Monitoring Turbine and Compressor Operation

In January I posted a series of four (4) blogs that addressed the implement of an on-line compressor efficiency calculation. The example for this series was a compressor for a refrigeration system that used R134a refrigerant. If you have a similar compressor application in your plant then the information provided in these blogs may act as a guide in implementing this on-line calculation. In most cases, the tools commonly available in a distributed control system are sufficient to implement this on-line calculation. However, if you do not have time to implement this calculation for the variety of compressors and/or turbines in your plant then there are other ways to evaluate turbine or compressor operation efficiency that may prove to be easier to implement and support. One novel approach is based on cloud computing. MDC Technology (acquired by Emerson in Dec 2000) pioneered this approach long before Microsoft and other software companies discovered and started to promote the value of cloud computing.

This cloud based performance monitoring capability is marketed today (by Emerson) as AMS Performance Monitor. Web technology is used to collect, model, process and present performance information about critical plant equipment as illustrated below:

This capability may be used to monitor compressors (centrifugal and reciprocating) and calculate compressor efficiency (polytropic and adiabatic) as well as other compressor KPIs. These calculations are based on the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (AMSE) Performance Test Codes (PTCs) – i.e. PTC 10 for compressors. An example of the web interface to the compressor efficiency calculation is shown below.

Such a capability can be used to guide and improve plant operations.