US20140321988A1 - Device for modifying flow parameters of working fluid exiting a compressor device - Google Patents

Device for modifying flow parameters of working fluid exiting a compressor device Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140321988A1
US20140321988A1 US13/872,667 US201313872667A US2014321988A1 US 20140321988 A1 US20140321988 A1 US 20140321988A1 US 201313872667 A US201313872667 A US 201313872667A US 2014321988 A1 US2014321988 A1 US 2014321988A1
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Prior art keywords
nozzle
outlet
area
compressor
working fluid
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US13/872,667
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Dale Eugene Husted
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Howden Roots LLC
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Dresser LLC
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Priority to US13/872,667 priority Critical patent/US20140321988A1/en
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Publication of US20140321988A1 publication Critical patent/US20140321988A1/en
Assigned to HOWDEN ROOTS LLC reassignment HOWDEN ROOTS LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: DRESSER, INC.
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE - DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D29/00Details, component parts, or accessories
    • F04D29/40Casings; Connections of working fluid
    • F04D29/42Casings; Connections of working fluid for radial or helico-centrifugal pumps
    • F04D29/44Fluid-guiding means, e.g. diffusers
    • F04D29/46Fluid-guiding means, e.g. diffusers adjustable
    • F04D29/462Fluid-guiding means, e.g. diffusers adjustable especially adapted for elastic fluid pumps
    • F04D29/464Fluid-guiding means, e.g. diffusers adjustable especially adapted for elastic fluid pumps adjusting flow cross-section, otherwise than by using adjustable stator blades
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE - DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D17/00Radial-flow pumps, e.g. centrifugal pumps; Helico-centrifugal pumps
    • F04D17/08Centrifugal pumps
    • F04D17/10Centrifugal pumps for compressing or evacuating
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE - DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D27/00Control, e.g. regulation, of pumps, pumping installations or systems
    • F04D27/02Surge control
    • F04D27/0246Surge control by varying geometry within the pumps, e.g. by adjusting vanes
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE - DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D27/00Control, e.g. regulation, of pumps, pumping installations or systems
    • F04D27/02Surge control
    • F04D27/0253Surge control by throttling
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F05INDEXING SCHEMES RELATING TO ENGINES OR PUMPS IN VARIOUS SUBCLASSES OF CLASSES F01-F04
    • F05DINDEXING SCHEME FOR ASPECTS RELATING TO NON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, GAS-TURBINES OR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F05D2250/00Geometry
    • F05D2250/50Inlet or outlet
    • F05D2250/52Outlet

Abstract

This disclosure describes improvements that can expand the operating envelope of a compressor device. These improvements implement devices that vary flow parameters of a working fluid at the exit of the compressor device. In one embodiment, the device utilizes a nozzle that installs into the discharge opening on a volute of a centrifugal compressor. Actuation of the nozzle modifies a flow area through which the working fluid exits the centrifugal compressor. The change in the flow area increases the velocity of the working fluid, without the need to change the operating speed and/or other operating parameters of the centrifugal compressor.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • The subject matter disclosed herein relates to compressor devices and, in particular, to manipulation of flow parameters at an outlet region to expand the operating envelope of a compressor device (e.g., centrifugal compressors).
  • Compressor devices draw a working fluid into an inlet, compress the working fluid, and expel the compressed working fluid from an outlet. The flow parameters of the working fluid at the outlet are often set to satisfy performance and/or other characteristics for a process, application, and/or setting, that utilizes the compressor device. For example, the process may require the compressor to deliver the working fluid at a set of designated setpoints, e.g., flow rate, pressure, etc. The compressor device must operate in a manner so that the working fluid enters the inlet at an inlet flow rate to achieve these setpoints. However, as a competing interest, many process owners wish to operate the compressor device as efficiently as possible to reduce operating costs. Minimizing power consumption may require the compressor device to operate at the lower boundaries of the desired operating envelop, which defines the minimum compressor speed (e.g., speed of rotation for the impeller) and/or inlet flow rates to achieve the setpoints. In some implementations, operation of centrifugal compressors to achieve efficiencies can vary the compressor speed to match inlet flow and discharge pressure, maintain a fixed compressor speed and throttle the flow at the inlet (with one or more inlet guide vanes), and/or utilize a throttling valve at the discharge of the compressor. However, by approaching these lower boundaries of the operating envelop, the compressor device can enter various fault conditions (e.g., surge) that can have adverse affects on the process and, notably, damage the compressor device.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • This disclosure describes improvements that can expand the operating envelope of a compressor device. These improvements implement devices that vary flow parameters of a working fluid at the exit of the compressor device. In one embodiment, the device utilizes a nozzle that installs into the discharge opening on a volute of a centrifugal compressor. Actuation of the nozzle modifies a flow area through which the working fluid exits the centrifugal compressor. The change in the flow area increases the velocity of the working fluid, without the need to change the operating speed and/or other operating parameters of the centrifugal compressor.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Reference is now made briefly to the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • FIG. 1 depicts a schematic diagram of an exemplary embodiment of a nozzle device as part of an exemplary compressor device;
  • FIG. 2 depicts a schematic diagram of a top view of the nozzle device of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 depicts a schematic diagram of the nozzle device and compressor device of FIG. 1 as part of an exemplary control system;
  • FIG. 4 depicts a flow diagram of an exemplary embodiment of a method to operate a nozzle device, e.g., the nozzle device of FIGS. 1, 2, and 3;
  • FIG. 5 depicts a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a nozzle device in exploded form;
  • FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view of the nozzle device of FIG. 5 as part of a compressor device;
  • FIG. 7 depicts a front view of the nozzle device of FIG. 5 in a first position on a compressor device;
  • FIG. 8 depicts a top view of the nozzle device of FIG. 7;
  • FIG. 9 depicts a front view of the nozzle device of FIG. 5 in a second position on a compressor device; and
  • FIG. 10 depicts a top view of the nozzle device of FIG. 9.
  • Where applicable like reference characters designate identical or corresponding components and units throughout the several views, which are not to scale unless otherwise indicated.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic diagram of an exemplary embodiment of a nozzle device 100 that can modify flow parameters of a working fluid (e.g., gas and liquids). The nozzle device 100 is part of a compressor device 102 that includes an impeller 104 and a flow housing 106 with an inlet region 108 and an outlet region 110. The compressor device 102 also includes a drive unit 112 and a drive shaft 114 to transfer energy to the impeller 104. This transfer causes the impeller 104 to rotate, as generally indicated by the arrow enumerated with the numeral 116.
  • At the outlet region 110, the nozzle device 100 has a nozzle outlet 118 that defines a nozzle outlet area 120. The compressor device 102 can couple with industrial piping at the outlet region 110. During operation, the working fluid flows through the nozzle outlet 118 into the industrial piping with flow parameters (e.g., pressure, velocity, flow rate, etc.) as desired. Values for the flow parameters are particular to the application and/or industry setting that implements the compressor device 102. Examples of these industries include automotive industries, electronic industries, aerospace industries, oil and gas industries, power generation industries, petrochemical industries, and the like.
  • The nozzle device 100 can modify the flow parameters of the working fluid that exits the flow housing 106. This feature effectively expands the operating envelope of the compressor device 102 to include, for example, flow rates at the inlet region 108 (also “inlet flow rates”) that would normally induce pressure pulsations indicative of surge. These pressure pulsations can disrupt operation and, often, stall the compressor device 102. To this end, use of the nozzle device 100 permits the compressor device 102 to continue to operate at inlet flow rates below inlet flow rates that would induce surge conditions. This configuration can also change the velocity of the working fluid that enters the industrial piping without the need to modify operating parameters (e.g., operating speed) of the compressor device 102.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a schematic diagram of a top view of the outlet region 110 taken a line 2-2 of FIG. 1. In this schematic diagram, one exemplary geometry for the nozzle outlet 118 is shown to illustrate operation of the nozzle device 100 to change the nozzle flow area 120. Although shown as generally annular shapes, this disclosure contemplates other geometry and, also, the myriad of configurations of components that can implement the select geometry to modify flow parameters of the working fluid. The selection of geometry and components may depend, for example, on the configuration of any one or more of the flow housing 106 (FIG. 1) and/or the outlet region 110, as well as the construction and/or operation of the compressor device 102 (FIG. 1).
  • As shown in FIG. 2, the nozzle outlet area 120 can have one or more flow areas (e.g., a first flow area 122 and a second flow area 124). The change in the size of the nozzle outlet area (e.g., as between the first flow area 122 and the second flow area 124) can increase and decrease the velocity of the working fluid that exits at the nozzle outlet 118. In one example, the second flow area 124 is smaller than the first flow area 122. Reducing the flow area (e.g., from the first flow area 122 to the second flow area 124) restricts the flow of the working fluid that exits the outlet region 110. The restriction increases the fluid pressure upstream, which in turn increases the velocity (or flow rate) of the working fluid proximate the nozzle outlet 118. In contrast, increasing the flow area (e.g., from the second flow area 124 to the first flow area 122) facilitates flow of the working fluid through the nozzle outlet 118. The larger flow area (as shown by the first flow area 122) reduces pressure of the working fluid downstream and, accordingly, decreases the velocity (or flow rate) of the working fluid proximate the nozzle outlet 118.
  • FIG. 3 shows the compressor device 100 as part of a system 126 (also “control system 126”) that can provide process controls and/or other operating signals, e.g., to instruct operation of the nozzle device 100 and/or the compressor device 102. The system 126 includes a control device 128 that has a processor 130, control circuitry 132, and memory 134, which can store one or more executable instructions 136, e.g., in the form of software and firmware that are configured to be executed by a processor (e.g., the processor 130). The control device 128 can also includes busses 138 to couple components (e.g., processor 130, control circuitry 132, and memory 134) of the control device 128 together. The busses 138 permit the exchange of signals, data, and information from one component of the controller 128 to another. In one example, control circuitry 132 includes a sensor driver circuit 140, a nozzle driver circuit 142, and a motor driver circuit 144. The sensor driver circuit 140 can couple with a sensor element 146, e.g., a pressure sensor disposed in the flow of the working fluid in the flow housing 104. The nozzle driver circuit 142 and the motor driver circuit 144 can couple with, respectively, the nozzle device 100 and the motor unit 110.
  • The control device 128 can communicate with a network system 148 with one or more external servers (e.g., external server 150) and a network 152 that connects the control device 128 to the external server 150. This disclosure also contemplates configurations in which one or more programs and/or executable instructions are found on the external server 150. The control device 128 can access these remotely stored items to perform one or more functions disclosed herein. In one embodiment, a computing device 154 may communicate with one or more of the control device 128 and the network 152, e.g., to interface and/or interact with the compressor device 100 and/or system 126, as desired.
  • At the system level, the control device 128 can instruct operation of the nozzle device 100 to change the size of the flow area. Use of the control device 128 and sensor element 146, for example, can create a feedback loop that monitors operation of the compressor device to select the appropriate flow area for the nozzle outlet 118. Examples of the sensor element 146 include devices that generate signals in response to a variety of fluid properties (e.g., pressure, temperature, relative humidity, etc.) in one or more locations, e.g., at locations in the flow housing 106 upstream of the outlet region 110 as well as throughout the compressor device 100. In one implementation, these signals contain data that reflects fluid pressure and, in particular, static fluid pressure in the flow housing 106. The control device 128 can utilize this data to generate an output with instructions that cause the nozzle device 100 to orient the nozzle outlet 118 to reflect the flow area that corresponds to the fluid pressure. For purposes of the present example, the feedback loop facilitates operation of the compressor device 102 by operating the nozzle device 100 to form the appropriate flow area to avoid surge based on the value for the static fluid pressure measured by the sensor element 146.
  • In other implementations, the system 126 can improve operation and/or efficiency of the flow housing and, in particular, the collector portion of a volute. The system 126 can utilize a plurality of sensor elements 146 to measure static pressure at points proximate the inlet to the volute and at points proximate the outlet, or discharge flange. The system 126 can also calculate total pressure, which comprises a static pressure and a dynamic pressure (e.g., pressure due to velocity of gas). In one example, the efficiency of the volute collector can be calculated according to Equations (1), (2), and (3) below,
  • η collector = c p - actual c p - ideal , Equation ( 1 ) C p - actual = ( P 1 - P 2 ) ( P O 1 - P 2 ) , Equation ( 2 ) C p - ideal = 1 A 2 A 1 , Equation ( 3 )
  • wherein ηcollector is the volute collector efficiency, P1 is static pressure at a first point, P2 is static pressure at a second point that is downstream of the first point, PO1 is total pressure at the first point, and A2 and A1 are the projected area perpendicular to flow at, respectively, the first point and the second point. In one example, the first point and the second point are found, respectively, proximate the inlet of the volute and proximate the outlet of the volute.
  • FIG. 4 depicts a flow diagram of a method 200 to modify flow parameters of working fluid that exits a compressor device, e.g., via the nozzle outlet 118 of FIGS. 1, 2, and 3. Broadly, examples of the method 200 can utilize operating conditions and properties of a compressor device (e.g., compressor device of FIGS. 1, 2, and 3) to effectively instruct operation of a nozzle device (e.g., nozzle device 100 of FIGS. 1, 2, and 3). Examples of these operation conditions and parameters include fluid pressure, discussed above, as well as temperature, flow rate, operating speed and temperature of the drive unit, and the like. The steps of the method 200 can embody one or more executable instructions, which can be coded, e.g., part of hardware, firmware, software, software programs, etc.). These executable instructions can be part of a computer-implemented method and/or program, which can be executed by a processor (e.g., processor 130 of FIG. 3) and/or processing device.
  • As shown in FIG. 4, the method 200 includes, at step 202, receiving a first signal with data that reflects a first operating property of the compressor device. The method 200 also includes, at step 204, selecting an outlet flow parameter for the working fluid at the outlet region relating to the first operating property. The method 200 further includes, at step 206, generating an output to instruct the nozzle device to assume a nozzle flow area for the nozzle outlet to achieve the outlet flow parameter.
  • The step for receiving the first signal (e.g., at step 202) can utilize data that arises from a sensor (e.g., sensor 146 of FIG. 3) and/or components of a compressor device (e.g., compressor device 102 of FIGS. 1, 2, and 3). This data can include information that relates to operating properties, e.g., pressure, temperature, operating speed, power consumption, etc. In one embodiment, the method 200 may include one or more steps for storing the data, which can be used for aggregating data and charting performance of the compressor device over time.
  • The step of selecting an outlet flow parameter (e.g., at step 204) relates, in one example, the value of the operating property to the velocity (and/or flow rate) of the working fluid at the outlet region (e.g., outlet region 110 of FIGS. 1 and 2). This feature can allow the compressor device to operate at lower inlet flow rates, e.g., by assigning values to the outlet flow parameter that will prevent surge and/or surge conditions that can stall the compressor device. In one embodiment, the method 200 can also include steps for comparing the operating property to a threshold criteria and determining whether the operating property satisfies the threshold criteria, e.g., is the same and/or greater than the threshold criteria, is the same and/or less than the threshold criteria, and/or is within an operating range relative to the threshold criteria. The operating range can, for example, specify a percentage (e.g., 10%) that the operating property must fall into relative to the threshold criteria before the method 200 changes the outlet flow area as set forth herein.
  • The step for generating the output (e.g., at step 206) can activate the nozzle device to change the flow area of the nozzle outlet, e.g., between first flow area 122 of nozzle outlet 118 and second flow area 124 of nozzle outlet 118 of FIG. 2. As discussed above, and contemplated herein, the change in the flow area can modify flow parameters of the working fluid exiting the flow housing. This feature can advantageously improve operating performance, e.g., by preventing surge conditions and allowing the compressor device to operate at inlet flow rates outside the bottom threshold of the normal operating envelope for the compressor device. In one embodiment, the method 200 may also include steps in which the output also comprises data that can display on a screen and/or display. This data may help illustrate, graphically, operation of the compressor device and/or to show an end user the position, size, configuration, and other feature of the nozzle device during operation of the compressor device.
  • FIGS. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 depict another exemplary embodiment of a nozzle device 300. The exploded assembly of FIG. 5 illustrates one construction for the nozzle device 300. In this construction, the nozzle device 300 includes a nozzle body 356, one or more guide elements 358, and an actuator element 360. The nozzle body 356 can take the form of an elongated cylindrical element 362 with a first section 364, a second section 366, and an longitudinal axis 368 extending therethrough. The elongated cylindrical element 362 has a generally tubular shape in the first section 364. In the second section 364, the elongated cylindrical element 362 forms one or more projections 370 that are disposed circumferentially about the longitudinal axis 368. This configuration of the projections 370 forms the nozzle outlet area 318. The guide elements 358 couple with the projections 370. The guide elements 358 have a radially exterior edge 372 with a first end 374 and a second end 376. In one example, the radial distance of the radially exterior edge 372 of the guide elements 358 as measured from the longitudinal axis 368 increases from the first end 374 to the second end 376. The actuator element 360 includes an area control element 378 and one or more roller elements 380, which can contact the radially exterior edge 372 of the guide elements 358.
  • The projections 370 can change position to modify the flow area of the nozzle outlet area 318. This feature can change the size of the nozzle outlet area 318, e.g., between the first nozzle area 122 and the second nozzle area 124 shown on FIG. 2 and discussed above. Examples of the projections 370 may bend and/or flex radially relative to the longitudinal axis 368. In one example, the projections 370 move independent of one another relative to the longitudinal axis 368.
  • The area control element 378 can form an annular ring (and/or partially-annular ring) that circumscribes at least part of the elongated cylindrical element 362. This annular ring provides a rigid structure with a fixed inner diameter to secure the position of the roller elements 380. Examples of the roller elements 380 may include rollers, as shown, as well as castors, wheels, and like devices that facilitate motion. For example, in lieu of the roller elements 380, the actuator element 360 may include low-friction and/or bearing materials that can reduce friction, e.g., between the actuator element 360 and the guide elements 358.
  • In one implementation, the actuator element 360 can move along the longitudinal axis 358, e.g., between a first position and a second position. This movement causes the roller elements 380 to engage a different part (and/or point, section, portion) of the radially exterior edge 372 at the first position and the second position. As the roller elements 380 engage parts of the radially exterior edge 372 proximate the second end 376, the change in the radial distance of the radially exterior edge 372 will cause the roller elements 380 to apply force against the projections 370. This force will push the projections 370 inwardly, e.g., toward the longitudinal axis 318 to reduce the size of the nozzle outlet 318. On the other hand, engagement of the roller elements 380 with parts of the radially exterior edge 372 proximate the first end 374 will relieve the pushing force. In this position, the projections 370 will move outwardly, e.g., away from the longitudinal axis 368 to increase the size of the nozzle outlet 318. In one example, the nozzle device 300 may include one or more resilient members (e.g., a spring) that applies a bias force to one or more of the projections 370 to aid the movement of the projections 370 away from the longitudinal axis 368.
  • Construction of the components (e.g., the elongated cylindrical element 362, the guide elements 358, and the area control element 378) can utilize a wide variety of materials (e.g., metals, plastics, composites, etc.). These components may be constructed as unitary components which are fastened together to form the nozzle device 300, e.g., using screws, bolts, welds, and the like. In other constructions, the components (e.g., the projections 370 and the guide elements 358 are formed monolithically as an integrated structure. However, aspects of the implementation of the nozzle device 300 may dictate construction and materials with properties (e.g., corrosion resistance) or exhibit certain characteristics that are more appropriate, e.g., for certain types of working fluid, flow parameters, and other conditions.
  • FIG. 6 shows the nozzle device 300 on a compressor device 302. As shown in FIG. 6, the nozzle device 300 also includes an actuator 382 that can couple with the actuator element 360. Examples of the actuator 382 can include pneumatic and electro-mechanical devices that can change the position of the area control element 378. The flow housing 306 forms a volute 384 with a curvilinear body that winds about the impeller 304. During operation, the drive unit 312 rotates the drive shaft 314, which turns the impeller 304. Rotation of the impeller 304 draws a working fluid (e.g., gas and/or liquid) into the inlet region 306. The impeller 304 compresses the working fluid. The compressed working fluid traverses the curvilinear body of the volute 384 to exit the compressor device, e.g., through the nozzle outlet 318 of the nozzle device 300.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a front view of the nozzle device 300 and the compressor device 302 with the volute 384 in phantom lines. In FIG. 7, the curvilinear body of the volute 384 terminates in the outlet section 310 at a discharge flange 386 that circumscribes a discharge opening 388. The first section 364 of the elongated cylindrical element 362 fits into the discharge opening 388. In one example, the first section 362 extends a distance from the discharge flange 386 into the volute 384. The second section 366 extends above the discharge flange 386 to direct the projections 370 in a generally upwardly orientation relative to the discharge flange 386. The actuator element 360 is in a first position, proximate the discharge flange 386. As best shown in FIG. 8, this position of the actuator element 360 arranges the projections 370 to form the nozzle outlet 318 with a first outlet area 322 (and generally identified in phantom lines).
  • FIG. 9 also illustrates a front view of the nozzle device 300 and the compressor device 302 with the volute 384 in phantom lines. The actuator element 360 is in a second position, spaced apart from the discharge flange 386. As best shown in FIG. 10, this position of the actuator element 360 arranges the projections 370 to form the nozzle outlet 318 with a second outlet area 322, which is relatively smaller than the first outlet area 320.
  • In light of the foregoing discussion, movement of the actuator element 360 between the first position (FIGS. 7 and 8) and the second position (FIGS. 9 and 10) can change the flow parameters of working fluid that exits the nozzle outlet 318. Reducing the size of the nozzle outlet 318 to the second outlet area 322 can increase the velocity of the working fluid. The change in velocity can prevent a failure condition (e.g., surge and/or stall) on the compressor device 302. This feature can increase the operating envelope of the compressor 300, thereby allowing the compressor device 300 to operate at lower inlet flow rates. For variable speed operations, lower operating speeds consistent with the wider operating envelope will, in turn, improve operating efficiencies for the compressor device 300 by reducing energy consumption.
  • Compressor devices that utilize electric motors as the prime mover of the impeller can also benefit from implementation of the proposed designs. Use of the variable volute can reduce current in-rush that can occur, for example, during start-up of a compressor device. In one implementation, compressor devices that are not able to operate at lower inlet volume flows must be shut down while another compressor device is brought on-line. Current in-rush can occur when the shut-down compressor device is activated and brought back on-line.
  • As set forth herein, embodiments of the various control and processing devices (e.g., control device 128 of FIG. 3) can comprise computers and computing devices with processors and memory that can store and execute certain executable instructions, software programs, and the like. These control devices can be a separate unit, e.g., part of a control unit that operates a compressor device and/or other equipment in an industry setting. In other examples, these control devices integrate with the compressor device, e.g., as part of the hardware and/or software configured on such hardware. In still other examples, these control devices can be located remote from the compressor device, e.g., in a separate location where the control device can issue commands and instructions using wireless and wired communication via a network (e.g., network 152 of FIG. 3).
  • These control devices may have constructive components that can communicate amongst themselves and/or with other circuits (and/or devices), which execute high-level logic functions, algorithms, as well as executable instructions (e.g., firmware instructions, software instructions, software programs, etc.). Exemplary circuits of this type include discrete elements such as resistors, transistors, diodes, switches, and capacitors. Examples of a processor (e.g., processor 130 of FIG. 3) include microprocessors and other logic devices such as field programmable gate arrays (“FPGAs”) and application specific integrated circuits (“ASICs”). Although all of the discrete elements, circuits, and devices function individually in a manner that is generally understood by those artisans that have ordinary skill in the electrical arts, it is their combination and integration into functional electrical groups and circuits that generally provide for the concepts that are disclosed and described herein.
  • The structure of these control devices can permit certain determinations as to selected configuration and desired operating characteristics that an end user might convey via the graphical user interface or that are retrieved or need to be retrieved by the device. For example, the electrical circuits of these control devices can physically manifest theoretical analysis and logical operations and/or can replicate in physical form an algorithm, a comparative analysis, and/or a decisional logic tree, each of which operates to assign the output and/or a value to the output that correctly reflects one or more of the nature, content, and origin of the changes in parameters (e.g., flow parameters of a working fluid) that are reflected by the inputs to these control devices as provided by the corresponding control circuitry, e.g., control circuitry 132 of FIG. 3).
  • In one embodiment, a processor (e.g., processor 130 of FIG. 3) can also include state machine circuitry or other suitable components capable of controlling operation of the components as described herein. The memory (e.g., memory 134 of FIG. 3) includes volatile and non-volatile memory and can store executable instructions in the form of and/or including software (or firmware) instructions and configuration settings. Each of the control circuitry (e.g., control circuitry 132 of FIG. 3) can embody stand-alone devices such as solid-state devices. Examples of these devices can mount to substrates such as printed-circuit boards and semiconductors, which can accommodate various components including a processor, memory, and other related circuitry to facilitate operation, e.g., of control device 128 of FIG. 3.
  • However, although processor, memory, and the components of control circuitry might include discrete circuitry and combinations of discrete components, this need not be the case. For example, one or more of these components can comprise a single integrated circuit (IC) or other component. As another example, a processor can include internal program memory such as RAM and/or ROM. Similarly, any one or more of functions of these components can be distributed across additional components (e.g., multiple processors or other components).
  • Moreover, as will be appreciated by one skilled in the art, aspects of the present invention may be embodied as a system, method or computer program product. Accordingly, aspects of the present invention may take the form of an entirely hardware embodiment, an entirely software embodiment (including firmware, resident software, micro-code, etc.) or an embodiment combining software and hardware aspects that may all generally be referred to herein as a “circuit,” “module” or “system.” Furthermore, aspects of the present invention may take the form of a computer program product embodied in one or more computer readable medium(s) having computer readable program code embodied thereon.
  • Any combination of one or more computer readable medium(s) may be utilized. The computer readable medium may be a computer readable signal medium or a computer readable storage medium. Examples of a computer readable storage medium include an electronic, magnetic, electromagnetic, and/or semiconductor system, apparatus, or device, or any suitable combination of the foregoing. More specific examples (a non-exhaustive list) of the computer readable storage medium would include the following: an electrical connection having one or more wires, a portable computer diskette, a hard disk, a random access memory (RAM), a read-only memory (ROM), an erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM or Flash memory), an optical fiber, a portable compact disc read-only memory (CD-ROM), an optical storage device, a magnetic storage device, or any suitable combination of the foregoing. In the context of this document, a computer readable storage medium may be any tangible medium that can contain, or store a program for use by or in connection with an instruction execution system, apparatus, or device.
  • A non-transitory computer readable signal medium may include a propagated data signal with computer readable program code embodied therein, for example, in baseband or as part of a carrier wave. Such a propagated signal may take any of a variety of forms and any suitable combination thereof. A computer readable signal medium may be any computer readable medium that is not a computer readable storage medium and that can communicate, propagate, or transport a program for use by or in connection with an instruction execution system, apparatus, or device.
  • Program code embodied on a computer readable medium may be transmitted using any appropriate medium, including but not limited to wireless, wireline, optical fiber cable, RF, etc., or any suitable combination of the foregoing.
  • Computer program code for carrying out operations for aspects of the present invention may be written in any combination of one or more programming languages, including an object oriented programming language and conventional procedural programming languages. The program code may execute entirely on the user's computer, partly on the user's computer, as a stand-alone software package, partly on the user's computer and partly on a remote computer or entirely on the remote computer or server. In the latter scenario, the remote computer may be connected to the user's computer through any type of network, including a local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN), or the connection may be made to an external computer (for example, through the Internet using an Internet Service Provider).
  • Aspects of the present invention are described herein with reference to flowchart illustrations and/or block diagrams of methods, apparatus (systems) and computer program products according to embodiments of the invention. It will be understood that each block of the flowchart illustrations and/or block diagrams, and combinations of blocks in the flowchart illustrations and/or block diagrams, can be implemented by computer program instructions. These computer program instructions may be provided to a processor of a general purpose computer, special purpose computer, or other programmable data processing apparatus to produce a machine, such that the instructions, which execute via the processor of the computer or other programmable data processing apparatus, create means for implementing the functions/acts specified in the flowchart and/or block diagram block or blocks.
  • These computer program instructions may also be stored in a computer readable medium that can direct a computer, other programmable data processing apparatus, or other devices to function in a particular manner, such that the instructions stored in the computer readable medium produce an article of manufacture including instructions which implement the function/act specified in the flowchart and/or block diagram block or blocks.
  • The computer program instructions may also be loaded onto a computer, other programmable data processing apparatus, or other devices to cause a series of operational steps to be performed on the computer, other programmable apparatus or other devices to produce a computer implemented process such that the instructions which execute on the computer or other programmable apparatus provide processes for implementing the functions/acts specified in the flowchart and/or block diagram block or blocks.
  • Accordingly, a technical effect of embodiments of the systems and methods proposed herein is to identify operating settings for a compressor device (e.g., pressures, flow rates, etc.) to achieve one or more setpoints, and/or, in one example, to operate the compressor device at the operating settings, and/or, in one example, to arrange a nozzle device with an appropriate flow area to reduce power consumption of the compressor device.
  • As used herein, an element or function recited in the singular and proceeded with the word “a” or “an” should be understood as not excluding plural said elements or functions, unless such exclusion is explicitly recited. Furthermore, references to “one embodiment” of the claimed invention should not be interpreted as excluding the existence of additional embodiments that also incorporate the recited features.
  • This written description uses examples to disclose the invention, including the best mode, and also to enable any person skilled in the art to practice the invention, including making and using any devices or systems and performing any incorporated methods. The patentable scope of the invention is defined by the claims, and may include other examples that occur to those skilled in the art. Such other examples are intended to be within the scope of the claims if they have structural elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if they include equivalent structural elements with insubstantial differences from the literal language of the claims.

Claims (20)

What is claimed is:
1. A compressor device, comprising
a flow housing having an outlet region that is adapted to permit a working fluid to exit the flow housing; and
a nozzle device disposed at the outlet region, the nozzle device defining a nozzle outlet adapted to receive the working fluid, the nozzle outlet having a first outlet area and a second outlet area that is smaller than the first outlet area.
2. The compressor device of claim 1, further comprising an impeller that is adapted to deliver the working fluid to the flow housing.
3. The compressor device of claim 1, wherein the flow housing comprises a volute having a curvilinear body that forms a discharge opening disposed in the outlet region, and wherein the nozzle device is disposed at least partially in the discharge opening.
4. The compressor device of claim 3, wherein the nozzle device comprises a nozzle body with a first end and a second end, and wherein the first end is disposed inside of the volute.
5. The compressor device of claim 4, wherein the second end extends outside of the volute and positions the nozzle outlet in spaced relation to the discharge opening.
6. The compressor device of claim 1, further comprising an actuator element coupled with the nozzle device, wherein the actuator has a first actuator position and a second actuator position that correspond to, respectively, the first nozzle area and the second nozzle area.
7. The compressor device of claim 6, wherein the actuator element comprises a rigid ring that circumscribes the nozzle outlet and is adapted to move between the first position and the second position along a longitudinal axis of the nozzle device.
8. A nozzle device for an outlet of a volute found on a compressor device, said nozzle device comprising:
a nozzle body adapted to couple with the volute, the nozzle body having a longitudinal axis and forming a nozzle outlet with a first outlet area and a second outlet area that is smaller than the first outlet area; and
an actuator body coupled with the nozzle body, the actuator body having a first position and a second position that is different than the first position, wherein the first position and the second position correspond with, respectively, the first outlet area and the second outlet area of the nozzle outlet.
9. The nozzle device of claim 8, wherein the second position is spaced laterally from the first position along the longitudinal axis of the nozzle body.
10. The nozzle device of claim 8, wherein the actuator body comprises an annular ring that circumscribes at least part of the nozzle body.
11. The nozzle device of claim 10, further comprising one or more roller elements coupled with the annular ring, wherein the roller elements engage the nozzle body.
12. The nozzle device of claim 8, wherein the nozzle body comprises an elongated cylindrical element having a first section adapted to insert into the volute and a second section comprising a first projection and a second projection that bound the nozzle outlet, wherein the first projection and the second projection can move independent of one another relative to the longitudinal axis.
13. The nozzle device of claim 12, wherein the first projection and the second projection have a first radial position and a second radial position relative to the longitudinal axis that correspond to, respectively, the first outlet area and the second outlet area of the nozzle outlet.
14. The nozzle device of claim 12, further comprising one or more guide elements coupled with the first projection and the second projection, wherein the guide elements have a radially exterior edge that contacts the actuator body, and wherein the radially exterior edge has a first end and a second end that correspond to, respectively, the first nozzle area and the second nozzle area.
15. The nozzle device of claim 14, wherein the radially exterior edge is spaced apart from the longitudinal axis by a radial distance, and wherein the radial distance increases from the first end to the second end.
16. The nozzle device of claim 11, wherein the nozzle outlet has a generally annular shape.
17. A system, comprising:
a compressor device having an impeller, a flow housing with an outlet region in fluid communication with the impeller, and a nozzle device disposed at the outlet region, the nozzle device defining a nozzle outlet adapted to receive the working fluid; and
a control system coupled to the nozzle device, the control system having
a processor,
memory coupled with the processor, and
executable instructions stored on memory and configured to be executed by the processor, the executable instruction comprising one or more instructions for:
receiving a first signal with data that reflects a first operating property of the compressor device;
selecting an outlet flow parameter for the working fluid at the outlet region relating to the first operating property; and
generating an output to instruct the nozzle device to assume a nozzle flow area for the nozzle outlet to achieve the outlet flow parameter.
18. The system device of claim 17, wherein the executable instructions comprise one or more instructions for comparing the first operating property to a threshold criteria, wherein the outlet flow parameter has a value that satisfies the threshold criteria.
19. The system device of claim 17, wherein the output instructs the nozzle device to change the nozzle flow area from a first outlet area to a second outlet area that is different from the first outlet area.
20. The system device of claim 17, wherein the memory is remote from the processor.
US13/872,667 2013-04-29 2013-04-29 Device for modifying flow parameters of working fluid exiting a compressor device Abandoned US20140321988A1 (en)

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US11221018B2 (en) * 2019-03-26 2022-01-11 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Compressor Corporation Compressor
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Cited By (3)

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CN106351857A (en) * 2016-10-17 2017-01-25 西安科技大学 Novel dust removing centrifugal fan
US11421695B2 (en) * 2018-01-19 2022-08-23 Concepts Nrec, Llc Turbomachines with decoupled collectors
US11221018B2 (en) * 2019-03-26 2022-01-11 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Compressor Corporation Compressor

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WO2014179114A3 (en) 2015-03-12

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