Shells, Convex and Flat End Plates and Covers. PNAE G-7-00286, Norms of Calculation of Strength of Equipment and Pipe Fittings of Nuclear Power Plants, Energoatomizdat, Moscow (1989).