Centrifugal and Axial Compressor Control – Freely Available Educational Resource

We continue with our free educational book offerings today. The publication rights have been officially returned from Momentum Press to the author, Gregory K. McMillan, who has decided to make the book available for free to help advance knowledge and achievement in process control.

The first post in our series of three, Freely Available Educational Resource—Process Control Case Histories, proved to be hugely popular, both in visits to the blog post and engagement across social media sites.

Centrifugal and Axial Compressor Control by Gregory K. McMillanGreg’s book, Centrifugal and Axial Compressor Control, delves into the complex control challenges associated with these types of compressors, particularly in surge conditions. This is a unique opportunity to learn from a true industry leader.

Compressor anti-surge control is a topic that remains among the most visited posts here on the blog. In this book’s introduction, Greg highlights the challenge.

The cost of machinery damage and process downtime due to compressor surge and overspeed can be from thousands to millions of dollars for large continuous chemical or petrochemical plants. This text demonstrates how to select the proper control schemes and instrumentation for centrifugal and axial compressor throughput and surge control. More material is devoted to surge control because surge control is more difficult and the consequences of poor control are more severe.

Greg shared with me that the book has incredibly valuable and innovative surge models and control systems. He developed the DeltaV Mimic Foundation compressor surge model from equations in this book. There are likely few other high-fidelity dynamic first-principle surge models that are freely available.

Here are important learning objectives.

  • Learn how the compressor characteristics and operating conditions affect the potential for surge, the surge curve, and the surge controller set point.
  • Learn how the compressor and piping design affect the frequency and amplitude of the flow and pressure oscillations during surge.
  • Learn how the surge cycles cause compressor damage.
  • Learn the relative advantages of different types of instruments in detecting surge.
  • Learn how fast the approach to surge will be and how fast the flow reversal is at the start of the surge cycle.
  • Learn how to generate the surge curve and the set point for the surge controller for different compressors and operating conditions.
  • Learn why a backup open loop is needed in addition to the feedback loop for surge control and how to design one.
  • Learn how fast the transmitter, the controller, and the control valve must be to prevent surge.
  • Learn how to modify and maintain the control valve accessories to meet the stroking speed requirement.
  • Learn how the surge and throughput control system designs affect the operating efficiency of the compressor.
  • Learn how to assess the severity of interaction between the surge and throughput control loops and how to reduce it.
  • Learn how to use a computer to monitor changes in compressor performance for maintenance and advisory control.

If you’re responsible for managing the performance of your organization’s centrifugal and axial compressors, take advantage of this freely available download and advance your knowledge and expertise. A handy book reader app can help you flag and annotate sections you find valuable.

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