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Unique Compressor
Design Allows Efficient
Operation Over Wide
Second CAES Facility
to be Built in U.S.
Harnessing Cow
Power: Using Manure
for Electricity

Bringing energy and the environment into harmony.

insights CONTENTS

WINTER 2013 02 candid visions
People Power 06

Unique Compressor
Design Allows Efficient
Gustavo Nechar, vice president Human Resources, talks about Operation Over Wide Range
how Dresser-Rand tackles the challenges and embraces the Low-speed process reciprocating
opportunities in workforce planning and talent management. compressor aligns with clients
needs for natural gas pipeline;

05 Dresser-Rand Named One of Americas

Safest Companies and Wins 2013
Southwest Oil & Gas Award
electric motor driver addresses
emissions regulations.

Safety is a critical, core value for us. These awards reaffirm

our Companys commitment.

08 profile
Graham Sherlock Rolls Up His Sleeves
Dresser-Rand Turbine Technology Services Graham Sherlock
likes to pitch in to help get the job done.

10 11
This document may
contain forward-looking Olive Mash and Pits Will Save Facility Second CAES Facility
statements within the
meaning of U.S. securi- $600,000 Annually in Electricity Costs to be Built in U.S.
ties laws. All statements The green power project will use a Guascor SFGLD360 The Apex Bethel Energy Center will
other than statements of
historical fact are state- containerized CHP unit to gasify the facilitys biomass to be the second CAES facility of its
ments that could be produce syngas. kind to be built in the United States.
deemed forward-looking
statements, including, but

12 Increase the Visibility and Reliability

not limited to, statements
relating to the Companys
plans, objectives, goals,
strategies, and future
of all Major Plant Assets
events and financial One of the most effective ways to improve turbomachinery
performance. The words
anticipates, believes,
performance is through the use of properly designed control
expects, intends, and systems.
similar expressions iden-

tify such forward-looking
statements. Although the
Company believes such
statements are based on Dresser-Rand Mentors Aspiring Engineers

reasonable assumptions,
these forward-looking
Students in the School of Engineering at Penn State Behrend Harnessing Cow
showcase the best of their work at annual Fasenmyer
statements are subject to
numerous factors, risks,
Power: Using Manure
and uncertainties that
could cause actual results,
for Electricity

performance, or achieve-
engineers notebook Biogas power generation is a
ments to differ materially
win-win solution for dairy farms.
from those stated, and
no assurance can be
Stationary Component Optimization and
given with respect thereto.
These and other risks are
the Resultant Improvement in the
discussed in greater detail Performance Characteristics of a Radial
in the Companys filings
with the Securities and Compressor Stage
Exchange Commission
at The The results of this study emphasize the importance of properly
Company undertakes sized stationary components with the impeller design when
no obligation to update
forward-looking state- designing a new stage.
ments, except as required
by applicable law.
Creating Sustainable Value
Inside and Out
We are focused on creating sustainable value for our clients, shareholders and
employees. By investing in advanced technologies and improving upon our product and
service capabilities, we help clients operate profitable, sustainable businesses. Just as
important, we invest time, money and resources into employee recruitment, training
and development so that we can attract and retain talented people the backbone of
Jerry Walker, any successful company.
Dresser-Rands success is no doubt a credit to our people. In this issue, Gustavo
vice president,
discusses how anticipating future employment needs and planning accordingly helps
Global Solutions
us develop and maintain a continuous stream of skilled people. And, as youll read
further on in the magazine, we continue to work closely with schools around the world
to mentor aspiring young engineers at places like Lehigh University, the Rochester
Institute of Technology, King Fahd University in Saudi Arabia, the University of Bielefeld,
and the Nirma Institute of Technology in India, to name a few.
And speaking of people we couldnt be more proud of our employees and their
outstanding safety achievements. We were recently voted one of Americas Safest
Companies by EHS Today magazine and won the 2013 Southwest Oil and Gas Award for
our initiatives in health and safety. These are in addition to being recognized earlier this
year by the National Safety Council for an Occupational Excellence Achievement Award.
Youll also read about how we are providing sustainable value for clients. The engine
gen sets we installed at the San Juan de los Olivos, S.A. in Argentina, for example, will
save the facility $600,000 each year in electricity costs simply by using on-site olive
Our ability to provide single source compressed air energy storage (CAES) solutions
engineering support, aftermarket services, and complete plant operation and
maintenance is also important. We were pleased this summer when Dresser-Rand was
selected to supply the equipment for Apex Bethel Energy Centers CAES facility in Texas.
The facility marks the second of its kind to be built in the United States, and only the
third in the world.
Biogas power generation is gaining momentum and has become a viable alternative
for dairy farms that use cattle waste to generate electricity. Recent developments in
anaerobic digestion technology using combined heat and power (CHP) units powered by
our gas engines help farms reduce expenses by offsetting electricity costs.
I invite you to read on and see how we embrace the concept of building a sustainable
future for both our clients operations and our own.
Best Regards,

Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 1

candid visions
People Power
Editors Note: Gustavo Nechar, Vice President Human Resources, talks about how Dresser-Rand tackles
the challenges and embraces the opportunities in workforce planning and talent management in
todays competitive, diverse global marketplace.

People are the main ingredient of a successful
company. Recruiting, training, managing, guiding,
and retaining employees are all important
challenges that we and other companies face.
Being thoughtful about our future employment
needs allows us develop and maintain a steady
themselves and their families. The goal is to work
with all generations to create a positive and
productive work environment the hallmark of a
successful organization.
As Baby Boomers prepare for retirement, they
leave gaps in leadership, client knowledge base and
stream of skilled people to turn to when it is time to technical and process expertise. To that end, we
hire. An organizations ability to identify and attract must focus on succession and development plans
highly talented people fosters business growth and and examine our internal talent base to fill key roles
success. using our Organization and Leadership Planning
(OLP) tool.
As our company President and CEO, Vincent R.
Volpe Jr. often says: Its always about the people.
Building a Sustainable,
Workforce Planning a Key International Talent Pipeline
An important part of our job is to consider our
Ingredient to Success
workforce make up, anticipate future employment
One of the most important challenges that
needs and plan accordingly. We look at the next
companies face, including Dresser-Rand, is
five years and determine what talents we will
workforce planning. Workforce planning takes into
need in that time frame taking into consideration
consideration demographics, pending retirements,
changing business conditions, market opportunities,
employee turnover, and business development in
technologies, workforce retirements, attritions, and
emerging markets. Advances in technology and
required skills.
continuous demand for innovation require new
Gustavo Nechar, skills in new places. Successful workforce planning We made some key improvements in our OLP
vice president anticipates future employment needs in terms of process last year and are now better able to assess
Human Resources knowledge, competence and skills. Because we are the potential of our employees, next career steps
a global company, the challenge is greater. and successors candidates. This information helps
us better understand how to build a sustainable
Today, we have three generations working
talent pipeline for Dresser-Rands medium- and
together. Baby Boomers born from 1943 to 1960
long-term business needs.
constitute 27% of our workforce. Generation X
employees born from 1961 to 1981 comprise 60% Last year, we assessed 4,000 of our professional
of our workforce. And Generation Y employees born employees and evaluated their next career steps.
in 1982 or later make up 13% of our workforce. The We identified those nearing retirement and
challenge is to have human resources policies that outlined steps for their succession plans. This year,
meet the needs of each generation. we are delving even further into the OLP details to
prepare for next years anticipated retirements, and
For example, employees nearing retirement are
identifying technical experts and future leaders.
likely to have a higher interest in health care
benefits for retirees. Whereas younger generations Once we determine our future hiring needs,
generally are more interested in things such we establish viable talent pools for potential
as wellness initiatives and similar benefits for openings. For example, our talent acquisition team

2 insights
interviewed approximately 50 people at this years forward to fostering the career development of the

candid visions
Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas. 44 active program participants and 13 graduates.
We also attended the Careers in Africa international
Successful leaders simultaneously inspire and
recruitment summit in London this year an
guide their employees. We recently created a
invitation-only event completely focused on jobs in
talent management team to help develop a clear
Africa that attracts a multitude of nationalities. Our
training and development strategy. Our new global
booth attracted 200 potential candidates that are
leadership development program emphasizes
willing to work in emerging areas like Angola and
our business, processes and people-management
Nigeria. These candidates names were added to
practices. Some examples follow.
our talent pipeline and we are staying in touch with
them. Our intensive six-month Business Acumen course
entails a series of seminars that promote individual
Community relations play an important role as
learning opportunities and group projects. The
well. We are planning for the future by enhancing
course provides functional leaders and managers
our well-established relationships with universities,
with business and financial knowledge and its
colleges and technical institutes, and developing
application at Dresser-Rand.
research partnerships,
additional apprenticeships, and Our four-day Powerful
co-op and intern opportunities We believe Supervisory Skills workshop for
for graduates. We continue, employee our front line supervisors and
through partnerships and expertise and team leaders provides skills
and information in operational
funding initiatives, to engage
and educate students
responsibility excellence, people leadership,
around the world about the result from effective communication,
opportunities available in recruiting, training conflict management, coaching,
science-based learning (see and development. and safety. Supervisors from
article page 13 We encourage across the company network
as an example). diversity in an with peers from other
Dresser-Rand locations and
environment interact with senior leaders
The Importance of integrity, from across the company.
of Cultivating teamwork and
Lifelong Learning At this years annual Worldwide
empowerment. Management Meeting, we
It is important, too, to develop
promising talent within the put our question how can
organization. Employee training and development is members of Dresser-Rands leadership team become
a strategic investment that significantly contributes and behave like Level 5 Leaders into action by
to the success of our company, our employees and creating our own competency leadership model.
our clients. We are launching an intensive Management
Development workshop based upon Jim Collins
Our Engineering Management Acceleration Program Good to Great Level 5 Leadership model as a way to
(EMAP) is helping us build our talent pipeline bring all leadership to the same level.
and prepare our future leaders. After candidates
complete an EMAP assessment, we select talented
Employee Engagement = Lower
engineers the best-of-the-best to participate
in a five-year rotational program that includes a Turnover, Larger Talent Pools,
broad exposure to our various functions. As a global Better Performance
company with increased international business, we Employees that are happy and satisfied with their
must attract and develop people from all around roles and responsibilities are key factors to achieve
the world. In 2012, we launched the program in steady growth and productivity in any organization.
Latin America. This year, we welcomed four EMAPs We believe the best way to make and sustain
that are the building blocks for the ESA MENA improvements is to engage people, so we ask
region with great success, and our expansion employees for their input. Our process innovation
continues next year in the Asia Pacific Region. per employee (PIPE) system does that by capturing
Our global expansion is just beginning, as we look

Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 3

employees suggestions to improve safety and other
candid visions processes.
We expect to officially launch Project GO (global
onboarding) soon, a 12-month onboarding program
all new employees will be required to complete.
The program will provide in-depth information

about our products, services and technological
position in the marketplace so that new employees
understand how we operate, our culture and our

Named One of
business practices. Project GO is critical for new
employees to quickly grasp and help sustain our

corporate culture.
We continue to build robust development plans,
on-the-job experiences and targeted development
programs for ongoing professional development.

We are deploying global job capsule methodology
to map employees to a consistent job/grading
structure. This improves our ability to perform
market competitive analysis, and to increase

accuracy in compensation-related processes as part
of our pay for performance philosophy.
Our new learning management system will provide
a powerful tool to share training, compliance and
development programs, as well as resources, to
support ongoing leadership development. We
plan to expand upon our eLearning programs so
and Wins 2013
employees can support their own personal business
and leadership skill development. Southwest
Continuous Improvement
Our HR organization teamed up with the Global
Information Systems (GIS) team and launched
Oil & Gas Award
the global Oracle HR system on October 1. It
is the first step in a multi-phased approach to Dresser-Rand was selected
reduce HR process cycle time by using a common as one of Americas Safest
database worldwide to manage key employee
data and administer HR-related programs such as Companies by EHS Today
compensation, benefits, payroll, and training and magazine and a winner of
the 2013 Southwest Oil & Gas
Dresser-Rands culture is purposefully built around
Award. Both awards featured
the people the lifeblood of our company.
Continuous improvement will increase the several of Dresser-Rands
effectiveness and efficiency of our HR programs, Health, Safety and
while maintaining strong controls, compliance and
respect of legislations. Environmental programs
I am proud to lead a passionate HR team that
and initiatives.
understands these goals and recognizes the value
of our employees and their contributions to the
success of our company, as together we strive to
attain client satisfaction, stockholder value and
employee engagement.
4 insights
Vincent R. Volpe Jr.,
Dresser-Rands President
and CEO, said, Safety
is a critical, core value
for us. These awards
reaffirm our Companys commitment the areas
to providing an environment in which we as of Health
employees may create a culture of ethics, caring and Safety,
and respect for one another. We are honored to Environmental
have received these awards, and proud of the Stewardship
underlying efforts that take place daily as we and Corporate
strive for safety, health and the well-being of our Responsibility.
environment. The judges of
Of 100 applications this year, EHS Today selected the 2013 Oil
16 companies that provide a safe working & Gas Awards
environment for thousands of employees and reviewed
serve as a reference point for companies hoping more than 400 entries and selected 67 finalists.
to achieve world-class safety status. Winners were Dresser-Rand was one of four finalists in Health
recognized at an awards ceremony on October and Safety.
29 in Atlanta, GA. Winners were announced at the inaugural 2013
The EHS award was founded in 2002. Since then, Southwest Oil & Gas Awards gala dinner at the
more than 150 companies have been recognized Taste of Texas Ballroom, Sheraton Hotel and Spa in
for their excellence in integrating safety into their Fort Worth, TX, on October 22.
corporate culture and for their safety metrics being We recognize that we cannot achieve a zero-injury
significantly better than their industry averages. culture without becoming operationally excellent,
To be considered one of Americas Safest said Peter Salvatore, Dresser-Rands Vice President
Companies, companies must demonstrate and Chief Safety Officer. Safety discussions of
transformational EHS leadership in the form at-risk behaviors and conditions are a primary
of: support from management and employee rallying point in discussions with our employees.
involvement; innovative solutions to safety Our ultimate goal is to eliminate workplace injuries
challenges; injury and illness rates significantly through disciplined processes, execution and
lower than the average for their industries; employee engagement.
comprehensive training programs; evidence that Earlier this year, Dresser-Rand was also recognized
prevention of incidents is the cornerstone of the by the National Safety Council for an Occupational
safety process; excellent communication internally Excellence Achievement Award, as well as an
and externally about the value of safety; and a way award for multiple Dresser-Rand locations that
to substantiate the benefits of the safety process. demonstrated exceptional safety performance in
Dresser-Rand was also selected as the winner of the workplace.
the 2013 Southwest Oil & Gas Health and Safety More information about Dresser-Rands
Award. The Oil & Gas Awards celebrate the positive health and safety efforts is available in its
contributions made by upstream and midstream 2012 Corporate Sustainability Report at
sector companies of the oil and gas industry in

Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 5

Unique Compressor
Design Allows Efficient
Operation Over Wide Range
Compressor characteristics aligned with the clients needs; emissions
regulations addressed with electric motor driver.

For 60 years, natural gas pipeline companies relied
primarily on reciprocating compressors to move
gas along the line. Most of this compression was in
the form of integral gas engine compressors, which
combined the power cylinders and the compressor
cylinders on the same frame in a compact
When El Paso Pipeline Partners required additional
compression at its Coudersport, PA Station 313 on
the Tennessee Gas Pipeline in December 2009, they
considered the tradeoffs associated with each of
the potential technologies. Familiar with
Dresser-Rands long tradition as a supplier to the
configuration. These units operated at low speed pipeline industry and its comprehensive range of
(250 400 rpm, depending upon make and model) offerings including centrifugal and both low- and
and were able to efficiently handle a wide range of high-speed reciprocating compressors El Paso
operating pressures and compression ratios. chose Dresser-Rand as a partner with whom to
However, the increasingly wide-spread imposition develop the optimum solution for this project.
of the EPA Clean Air Act requirements by the early As a clean air non-attainment area, an emissions
1990s forced pipeline operators to explore new permit at Station 313 would be very difficult for
solutions for the expanding network. As it turned new stationary sources. Permitting was avoided
out, however, these new solutions did not come by selecting an electric motor driver instead of a
without problems of their own. natural gas fired engine or turbine. To effectively
cover the stations wide operating range
Technical Solution Translates into requirements a reciprocating compressor was
Optimum Reliability, Operational requested. A centrifugal compressor has a limited
range at fixed speed, and the compact build of the
Flexibility and Efficiency
high-speed reciprocating compressor mitigates
Ten years ago, El Paso Pipeline Partners (prior to
against easily-accessible, cylinder-mounted capacity
its acquisition by Kinder Morgan, Inc.) initiated a
control devices. The high-speed design is further
study of its compression fleet to understand the life
disadvantaged by relatively poor compression
cycle costs and operational issues associated with
efficiency at low compression ratios, and higher
the various driver/compressor technologies on its
vibration at off-design conditions.
pipeline system.
6 insights
El Paso opted for the rugged design, high reliability compressed. The slow-speed process compressor
and flexible operating range of Dresser-Rands design has significant advantages compared to the
process reciprocating compression technology, higher speed gas patch designs that have also been
supplemented with an updated pipeline cylinder applied to this service, including at Station 313.
design that incorporated our legacy know-how with
The longer stroke means larger cylinders, which
our latest advances in design practices, materials,
enables more valve area and larger gas passages,
valves, and capacity control.
both of which reduce pressure drop. Further, since
The heavy-duty, slow-speed model HHE-VL much of the valve inefficiency occurs at opening
reciprocating compressor frame has set the and closing, it is logical that a machine operating
standard for reliability in the process compressor at twice or three times the speed (and, therefore,
marketplace. These compressors are designed for has two to three times the number of events)
critical services, and are often expected to operate will also have higher valve losses. The slow-speed
uninterrupted for three to five years between compressor design also permits larger pulsation
service intervals. The Dresser-Rand process bottles, which provide better pulsation attenuation
reciprocating compressor product line covers a with less pressure drop over a broader operating
range of models with up to 10 crank throws and range. And the extra physical space permits more
can support driver powers from 200 to 45,000 capacity control devices, which enables closer load
horsepower (33.5MW) and discharge pressures to following without wasted power.
more than 60,000 psi (>4,000 bar).
In addition to the efficiency benefits, the more
El Paso purchased a 4-cylinder, single-stage HHE- massive HHE-VL frame provides greater rigidity
VL compressor driven by a 6,500 horsepower that reduces vibrations transmitted to station
synchronous motor at 360 rpm. Synchronous piping. The fine-grain, cast iron HHE frame provides
motors offer very high efficiency, but their maximum stability through the use of internally
primary advantage over induction types is the high ribbed walls and integral cross-member bearing
power factor, which minimizes current draw and, saddle supports located between each crank throw.
therefore, power cost.
The HHE-VL unit was the first low-speed
Given the daily and seasonal fluctuating flows and reciprocating compressor installed in a natural
pressures at Station 313, the HHE-VL compressor gas pipeline application in more than a decade.
solution was ideal, because it can handle all Initial performance tests achieved 92-94 percent
operating points at peak efficiency without wasting isentropic efficiency at Station 313. This translates
power due to gas recycle or operation far from the into an estimated five to 10 percent savings in
best efficiency point that would have occurred with electrical power consumption when compared to
a centrifugal compressor. Dresser-Rand estimates other compression technologies possibly more
that the average operating efficiency with the if the alternatives are driven by an induction
reciprocating unit is at least 10 points higher than motor instead of a synchronous one. Also, since
would have been achieved with a centrifugal unit. these efficiencies were delivered over the whole
operating range, it should not be necessary to
Operational Flexibility with revamp this unit in the future to restore high
No Emissions efficiency if station conditions stray from what they
Reciprocating compression efficiency is are today.
fundamentally about pressure drops because of In summary, Dresser-Rands package combines the
the orifice effect of compressor valves, capacity most efficient electric motor driver with the most
control devices, cylinder gas passages, and pulsation efficient compressor. The unique design of this
vessel nozzles and internals any of which may compressor allows efficient operation over a wide
be unnecessarily accentuated by poor pulsation range of compression ratios. This will add flexibility
control system design. These factors are especially to the entire transmission network, resulting in
important in natural gas pipeline services, which improved performance and reliability of the entire
inherently involve very low compression ratios. system all with zero emissions and the lowest life
Small design compromises can lead to large
differences in power consumption per unit of gas
cycle cost.

Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 7

Graham Sherlock
Graham Sherlock
Rolls Up His Sleeves
Dont let the manager title mislead you. Graham enjoys getting involved.
Editors Note: Graham earned a Higher National Diploma (equivalent to an Associates Degree) in
Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelors degree in Manufacturing Systems, both from the University
of Hertfordshire, UK. He lives in Houston with his wife and daughter.

The summer of 1999 brought cooler than normal
temperatures to the United Kingdom and abundant
rain. The invitation to work for a multinational OEM
in a warm climate was tempting to a young man
in his thirties. So Graham accepted and crossed
the pond to lead a team of engineers in the
Repair, Graham improves quality and reduces cycle
times for existing processes (process innovation),
performs root cause analyses on failed components
and manages the metallurgical lab. His team also
performs geometric and metallurgical data capture
for CAD modeling and design analysis. Dresser-Rand
Southeastern United States that manufactured Turbine Technology Services also manufactures
parts for a newly designed gas turbine. finished parts for OEM turbine components.
Graham Sherlock, Fast forward to 2012: Dresser-Rand Turbine Much of what Graham does involves instituting
engineering Technology Services (D-R TTS) was actively change. Human beings are naturally resistant to
manager for recruiting highly experienced people who could change. But its rewarding to work with a group of
component repair provide top-quality, timely repairs and technical people on a new process and watch them bring in
services for mature and F-Class industrial gas their ideas to pull together as a team to achieve
turbines no matter how big or small the something new.
But dont let the manager title mislead you.
D-R TTS was clearly an ambitious company that Graham enjoys rolling up his sleeves and getting
was eager to grow, and was recruiting very capable involved. I enjoy
people from the industry, said
Jim Collins, author of
Good to Great . . . Why
Some Companies Make
the Leap and Others Dont,
talks about getting the
right people on the bus.
Clearly, Dresser-Rands bus
held the right people. It was
a dynamic operation with a
robust engineering team,
Graham observed.
So Graham got on the bus.
Today, as Engineering
Manager for Component

8 insights
being at the heart of a team The challenge ended up with
looking for a root cause or Graham and his team. They
designing a new solution, Innovation were able to determine the
especially if it involves fully root cause of the vane failure
understanding someone elses
design, and then improving it.
comes from and devised a proprietary
His role as a 48-year-old father people who This was my aha moment,
of a five-year old daughter says Graham. If you dont feel
comes in handy in the
workplace, too. Graham has
take joy in that kind of elation, then you
shouldnt be an engineer.
learned the treasured virtue of
patience. You learn patience
their work. When asked what he would
look for in a person if he was
as a parent, no matter what age
you are, he said.
- Ed Deming hiring for this job, he states
simply, A spark. His ideal
In his spare time, Graham candidate is bright, enthusiastic
enjoys riding his motorcycle, and has a burning curiosity
cooking, and entertaining family and friends. He to research and understand a given subject. In
also home-brews craft beers, and especially enjoys the repair world, we are often confronted with
making micro brews like those back home in the UK. challenges for which there are no known solutions.
He finds home remodeling to be another rewarding So employees who are willing to stray outside of
hobby. I once tore out the kitchen and bathroom their comfort zone are invaluable.
down to the studs and built new ones. Ive also
He also appreciates experience. The ideal
built decks, done dry wall, roofing, and completely
candidate has 20 years of on-the-job experience but
re-wired the old house we moved into when we
still has the energy and inspiration to continually
came to the States. He is currently re-building the
develop new technologies and methods. As Queen
fireplace and replacing the interior doors in his new
Elizabeth I once said, one man with a head on his
home in Houston.
shoulders is worth a dozen without.
Occasionally, I try my hand at golf, said Graham,
Graham concludes, Moving to D-R TTS two years
but I liken it to trying to start an old lawn mower.
ago was a good move for me. It was an opportunity
One day, it might catch and run, but its not
for me to grow into new markets and products and
showing much sign of it.
has allowed me to truly test myself as an engineer.
The Aha Moment. A new client once approached Theres always something new around the corner
D-R TTS with a set of compressor stator vanes that that has no current solution, and challenges just
had delayed an outage. The client did not want to waiting to be solved.
buy a new set of parts from the OEM.

* Dresser-Rand acquired the assets of Leading Edge Turbine Technologies in 2010 to create Dresser-Rand Turbine Technology Services (D-R TTS).

Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 9

Olive Mash and Pits Will Save
Facility $600,000 Annually in
Electricity Costs
Dresser-Rand recently installed
the first Guascor gen-set for a
biomass application in Latin
America at the San Juan de Olivos olive harvesting
and olive oil production facility in San Juan, Argentina.

pruning the olive trees, and the extracted

olive mash and pits discarded during oil
The process is expected to yield roughly
250-300 kWe each daycovering all of
the facilitys energy demands. San Juan
de Los Olivos is also in the process of
acquiring a license that will allow the
facility to generate surplus electricity that
can be exported to the Energa San Juan

power grid.
In addition to providing enough energy to sustain Dresser-Rand was selected for the project because
the plants operations and provide energy to other the Guascor containerized gas gen-set engine
areas of San Juan, the process is expected to save model SFGLD360 is specially designed for biomass
San Juan de Olivos close to $600,000 dollars in applications. Dresser-Rands technology offered a
electricity costs every year. solution perfectly tailored to San Juan de Olivos
requirements for gas quality and composition.
Dresser-Rand worked on the project with LatAm
Bioenergy Group, a New York-based engineering, Developed in 1997, the Guascor engine series
procurement and construction company, focused on has evolved to include biomass applications and
the sustainable development of renewable energy processes. These types of engine burn lean gas
solutions in Latin American countries. The LatAm from 4.5 to 14 MJ/Nm3. Combustible components
Bioenergy Group served as the project architect, the consist primarily of CO and H2.
engineering, procurement, and construction project
San Juan de los Olivos S.A., a Roemmers Group
lead, and the exclusive market developer for the
company, was established in 1996 and has since
devoted itself to achieving the highest quality of
The green power project will use a Guascor olive and olive oil production. Located in the Ullm
SFGLD360 containerized CHP unit to gasify valley of San Juan, Argentina, at the foot of the
the facilitys biomass to produce syngas. Once Andes mountain range, San Juan de los Olivos takes
operating, the syngas will power San Juan de advantage of the regions excellent soils to cultivate
Olivos production facility. The biomass employed olive trees under the most favorable climatic
in this project will be the waste wood collected by conditions.
10 insights
CAES Facility
to be Built in U.S.
The Apex Bethel Energy Center will be the
second CAES facility of its kind to be built
in the United States.

than 40 such projects being contemplated over the
Dresser-Rand received a project award earlier this next five to 10 years. A number of these potential
year from Apex Compressed Air Energy Storage, projects are linked to growth in renewable power
LLC to supply equipment for a new 317 MW com- generation sources such as wind and solar farms.
pressed air energy storage (CAES) facility being Wind farms typically generate more electricity at
constructed near Tennessee Colony, Texas in the night, when there is already a surplus. The ability to
Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market. bottle electric energy for daytime use is an attrac-
tive option. Within the solar market, electricity from
The Apex Bethel Energy Center will be the first CAES
photo-voltaic farms in sunny regions can be trans-
facility to be built in the United States since the
mitted to facilities that use SMARTCAES equipment
PowerSouth facility was commissioned in McIntosh,
in other areas, where turbines would generate elec-
Alabama in 1991. Dresser-Rand designed and sup-
tricity around the clock.
plied the entire turbomachinery train and controls
for the PowerSouth facility. The flexibility of this cycle provides industry-lead-
ing dispatch flexibility and low cost, in compliance
According to Jack Farley, President and CEO of
with air emissions requirements over an expansive
Apex, In our evaluation of potential suppliers, it
operating range. We believe this contract will be
became clear that Dresser-Rand was the supplier
the start of a long-term, successful relationship with
with the most proven technology and experience to
Dresser-Rand for this project and others to come,
meet our performance requirements and maximize
both in the US and elsewhere around the world,
our project returns. The flexibility of SMARTCAES
Farley adds.
technology makes Dresser-Rand a clear choice to
provide the equipment and life cycle services. They This project validates the view that the value of
have a unique cycle and equipment design that large energy storage in the form of CAES is a viable
has proven itself over 22 years of successful CAES economic investment. As explained over the past
operations. several years, we have been working with numer-
ous clients to support their research of this bulk
We are very pleased to introduce the SMARTCAES
storage option. This order from Apex affirms the
technology and to be working with Apex to bring
value proposition of CAES, said Dresser-Rand
this exciting technology to market. We believe we
President and CEO, Vincent R. Volpe Jr.
are on the cusp of the re-emergence of the use of
this environmentally-friendly power generation The compression and expansion trains for the
technology, said Jim Heid, senior vice president, Bethel Energy Center will be manufactured at
CAES development for Dresser-Rand. Dresser-Rands New York State-based facilities
in Olean and Wellsville. The project scope also
A CAES system provides two different services
includes transporting the equipment to the Texas
either sequentially or concurrently high-pres-
site, testing, placing the equipment into operation,
sure air compression and electric power genera-
tion derived from expanding the compressed air.
and training.
Industry sources estimate that there are more Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 11
Increase the Visibility and
Reliability of all Major Plant Assets

A viewpoint
article by
David Scheef,
director of
Turbomachinery, essential to refining and
petrochemical operations, has significant impact
on plant production, maintenance and energy
consumption. One of the most effective ways to
improve turbomachinery performance is through
the use of properly designed control systems.
In todays competitive environment, plant managers
continuously strive to increase production and
reliability. They are looking for a totally integrated
control solution for all facility equipment. Using the
plants distributive control system (DCS) provides
that solution, but only a few DCS have the speed
marketing Control systems with optimal antisurge control and and capability necessary for turbomachinery
for strategic load sharing (when applicable) improve production, control.
business units simplify maintenance and reduce energy
Before considering any DCS hardware for
turbomachinery control, the system should be
Reliability improvements. The best antisurge thoroughly tested with the controlling algorithm
control algorithms prevent compressor surge and embedded to ensure a combination providing safe
keep the machine running without unnecessary and precise controls for compressor operation.
recycle even with significant variations in process
New solutions. Integrating optimal antisurge
gas properties. Not all algorithms are created equal,
control and load sharing programs into a fully
and only the best eliminate unnecessary recycle by
capable, reliable and tested DCS controller can
accurately predicting the compressor surge line and
meet plant managers demands by providing precise
establishing a minimal offset.
machinery control on a single open-architecture
Load sharing algorithms distribute flow loading platform for integrated control across all plant
optimally at the most efficient operating points equipment, including their turbomachinery.
among compressors operating in parallel. How the This solution eliminates problems with multiple
algorithm calculates the load sharing control signal platforms, especially those associated with
is very important. In practice, the best algorithms proprietary or black box controllers such as
maintain the controlling signal and load sharing problematic integration, dedicated spare parts,
functionality if the compressor crosses the surge unfamiliar hardware and programming, and
control line. personnel training.
Control development. Since the 1970s, Combining the best algorithms with proven
turbomachinery controls have evolved from turbomachinery-capable DCS hardware offers
mechanical/hydraulic systems to microprocessor operators superior control solution as compared
based digital controllers. Initially, digital controllers to proprietary or black box controllers. This
were proprietary or black box solutions because approach can also replace obsolete turbomachinery
commercially available controllers did not have the controls with a totally integrated system.
required speed or capability for turbomachinery Such solutions are ideal in todays competitive
control. environment and for an industry seeking increased
reliability of all major plant assets.
These proprietary systems were difficult to
integrate with other plant systems. They required David Scheef is director of marketing for
specialized dedicated spare parts for maintenance strategic business units at Dresser-Rand, which
and additional personnel training for maintenance recently formed an alliance agreement with
Reprinted with and operations, and unfortunately, could be Honeywell, enabling Dresser-Rand to provide
permission from unilaterally declared obsolete by the manufacturer the turbomachinery-capable Honeywell Experion
at any time. Today, there are commercially available C300-20 controller with embedded Dresser-Rand
controllers with the speed and capability needed proprietary antisurge control and load sharing
Gulf Publishing Co.,
copyrighted 2013; all for turbomachinery control, eliminating these algorithms. He can be reached at 713-973-5465
rights reserved. maintenance and operational issues, in addition to
the added costs of black box controllers.
12 insights
Dresser-Rand Mentors
Aspiring Engineers
From the aerodynamic design of a compressor return channel, to a timing
system for an autocross race course, to a gearbox that allows
someone to steer a wheelchair with just one
hand these were among the more than 200
senior capstone design projects at the annual
Richard J. Fasenmyer Engineering Design
Conference, held at Penn State Erie, The
Behrend College in Erie, Pa, on April 27.

Much of the students research was sponsored
by industry partners, including Dresser-Rand,
Westinghouse Electric and Northrop Grumman,
among others.
Dresser-Rand has been sponsoring project teams for
more than 10 years and since 2010 has supported
sponsored by
this year and
mentored by
Dresser-Rand engineers included: (1) aerodynamic
three to four teams each year.
design of a compressor return channel; (2) design of
This year, the School of Engineering at Penn State an adjustable clearance impeller eye labyrinth seal;
Behrend presented Dresser-Rand with the 2013 (3) further development on an aerodynamic test
Outstanding Capstone Project Sponsor award in rec- module; and (4) design of a high-pressure test rig
ognition of the companys long-term and continuing casing.
work with the university. Scott Kaffka, Dave Nye,
The Penn State Behrend conference came on the
Jim Sorokes, and John Stahley (see photo) accepted
heels of several other project showcases in which
the award on behalf of Dresser-Rand.
Dresser-Rand participated as sponsors, including
Students in the School of Engineering at Penn those held at the Penn State University main cam-
State Behrend must complete a year-long capstone pus in State College, PA, and the Lehigh University
applied-design project. The college showcases mid-year project review in Bethlehem, PA. Included
the best of this work at its annual Fasenmyer among the assortment of noteworthy projects were
Conference. A capstone design denotes the applica- a single-piece impeller milling utility; cost reduction
tion of the engineering sciences to the design of a of DATUM compressor diaphragms; and alter-
system, component or process. nate methods for fabricating low-flow coefficient
Penn State Behrend has created a series of pro- impellers. Additionally, the company has recently
cesses to ensure the highest quality capstone design sponsored student projects at Alfred State College
projects. They address several aspects of the cap- (Alfred, NY); RIT (Rochester, NY); the University of
stone design experience, including project selection, Buffalo; and Smith College (Northampton, MA). In
problem definition, ABET accreditation require- each case, Dresser-Rand engineers participated as
ments, teamwork, program outcome evaluation and mentors.
assessment, and relationships with the industrial Dresser-Rand takes pride in its involvement as an
sponsors. According to the university, these pro- industry partner to these schools and their aspiring
cesses were developed and implemented over the
course of 15 years and the results have been quite

Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 13

Cow Power:
Using Manure for Electricity
Managing a dairy farm is no easy task, especially at a time when feed
costs are soaring due to expensive soy, corn and hay prices. Fortunately
for farmers, recent developments in anaerobic digestion technology can
help them reduce expenditures by offsetting electricity costs.

biogas generators installed on dairy farms
Biogas power generation has emerged as throughout the United States, making it a leader
a viable alternative for dairy farms using in this industry.
methane-rich cattle manure, and to a lesser
extent food wastes, to generate electricity. How does Biogas Power
As an example, since packaging its first Generation Work?
Guascor engine in 1999, Martin Machinery Biogas power generation is a win-win solution
has sold more than 100 combined heat and for dairy farms. In addition to producing high
power (CHP) units powered by Dresser-Rand efficiency on-site power generation that offsets
Guascor engines to dairy farmers, who use electricity costs from the grid, a biogas power
them to convert manure into biogas through generation system: decreases greenhouse gas
anaerobic digesters. The engine-based CHP units emissions; offers a renewable power source;
provide waste heat to the anaerobic digester, controls odor; enhances a farms nutrient
which converts manure into biogas at a faster management program by using the byproducts
rate. The power generated is sold to the grid, of digestion for farm fertilizer; can add superior
but oftentimes also offsets the farms high crop nutrient value; and creates animal bedding
electricity costs. In addition, the waste heat that can be made from excess solids.
can be used for digester and space heating
or cooling (through absorption chiller cooling The biogas recovery system features a variety
technologies). Some farmers convert the waste of components that make the process possible.
heat into steam and use it to help process the A collection system gathers manure and
dairy milk into cheese. transports it to the digester. Existing liquid/
slurry manure management systems can be
Founded in 1976 in Ephrata, PA, by Harlan readily adapted for this.
Martin, Martin Machinery manufactures and
distributes Guascor engine-based gensets and The digesters, commonly covered lagoons or
CHP units that use fuels from decomposed tanks, are designed to stabilize manure and
animal waste (or biogas) as well as landfill gas, optimize biogas production. The biogas (a
mine gas, and natural gas to help customers byproduct of decomposed manure, typically
economically produce heat and power. Martin comprising about 60 percent methane and
Machinery has supplied more than half of the 40 percent of other gases) is then collected,
treated and piped to the CHP unit.

14 insights
The biogas is used to fuel an engine which cows a more comfortable environment and,
drives a generator. This, in turn, produces theoretically, help increase milk production.
electricity for use on-site or is supplied to the
local grid. Waste heat collected from the engine According to EPA AgSTAR, 202 operational
exhaust and its jacket cooling system can be digesters are used across the United States,
used for space or water heating to offset other producing approximately 650 million kWh
fuel costs. Flare systems are installed to burn annually.
off excess gas, as well as serve as a back-up Martin Machinery has employees or service
mechanism for the primary gas-use device (the partners in seven states comprising nearly 50
CHP unit), should it go down for service. associates, and offers a wide variety of custom
Dairy farmers are also conducting studies to manufactured Dresser-Rand Guascor powered
determine if the waste heat from the CHP unit CHP units that meet both OEM and ASME
can be used to heat cow stalls. This would give standards.
Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 15
engineers notebook Stationary Component Optimization
and The Resultant Improvement in
The Performance Characteristics of
a Radial Compressor Stage
Published by ASME and presented at the ASME Turbo Expo in 2013. 2013 ASME.

Syed Fakhri James M. Sorokes

Aero/Thermo Design Engineer Principal Engineer, ASME Fellow
Clementine Vezier Jorge E. Pacheco, Ph.D.
Aero/Thermo Design Engineer Manager, Aero/Thermo Design Engineering

This paper is a follow-up to work published by Sorokes et al. [16]
regarding a diffuser flow-field phenomenon, identified as a precursor
to stall in a centrifugal stage. The earlier work provided greater detail
on the phenomenon that occurred, including further details on the CFD
analyses done to investigate the phenomenon and the trends observed
in the test data. The numerical and experimental results described in
the earlier work were used as a foundation in developing improved
stationary components of another stage of similar design whose surge
margin fell short of expectation, with the goal of improving its surge
margin and overall performance. The study focused specifically on
improving the flow characteristics in the diffuser and return channel by
optimizing the geometry. The improvement in surge margin and overall
performance was first verified numerically (through CFD analysis) and
then experimentally via scale model testing.
The paper will provide an overview of the centrifugal stage that was
tested along with a description of the test vehicle, operating conditions
and instrumentation used. The paper will also include a description of
the numerical work completed; i.e., the CFD code used, computational
domain considered and boundary conditions applied. Comparisons of the
trends observed in the experimental and numerical work will be offered
and the agreement between the numerical and empirical results will be
assessed. Finally, performance comparisons of the optimized stage with
the previous stage will also be presented.
16 insights
(see for example, Abdelhamid [9], Frigne & Van

engineers notebook
Introduction Den Brambussche[10], Kobayashi et al. [11], and
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that Sorokes & Marshall [12]). Of late, many have sought
provide centrifugal compressors for the process to use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis
market industry; i.e., oil and gas, petrochemical, to predict the onset of stall or to investigate the
gas transmission applications and the like; have flow phenomena that might provide a precursor to
seen an increasing demand for stages operating stall (see Freitas and Smalley[13], Ljevar et al. [14],
at higher flow coefficients and higher machine or Gourdain et al. [15]).
inlet relative Mach numbers. These demands are
For most centrifugal stages that operate at high
driven by a desire to reduce the footprint of the
inlet relative Mach numbers, it is common to
compressor or to compress larger amounts of gas
observe a low momentum region along the
within a smaller casing. As a direct result, process
shroud side of parallel-wall diffusers. Typically,
centrifugal compressors now operate at machine
the size of this region increases as flow is reduced
Mach numbers, (U2/A0) in excess of 1.2 and shroud
until finally resulting in diffuser stall. In the
inlet relative Mach numbers (Mrel1S) of 0.95 and
previous paper published (Sorokes et. al. [16]),
higher. While very commonplace in gas turbine or
the authors discussed the evolution of this low
turbocharger applications, such transonic designs
momentum region close to the diffuser exit. The
have been, until now, quite uncommon in the
diffuser was designed following standard sizing
process market. This is mainly due to the reduced
guidelines applied by most, if not all, OEMs. A new
operating range associated with such Mach number
phenomena was observed, through CFD and later
levels (Sorokes [1]). However, many end users are
from test results, where a sudden migration of this
now willing to accept the restricted range in their
low momentum region from the shroud side of the
desire for smaller or higher capacity equipment.
diffuser to the hub side occurred just prior to stall.
The authors company, as well as many others, Further, this phenomenon closely preceded the
has completed a number of high flow coefficient, peak polytropic head coefficient of the stage.
high Mach number impeller designs over the past
The occurrence of this phenomenon by itself did
several years. Most of the factors considered in
not concern the OEM, as the surge margin of
these designs have been addressed in textbooks by
the stage in question was deemed satisfactorily
Cumpsty [2], Japikse [3], Aungier [4] and others and
sufficient. Several hypotheses were postulated to
in papers by Bammert et al. [5], Al-Zubaidy et al. [6],
explain this phenomenon, including but not limited
Sorokes and Kopko[7], Sorokes et al. [8], and many
to, impeller exit flow angle trends from hub to
others. As many have discovered, it is insufficient
shroud, high diffusion occurring in this particular
to only optimize the impeller design. While the
style of diffuser and/or a unique combination of
impeller is certainly the most critical component
factors arising as a result of the particular impeller
in a well-performing stage, failure to give proper
and stationary components arrangement. However,
attention to the stationary components associated
of interest were two key issues: (i) Could CFD
with high flow coefficient, high Mach number
accurately predict this phenomenon? (ii) Can this
applications will severely compromise the resulting
potentially be used to accurately ascertain the surge
overall stage performance.
margin? In the first issue, the authors demonstrated
It is quite commonly believed that the diffuser is the the capability of their CFD model to match test data
second most important component in a centrifugal regarding the flow at which the low momentum
stage. Although some will rightly argue that inlet shift occurred. In the latter issue, test data showed
guide vanes are more critical, especially those that diffuser stall took place just after this shift.
that are adjustable, not all centrifugal compressor Shortly after the diffuser stall, the stage surged.
configurations include them. Therefore, much Therefore, this had given the authors the assurance
effort is expended in the design of diffusers for high to be able to accurately predict surge margin by
Mach number applications. An improperly designed predicting diffuser stall through CFD for these
diffuser can further restrict the operating range of a new high Mach stages that were being developed.
stage that is already suffering limited range. Further work that had been proposed involved
One of the more common issues resulting from optimization of the diffuser geometry to minimize
improper diffuser design is rotating stall. Much has the low momentum region and subsequently delay
been written on the subject of diffuser rotating stall its effects.

Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 17

In addition to the low- and medium-head stages (Refer to Table 1). [For those unfamiliar with the
engineers notebook mentioned by the authors in the previous paper,
the OEM also developed a new high head stage.
terminology, beam-style refers to the class of
compressors where the impellers lie between two
This stage was developed and tested prior to the bearings as opposed to an overhung design where
low head stage that was mentioned in the previous the impellers are outboard of the two bearings.]
paper. As a result, the authors were not yet aware Similar to the stages discussed in the previous
of the effect of the low momentum shift. The paper, the target flow coefficient for the impeller
phenomenon was observed in the CFD analyses, used for the study addressed in this paper was
but was thought to be a computational anomaly. 0.12 to be operated over a machine Mach number
However, since this shift of the low momentum range of 0.85 to 1.20. However, unlike the previous
region occurred much earlier for this high head stages, the target polytropic head coefficient was
stage, it had resulted in premature stall during the 0.55. The stage also included an upstream vaned
test and consequently a much shorter surge margin inlet guide and a vaneless diffuser (radius ratio
than in the stages described in the earlier work. 1.75), return bend and return channel (or de-swirl
After analyzing this phenomenon with the lower cascade). This particular combination of designing a
head stages in the later tests, the authors decided high pressure-ratio stage capable of operating over
to modify the stationary components of the higher a high Mach range poses significant challenges.
head stage in an effort to delay the low momentum
The model that was initially tested had a diffuser
shift and attempt to improve the surge margin.
that was pinched (at the shroud) and then followed
The paper will provide a general description of by a parallel wall section. The parallel wall section
the new stage. The discussion will then turn to width of the diffuser was set such that the flow
the numerical assessment of the new stage and angle did not violate any of the widely-accepted
the flow-field trends observed in the optimized stall avoidance criteria (i.e., Senoo, Kobayashi-
diffuser compared to the original one. This Nishida). The return channel system was also
section of the paper will include: a description developed using well-established design guidelines,
of the computational domain; CFD software ensuring proper leading edge incidence, passage
used; boundary conditions applied; turbulence area distribution, vane shape, etc. to avoid any
model employed; etc. Next, a description of untoward flow anomalies. When tested, it was
the test vehicle and test loop will be offered, found that the CFD significantly over-predicted the
including a brief description of the rig itself, the surge margin. On analyzing the test results, it was
instrumentation, test gases, operating conditions, established that the shift of the low momentum
etc. The test results for the optimized new stage region occurred much earlier for this high head
will be presented and, again, the focus will be stage than for the lower head stages. As a result,
on the flow-field behavior in the diffuser region. the surge margin was significantly lower (~15%
The flow-field will also be compared with that less). It was apparent that a high degree of
observed in the original geometry. A comparison diffusion was taking place in the diffuser and that
of the numerical and test results will follow. this was contributing to the highly tangential low
Finally, recommendations on improving stage momentum flow in the stationary components.
performance through optimizing geometry of
Since the stationary components were stalling
stationary components will be presented along with
before the impeller due to the low momentum
concluding remarks.
shift, and based on the results presented in the
previous paper, it was theorized that the stall could
Description of New Stage be delayed by optimizing the diffuser and return
The stage described in this work was designed as channel. As a result, the diffuser was pinched and
part of an overall initiative to develop new high tapered on both the hub and shroud side (Refer
performance staging for the OEMs products. The to Table 2). Both walls were tapered to minimize
primary intent was to increase the stage polytropic the low momentum flow on either wall. The return
efficiency and overall flow range for high flow channel was also pinched proportionately to match
coefficient impellers ( > 0.100). The full-inducer, the new diffuser exit width reduction. The end
arbitrary-bladed impeller was developed for use in result was a somewhat unconventional design for
any of the stages (i.e., first, intermediate or last) of the stationary components for this OEM.
a multi-stage, beam-style centrifugal compressor

18 insights
CFD Analytical Results slice model that included the upstream inlet guide,

engineers notebook
The high-head impeller had been developed impeller, diffuser, return bend, return channel, and
using a typical design methodology; i.e., a blend exit section (Figure 1). The grid was composed of
of 1-D, 2-D, and 3-D analytical methods. Stage 5,601,900 total elements (tetrahedral mesh with
design parameters are shown in Table 1. 3-D (CFD) wedge elements for boundary layers) with the
assessment was used extensively to optimize the distribution as shown in Table 3. The grid density
stationary components design. follows the best practices as determined from
previous mesh independency studies undertaken by
Parameters Value the OEM.
Flow coefficient, f 0.12
Polytropic head coefficient, 0.55
Maximum impeller relative velocity ratio, 1.65
Shroud inlet relative Mach number, Mrel1S 0.94
Impeller axial length/exit diameter 0.25
Impeller mass average exit flow angle, 2M 61.4
Diffuser exit flow angle 51
Table 1: Stage design parameters.

CFD Approach
A full optimization study was not undertaken due
to time constraints, but instead a direct approach,
with limited iterations, based on CFD was used
to optimize the flow path of the stationary
components. Several combinations of pinched, Figure 1: CFD sector model.
shroud tapered and/or hub tapered diffusers were
run while maintaining the diffuser radius ratio. Component Number of Elements
The geometry that yielded the best results was a Inlet guide 0.12
pinched diffuser with the hub and shroud tapered Impeller 0.55
(different taper angles) uniformly from diffuser inlet
Diffuser 1.65
to diffuser exit. The return bend, return channel
Return bend and return channel 0.94
passage width, and return channel vane were
also modified accordingly. Area ratio comparisons Table 3: Grid distribution.
between the optimized and original stationary
All interfaces between the components were
components are shown in Table 2.
modeled using a stage or circumferentially
averaged interface. The k- turbulence model
Geometry Parameters Symbol Value and a high-resolution discretization scheme were
Original diffuser pinch ratio B3/B2 0.847 applied as this OEM has had good success using
Optimized diffuser pinch ratio B3/B2 0.885 these approaches. All solutions were converged
Diffuser inlet area ratio to a maximum RMS residual of 1E-05 to ensure
A3/A3 1.045 consistency between the various results and to
Diffuser exit area ratio adhere to recommended practice. Mass imbalance
A5/B5 0.623 levels (p-mass within +/-0.05) were also used as
Return channel inlet area ratio criteria for convergence. The Y-plus was maintained
A6/A6 0.645 within 100, again to be consistent with past
Table 2: Stationary components geometry comparison.
Similar to the CFD analysis that had been done
for the original stage, the overall flow-field in the
All analyses described in this paper were conducted new stage was assessed from overload (or near
using the commercially-available solver, ANSYS/CFX- choke) to design flow and then at incrementally
14. The computational domain was a sector or pie- lower mass flow rates until CFD predicted that the

Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 19

stage polytropic head coefficient had peaked and shift is already in process, i.e., a low momentum
engineers notebook decreased with further reductions in flow. Both
stages were evaluated at similar mass flow ranges.
region on the hub side is also visible. The size of the
low momentum region continues to increase on
Based on the OEMs experience, the point at which the hub side and decrease on the shroud side (Fig
the polytropic head coefficient curve is predicted 4a, 5a) as flow is further reduced until a complete
by CFD to change from a negative to a positive shift is seen at 90% flow (Fig 5a). The size of the low
slope is indicative of the flow rate at or near which momentum region continues to increase as flow
the stage will stall on test. Non-convergence of the rate is lowered (Fig. 6a, 7a) and extends from near
solution is generally indicative of computational the diffuser inlet to well into the return channel.
surge of the stage. It is important to note that the The CFD analyses failed to converge with further
CFD results of the original design were converging reductions in flow.
and indicating that the polytropic head was rising
The flow trends observed here were very similar to
even after the low momentum region shift, and
those observed for the low head stage presented in
hence the expectation for a higher surge margin.
the previous paper, so they were not unexpected.
Please note that all analyses presented in this paper However, the early occurrence of this shift was not
were run assuming steady state conditions. It is anticipated and, based on the work on the low head
recognized that the conditions associated with stall design, it was now clear the shift was indicative of a
and the like are highly unsteady, so the exact nature premature stall.
of the flow-field at the near stall conditions might
The CFD results for the same meridional velocity
deviate somewhat from the real flow-field. This
profiles for the optimized geometry are shown in
unsteadiness in the flow generally leads to a non-
Figures 2b-7b. At high flow (Figure 2b), a very small
converged solution. Although unsteady CFD analysis
low momentum region at the diffuser exit, attached
can better replicate the conditions leading to the
to the shroud, is observed. No change in this low
formation of stall cells, it requires a full 360 degree
momentum region is observed until the flow is
model and considerably longer computing times.
reduced to 90% (Figure 5b), at which point, a small
Still, based on the OEMs extensive experience
low momentum region begins to form at hub side at
comparing CFD to test results and in comparing
the diffuser exit. As flow is reduced to 80% (Figure
steady state and unsteady CFD analyses, steady
7b), the low momentum region on the shroud
state results have been found to provide reasonable
side completely disappears, and the size of the
results relative to the assessment of minimum
low momentum region on the hub side gradually
stable flow on test. Since it was already established
increases. Any further reduction in flow led to the
in the previous paper that the low momentum
CFD solutions not converging.
shift is indicative of impending stall, this was used
as the criteria (even if the solution converged and Figures 8a and 8b show the distribution of the
polytropic head was rising) to determine the onset absolute velocity flow angle (relative to the radial
of a stall phenomenon that would predicate surge. line) at the diffuser exit for the original stationary
components design and the optimized stationary
The main objective of this comparative CFD analysis
components design respectively. The diffuser exit
was to determine the improvement in the flow field
plane is defined here at the radius just prior to the
with optimized stationary components relative to
start of the return bend (Figure 1). Highly tangential
the results with the original stationary components.
flow angles (>75) are generally indicative of very
Figures 2-7 show plots at various operating flows
low momentum flow, which lead to the formation
(from 80% to 110% of design mass flow). For
of stall cells in the stationary components or even
each of the flow points, the circumferentially
reverse flow in the entire machine (surge due
averaged meridional velocity profile is shown in the
to negative flow direction). Figure 8a shows the
meridional plane for both the original design and
gas flow angles at the exit of the diffuser for the
the optimized design.
original design. At overload, the flow angle was
The original stationary components design result more tangential at shroud than hub. However,
at a high flow rate of 110% (Fig 2a), shows that the as flow was reduced, tangential flow started to
low momentum region in the diffuser is attached to appear on both hub and shroud (105% design flow).
the shroud side, as has typically been observed by Further reduction in flow caused low momentum
the OEM for prior stages. When the flow is reduced flow to attach to the hub completely. Figure 8b
to 105% (Fig 3a), we see that the low momentum shows the flow angle at the exit of the diffuser for

20 insights
engineers notebook
2a 2b
Figure 2a: Meridional velocity profile 110 percent flow for Figure 2b: Meridional velocity profile 110 percent flow for
original stationary components. optimized stationary components.

3a 3b
Figure 3a: Meridional velocity profile 105 percent flow for Figure 3b: Meridional velocity profile 105 percent flow for
original stationary components. optimized stationary components.

4a 4b
Figure 4a: Meridional velocity profile 100 percent flow for Figure 4b: Meridional velocity profile 100 percent flow for
original stationary components. optimized stationary components.

5a 5b
Figure 5a: Meridional velocity profile 90 percent flow for Figure 5b: Meridional velocity profile 90 percent flow for
original stationary components. optimized stationary components.

Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 21

engineers notebook

6a 6b
Figure 6a: Meridional velocity profile 85 percent flow for Figure 6b: Meridional velocity profile 85 percent flow for
original stationary components. optimized stationary components.

7a 7b
Figure 7a: Meridional velocity profile 80 percent flow for Figure 7b: Meridional velocity profile 80 percent flow for
original stationary components. optimized stationary components.

Figure 8b: Absolute velocity flow angle at

diffuser exit optimized design.

Figure 8a: Absolute velocity flow angle at

diffuser exit original design.

22 insights
the new design. At high flow, no low momentum acquisition system.

engineers notebook
flow is observed. Low momentum flow started
The rig is driven by a 1.12MW (1,500HP) electric
to appear (at the hub side) only when the flow
motor and speed increasing gear, offering a wide
was reduced to 80% design flow. On comparing
range of operating speeds. The rig is installed in
the flow angle distribution between the original
a closed-loop system similar to the schematic
and optimized stationary components design,
shown in Figure 10. Available test gases include
very little highly tangential flow is observed in
nitrogen, carbon dioxide, R-134A refrigerant, and, if
the optimized stationary components. This is a
necessary, helium-nitrogen mixtures.
marked improvement in the flow field and should
assist in delaying the onset of stall. Figure 9 shows The stackable ring construction allows greater
the pressure recovery from impeller exit to the flexibility in rig configurations. It is possible to test
diffuser exit and return channel exit for both the a first stage configuration (i.e., following a main
geometries. The optimized geometry has lower inlet), an intermediate stage, and a discharge stage
pressure recovery on the overload side but better (i.e., with a volute or collector, two stages with an
performance at the surge side. The lower recovery intermediate sidestream, etc.
at overload for the optimized geometry is expected The testing of the subject stage was done in a single
due to the narrower stationary component stage configuration as shown in Figure 10. The
passages resulting in higher gas velocities and lower stage was operated in accordance with ASME PTC-
pressure recovery. However, this geometry has also 10 [17] at machine Mach numbers ranging from a
contributed to improving the flow in the stationary maximum U2/A0 of 1.2 down to a minimum U2/
components resulting in better pressure recovery at A0 of 0.85. However, the stationary components
lower flow. By adding taper on the hub and shroud were optimized for a U2/A0 of 1.15, as the stage
side, the size of the low momentum region was was primarily targeted for heavy mole weight
reduced by a large extent and its shift from shroud applications. For each machine Mach number, a
to hub was also delayed significantly. Hence, CFD full speed line of data was taken; typically 10 to
results predicted an improvement in surge margin 15 thermodynamically-settled flow points from
of approximately 15%. overload (choke) to stall/surge. Further, the data
acquisition system captures performance data every
four seconds, accumulating so-called transition
data that provides additional insight into the
compressor operation between settled points.
Low flow (surge) data was also taken at several
intermediate speed lines (between 0.85 and 1.15)
to better study the effect of the new stationary
components design on the surge margin at various
flow rates.
The stage was extensively instrumented, as shown
in Figure 11. Included were combo probes that
include a half-shielded thermocouple and a Kiel-
Figure 9: Pressure recovery plots of the original geometry
head pressure probe to measure total pressure and
and optimized geometry. total temperature, individual Kiel-head pressure
probes, total pressure rakes, as well as 5-hole
Overall Test Vehicle Description probes, static pressure taps, and dynamic pressure
The tests were conducted in the OEMs sub- transducers. In addition, proximity probes were
scale test rig, which is configurable in single- or used to monitor rotor vibrations. The temperature
two-stage arrangements. The rig is comprised probes were calibrated in-house to an accuracy
of a series of stackable rings that form both the of 0.1 deg. F and the accuracy of the pressure
aerodynamic flow path and the rig casing. The readings was within 0.15 psi. The dynamic
ring concept allows all instrumentation leads to be pressure transducers (which detect pressure
extracted through the outside diameter of the rings, fluctuations) and the 5-hole probes (which measure
facilitating instrumentation connections to the data both pressure and flow angle) at the diffuser

Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 23

inlet and exit would prove to be critical in the was calibrated to provide the flow angle relative
engineers notebook assessment of the diffuser flow physics. to the probe face. Therefore, the absolute gas
angle would be determined by adjusting the probe
For this test program, there were two 5-hole probes
measurement by the 61.71 angle to the radial
at the diffuser inlet, two at the diffuser exit and
reference line.
one at the return channel inlet. At each diffuser
location, the probes were placed at 33% and 66% There were three dynamic pressure transducers
immersion from hub to shroud. The probe at 33% mounted in the diffuser at the same radial location
immersion is closer from the shroud wall while as the 5-hole probes; i.e., three at the diffuser
the one at 66% immersion is closer to the hub inlet and three at the diffuser exit. The dynamic
wall. The single probe at the return channel inlet probes were distributed circumferentially so that it
was mounted at 50% immersion. The probe heads would be possible to detect stall cells as well as the
were mounted on a hexagon-shaped ferule (see number of cells and their direction of rotation. The
Figure12). The ferule was maintained at the right probes were selected to be more sensitive to lower
immersion due to the pressure exerted by the frequencies; i.e., those typical of diffuser and/or
clamp. One flat side of the hexagon was mounted impeller rotating stall.
against a radially-oriented slot to ensure that the
Static taps, combination probes (temperature and
probe face was rigidly fixed at an angle of 61.71
pressure) and Kiel head probes were placed at
relative to the radial slot (or radial line). The probe
various other critical locations, i.e., diffuser inlet,
diffuser exit, return channel inlet, return channel

Figure 12: 5-hole probe.

Figure 10: Test loop schematic with main components [17].

Several observers monitored the vibration and

dynamic pressure transducer signals as well as the
real-time display of the diffuser flow angles (and
other aerodynamic parameters) to take note of any
interesting phenomena that occurred during the
testing. In short, every effort was made to ensure
that all critical data was captured during the run.

Experimental Results
The testing for both builds had been conducted at
the design U2/A0 of 1.15 using R-134A as a test gas.
Since the test was already conducted for the stage
with the original stationary components design, its
results were available for comparison.
The test rig (with new optimized stationary
components) was moved from the overload portion
of the performance map back to the design flow
condition. All performance parameters were as
Figure 11: Typical test rig internal instrumentation layout.

24 insights
expected, and unlike the previous stationary Choke capacity of approximately 1.5% was lost

engineers notebook
components design, there was no evidence of likely due to the higher constriction offered by the
any flow disturbances evidenced in the 5-hole new diffuser.
probes, dynamic pressure transducers or any other
On observing the normalized polytropic efficiency
instrumentation. In particular, the flow angles at the
level of the stage over the flow range (Figure 14),
diffuser inlet and exit followed a classic pattern; i.e.,
this was also maintained over the range, with the
gradually increasing (or becoming more tangential)
exception at higher flow near overload. Due to the
with decreasing flow rate.
higher friction losses as a result of the narrower
passage width and resultant higher velocities in
the diffuser, the loss in polytropic efficiency at high
flow was expected. However, since this area of the
compressor map is typically unusable for high Mach
applications due to the vertical nature of the curve,
the loss in overload was deemed to be insignificant.

Figure 13: Test data: Normalized polytropic head coefficient

versus the normalized flow coefficient at U2/A0 =1.15.

Figure 15: Test data: Flow angle at the diffuser inlet versus
the normalized flow coefficient at U2/A0 =1.15.

Figure 14: Test data: Normalized polytropic efficiency

versus the normalized flow coefficient at U2/A0 =1.15.

A critical objective of the new design was to

improve the overall range, by improving the surge
margin of the stage, without compromising on
the polytropic head level or polytropic efficiency
level over the same range. Figure 13 compares the
normalized polytropic head level of the new stage
Figure 16: Test data: Flow angle at the diffuser exit versus
over the flow range for the new design versus
the normalized flow coefficient at U2/A0 =1.15.
the previous design. From the plot, it is observed
that the range to the left of the design point Closer observation of the enhancement in surge
had improved significantly. While the stage had margin through improvement of diffuser flow field
previously surged at a flow of a little less than 95% quality was done through analyses of the diffuser
design flow, the new design was able to go down inlet and exit flow angle trends. Figure 15 shows
to a flow of approximately 83% of design flow. the variation of the flow angle at the diffuser inlet
This resulted in an improvement of more than 12% over the operating flow range. The plot shows these
in the surge margin. Further, the polytropic head results for the new design and the previous design
level over the operating range for the new design at both span-wise locations (near hub and near
was maintained relative to the previous design. shroud). For the previous design, the magnitude of
However, the new stage did choke slightly earlier. the flow angle increased as flow rate was reduced

Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 25

from overload to surge. However, the flow closer immersions from the shroud wall). Predictably,
engineers notebook to the hub became tangential more rapidly than
did the corresponding flow near the shroud. This
at this low flow rate, the dynamic pressure
transducers showed strong deviations indicating
was representative of the trend that was expected stage stall and immediately thereafter surge occurs.
downstream of the diffuser. On the other hand, the
Throughout the flow range, the magnitude of the
flow angle results for the new design are presented
flow angle was approximately 10-15 lower for the
in the same plot (Figure 15). Similar to the previous
new design than for the optimized design directly
design case, the flow at the shroud angle became
a result of the reduced diffuser exit area due to the
increasingly tangential as the flow was reduced.
double taper. This implies a reduction in the extent
However, the flow angle at the hub for the new
of low momentum (tangential) flow at the diffuser
design was generally constant throughout the
exit of the new design, i.e. improved flow quality.
flow range (at approximately 61 deg.). Although
This contributed to the improvement in the surge
the magnitude of the diffuser inlet flow angle at
the hub was higher for the new design than for
the previous design, the design prevented it from The flow angle variation at the return channel inlet
increasing at especially low flow, likely due to the is shown in Figure 17. The previous design results
downstream taper. It is interesting to note that the show that the flow angle increases from overload
absolute value of the flow angle at the shroud was to about 103% design flow. Further reduction in
3-5 higher for the new design at design flow than flow rate results in inconsistent fluctuation in the
that for the previous design. This is because the flow angle results, indicating flow disturbance due
previous diffuser had greater pinch than the new to low momentum shift at the exit of diffuser and in
diffuser. the return bend. The flow angle results for the new
design show that the flow angle increases uniformly
The behavior of the flow angle at the diffuser
until the stage surges. Similar to that observed at
exit (Figure 16) sheds more light on the relative
the diffuser exit, the magnitude of the flow angle
improvement of the flow field quality in the new
is approximately 10-15 lower in the new design
design. For the previous design, towards overload,
again due to the reduced return channel inlet area.
the flow angle at the shroud was higher than that
The return channel vane incidence for the new
at the hub. As the flow was reduced, the flow angle
design was biased in favor towards surge. Both of
rose more precipitously at the hub than at the
these factors contributed to the improvement in
shroud; converging at close to 105% design flow.
the surge margin, but have also likely led to the
Further reduction of flow causes both flow angles to
1.5% drop in overload margin.
increase similarly until the diffuser stalls. Although
the probes did not measure an actual switch of the
flow angles, possibly due to the span-wise location
of the probes itself, the erratic behavior of the flow
angles suggests that the low momentum (tangential
flow) region was in the process of shifting between
95% and 105% of design flow. On the other hand,
the flow angle measurements at the diffuser exit for
the new design show no such convergence of the
hub and shroud flow angles. The flow angle at the
shroud is consistently 4-5 degrees higher than at
the hub, until the flow is reduced to approximately
83% of design flow. At this flow rate, the flow
Figure 17: Test Data: Flow angle at the return channel
angle at the hub rises suddenly, suggesting low inlet versus normalized flow coefficient at the diffuser inlet
momentum (tangential) flow shifting from shroud at U2/A0 =1.15.
to hub, but the flow angles still did not switch. The
The observations for the diffuser inlet, diffuser
flow angle probes might need to be placed closer
exit and return channel inlet flow angle
to the hub and shroud walls to better capture the
experimental data confirmed the trends observed
flow momentum shift because most of the low
in the numerical results. The low momentum
momentum flow was removed by the re-design (at
zone transfer from the shroud to the hub was
test the probes were positioned at 33% and 66%

26 insights
significantly delayed in the new design, providing part of the deviation between the test data and CFD

engineers notebook
better range at low flow. could be due to the transient nature of the flow-
field. Still, the close agreement in the overall range
Comparison of Analysis and the general trend provide confidence that CFD
and Test Results can be used to predict the occurrence of the low
A comparison of the measurements from the CFD momentum transfer phenomenon.
analyses and the data taken during the rig testing From overload to surge, the CFD predictions are
was completed to review the ability of steady- within +/- 1.5% of the test results for the polytropic
state CFD to accurately predict the phenomenon. head coefficient (Figure 18) and within +/-2.5% for
Overlays of the CFD and test data for the 1.15 U2/ the polytropic efficiency (Figure 19). At the design
A0 speed line are shown in Figure 18 and Figure point (normalized flow coefficient=1), the deviation
19 (normalized polytropic head coefficient and between the test and CFD results is less than 0.5%
normalized polytropic efficiency vs. flow). As can for polytropic head coefficient and less than 1.7%
be seen, the general trends agree very well with for polytropic efficiency. The CFD analyses did not
CFD showing similar polytropic head and polytropic account for flow recycle around the cover, and
efficiency levels across the range. However, this may have contributed to the higher polytropic
CFD over-predicted the surge margin by 1% and efficiency and the higher overload capacity
overload margin by 1.5%. Typically, CFD analyses predictions.
over-predict the surge margin. This trend is not
unexpected since it is well-known that steady state Concluding Remarks
CFD analyses do not properly resolve the flow Analytical CFD work on a new high flow coefficient,
field and/or phenomena at off-design conditions, high Mach number, high head stage that was
in particular at near surge/stall conditions. As previously designed had shown satisfactory surge
pointed out earlier, the CFD analyses were all done margin on the basis of converged CFD results
assuming steady state conditions. Therefore, a large but prematurely surged when tested. Previous
numerical work and test results undertaken by the
authors on a similar stage identified a shift in low
momentum flow (from shroud to hub side) in the
diffuser as a precursor to stall. The findings from
this study were applied to modify the stationary
components design of the new high head stage in
order to improve its surge margin.
This paper has presented the results of numerical
and experimental work undertaken in conjunction
with the re-design of stationary components of
Figure 18: Test vs CFD: Normalized polytropic head
the new high head stage. The diffuser of this stage
coefficient versus the normalized flow coefficient at was pinched and tapered on both the hub and
U2/A0 =1.15. shroud sides in order to significantly reduce low
momentum regions that were forming on either
side of the diffuser exit at low flow. The return
channel width was also reduced and the return
channel vanes were re-designed to match the new
flow incidence.
Numerical results showed that the overall stationary
components re-design resulted in significantly
reducing the size of the low momentum region in
the diffuser and return channel. It also considerably
delayed the shift of the low momentum region from
Figure 19: Test vs CFD: Normalized polytropic efficiency
the shroud side to the hub side, thereby suggesting
versus the normalized flow coefficient at U2/A0 =1.15. a delay in the onset of stall. The CFD results

indicated that both these factors should significantly Nomenclature c0
engineers notebook improve the surge margin. f
= stage inlet flow coefficient =
= unit conversion constant
N D32
Test data validated the CFD prediction of an
improved surge margin as an improvement of A0 = sonic (acoustic) velocity of gas
~10% was observed. Further, the re-design was D2 = impeller exit diameter
successful in maintaining the same polytropic head N = operating speed in revolutions per
and polytropic efficiency levels as the previous minute
design (see Table 4). Some overload margin (~1.5%) PT Combo = pressure and temperature probe
was lost due to the reduced passage areas in the Q = stage inlet volumetric flow
stationary components. However, this was deemed U2 = impeller tip speed
acceptable as the stage is not expected to be Mrel1S = shroud inlet relative Mach number
operated at flow levels close to choke. Flow angle = polytropic efficiency
H gc
data at the diffuser inlet, diffuser exit and return = polytropic head coefficient = 2
channel inlet was collected and used to corroborate gc = gravitational constant
the CFD prediction of a delay of the low momentum H = polytropic head
shift. B3/B2 = optimized diffuser inlet width/
impeller tip width
Further work is planned to investigate the B3/B2 = new diffuser inlet width/impeller
phenomenon observed using transient CFD and tip width
to further characterize the stage geometries A3/A3 = optimized diffuser inlet area/original
and/or operating conditions associated with this diffuser inlet area
phenomenon. The authors also intend to continue A5/A5 = optimized diffuser exit area/original
the stationary components optimization study on diffuser exit area
the return channel and return channel vane design. A6/A6 = optimized return channel inlet area/
In conclusion, the results of this study have original return channel inlet area
identified that by optimizing the stationary
components and delaying the transfer of the Acknowledgments
low momentum zone from the shroud side of The authors thank Mr. Charles Dunn for his tireless
the diffuser to the hub side, the performance efforts in conducting the testing and for his assist in
characteristics of the stage can be significantly reducing and interpreting the data. The authors also
improved. Non-optimized design of the stationary thank Dresser-Rand for funding this research and
components can easily lead to the formation of stall for granting the authors permission to write and
cells due to low momentum flows, resulting in early present this paper.
surge. Hence, it is critical to properly size stationary
components along with the impeller design when References
designing a new stage. 1. Sorokes, J.M., Range Versus Polytropic efficiency
A Dilemma for Compressor Designers and
Original Optimized Users, ASME paper no. IMECE2003-55223, 2003.
Performance Parameter
Design Design 2. Cumpsty, N. A., 1989, Compressor Aerodynamics,
Normalized polytropic efficiency Longman Scientific & Technical, England.
1.000 1.001
at design flow
Normalized polytropic head 3. Japikse, D., 1996, Centrifugal Compressor Design
1.000 1.003 and Performance, Concepts ETI, Inc., U.S.A.
coefficient at design flow
Surge margin 6.1 16.0 4. Aungier, R. H., 2000, Centrifugal Compressors
Overload margin 13.4 12.1 A Strategy for Aerodynamic Design and
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5. Bammert, K.; Rautenberg, M.; Knapp, P., 1980,
The influence of the meridional impeller
shape on the energy-transfer in centrifugal
compressors, ASME IGTI.

28 insights
engineers notebook
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6. Al-Zubaidy, S.N.J, 1992, Axial length influence
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A,L., 2009, The Influence of Shroud Curvature
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part B.
Performance Characteristics, ASME paper no.
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Miton, H., 2006, Numerical Simulation of
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Distinctions Between Different Types Of
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Centrifugal Compressors, (2nd Report, Effect
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Bringing energy and the environment into harmony. 29

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