Dynamic Compressor Simulation & Surge Analysis Studies

Department Publications


Technical Publications

Contact Information

Augusto Garcia-Hernandez
Group Leader
Pipeline Simulation
(210) 522-5693

Jeffrey Bennett
Research Engineer
Pipeline Simulation
(210) 522-3761

Recycle Valve Analysis Results

Dynamic simulations can be used to predict the impact of changing valve size, type and sequencing.

Surge Margin Graph

The compressor surge margin is monitored during the simulation of an emergency shutdown of a four stage compressor. The simulation predicts that two stages will surge, thus system modifications will be investigated until a modification is found that adequately protects the system.

Compressor Map

Dynamic simulations agree well with recorded measurements after they have been tuned to steady state operational data.

Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) performs dynamic simulation studies to determine if transient events will cause system upsets such as surging compressors, over-pressuring piping, and overheating vessels. Typical transient events investigated include:

  • Start-up
  • Normal shutdown
  • Emergency shutdown
  • Blockage
  • Anti-surge valve fails open
  • Change in operating conditions

Standard industry practices do a reasonable job sizing compression stations for steady state operation; however, it is the transient events that are much more likely to cause damage to the system. Therefore, SwRI recommends performing a dynamic simulation study for new stations and when an existing system is modified or the operating conditions changed.

As part of the dynamic simulation study, SwRI will create a detailed model that represents all of the major components of your system. The analysis will be tailored to your operational concerns, such as:

  • Likelihood of centrifugal compressor surge and adequacy of anti-surge valves
  • Over-pressuring of key components
  • Over-heating and adequacy of coolers
  • High velocities that may indicate the likelihood of acoustically induced vibration
  • Evaluation of the system piping design response time and operating performance
  • Placement of the downstream check valve and anti-surge valve
  • Valve/actuation system selection

The simulation results will be used to recommend and investigate system modifications to prevent future downtime.

Field benchmarking and troubleshooting services can also be provided to complement the dynamic simulation study.

Contact us for more information about our dynamic compressor simulation capabilities, or how you can contract with SwRI. We can offer you the best approach for solving your compressor system analysis problem.

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Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.