Combined Heat & Power, Inc.
210 Pennsylvania Avenue
East Aurora, NY 14052
716 655-4681 Voice 716 655-0895 Fax
Last Revision: January 2, 2011
Combined Heat & Power, Inc. continues to introduce new Guided Rotor Compressor (GRC) models to expand its product range. In 2010, Combined Heat & Power, Inc. introduced and shipped a high pressure version of the M500 family of compressors. This new model, named the M500HP, is rated for a Maximum Allowed Working Pressure (MAWP) of 1200 psig. This first production example will be used in a proprietary high pressure air drilling system.
Combined Heat & Power, Inc. is also proud to introduce the new M450 series, a high pressure (1000 psig) compressor series designed t be coupled to a twin screw booster stage, or as a stand alone Guided Rotor Compressor.
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Combined Heat & Power, Inc. is pleased to announce that a new and revolutionary natural gas compressor is commercially available for a wide range of wellhead and gas gathering production applications, coal-bed methane applications, landfill/digester gas applications and fuel gas booster service. This new compressor, referred to as the Guided Rotor Compressor, or GRC, provides new levels of performance, reliability and operating flexibility for natural gas production and utilization operations. The GRC provides application and operating flexibility that exceeds the performance levels of traditional reciprocating and twin screw compressors, as well as scroll, vane and liquid ring compressors.
The GRC is a rotary positive displacement device, which is based upon an envoluted trochoid geometry. The device represents a new family of rotary compressors. The GRC is not a Wankel device and there is no mechanical design relationship between the GRC and reciprocating, twin screw, single screw, vane or scroll designs. The compression volume is defined by a trochoidal surface within a casing, or housing, and a rotating rotor mounted on an eccentric drive shaft. Depending upon configuration, three to four compression volumes are defined by a rotor/housing pair, thereby providing 12 to 20 compression processes for each full rotation of the rotor. One or more rotors are available for single stage, and multistage operation.
Application benefits include very wide inlet pressure and discharge pressure capability, high efficiency, compact compressor footprint for single and multistage configurations, wide off-design operating potential without efficiency degradation, high reliability and longevity, low part count (no compressor valves, no piston rings, no linear strip seals), and reduced system packaging cost.
The Guided Rotor Compressor (GRC) is a rotary positive displacement device. Other common rotary positive displacement compressors are the; twin (helical) screw, rotary lobe, rotary vane, scroll, rolling piston, single (globoid) screw and liquid ring compressors. The other major positive displacement compressor type is the reciprocating compressor, which utilizes the "back and forth" reversing motion of pistons or diaphragms, rather than rotary motion, to achieve volume reduction.
The GRC is an envoluted trochoid device, which utilizes a parallel trochoid curve to define its basic compression volume. The historic Wankel engine (and compressor variant) utilized the theoretical trochoid rather than the envolute. The GRC also utilizes a cylindrical seal rather than a linear seal of the Wankel. It is the combination of the envoluted trochoid and the cylindrical seal, along with proprietary geometric proportions, which allow the GRC to function and provide superior operating characteristics.
The GRC is simple in configuration and construction. A single rotor compressor assembly is comprised of; a trochoidal housing, a rotor, roller seals, suction side plate, discharge side plate, crankshaft, rotor bearing, main bearings, end covers, and a ceramic face seal. The compressor is modular in construction and can be configured as a multi-rotor and multistage assembly, while separate compressor assemblies can be close coupled together to achieve further product line expansion. The Guided Rotor compressor does not utilize nested timing gears and does not require speed increasers to achieve cost effective delivery volumes.
Current production designs are liquid lubricated; employing fluid such as mineral oil, synthetic oil, ATF and glycol. Concept designs have been developed for lubricant free GRC's, although full scale design and prototyping is not planned for the near term. Additional market segments can be addressed since the Guided Rotor device can operate as a positive displacement expander or as a combined compressor/expander.
The key geometric descriptor for the GRC is the Eccentric (e). This one variable, along with other elective considerations, virtually defines a particular GRC design. The Eccentricity is approximately equivalent to the "stroke" of a reciprocating compressor, in terms of performance definition. Those familiar with the GRC, use the Eccentricity as the designator for a core design series. The Eccentricity does not, however, describe the many variables available within a core design. These are defined by secondary geometric selections.
Secondary geometric information includes; number of rotors, number of stages, number of rotors per stage, number of lobes (n=number of lobes, n+1=number of rotor faces), and rotor width(s). Performance or design operating considerations include; rpm, suction pressure, discharge pressure, flowrate.
Each individual multirotor GRC design can have different Eccentricities (e) for each rotor, as well as different rotor dimensions, number of lobes and utilize different gases for each rotor. The GRC can also be close coupled directly to another compressor type such as a reciprocating compressor. The only constant is shaft speed (rpm).
Mechanical attributes of the Guided Rotor Compressor (GRC) encompass the following characteristics:
Various models of the Guided Rotor Compressor (GRC) are available as either a four sided rotor, three lobe configuration or as a five sided rotor, four lobe configuration. For each rotor rotation, twelve or twenty compression processes occur respectively. As such, the GRC is generally smaller in overall size than comparable reciprocating compressors. On the basis of actual rotor speed, the GRC is also significantly smaller than twin screw compressors, although in practice, the majority of twin screw compressors utilize speed increasers to achieve high volume flowrates and apparent small size.
The GRC is exceptionally simple in construction. A typical single rotor configuration is assembled from less than 20 components, not counting fasteners. A comparable single cylinder reciprocating compressor is comprised of at least double the number of parts. Reciprocating parts are also complex in design and more fragile. The GRC components are simple in configuration and significantly more robust in cross-section and construction.
Generally, GRC based compression systems for wellhead and gas gathering applications can be 40% smaller than comparable reciprocating systems, and 25% smaller than twin screw based systems. Packaging costs are significantly lower due to low vibration levels and a small compressor footprint. GRC assemblies can be configured to accept piping connections at regular circumferential positions during compressor assembly, thereby allowing the system designer exceptional flexibility.
Compressor valves and piston rod packings are completely eliminated, thereby avoiding costs associated with these component failures and resultant downtime. The GRC utilizes simple cylindrical rollers that are exceptionally robust and long lasting to seal between compression volumes. Experience to date indicates that roller life is at least two years, with no performance degradation. The only other wear component is a ceramic-on-carbon face seal for the drive shaft. This face seal has proven to be very reliable and long lived.
Performance Attributes of the Guided Rotor Compressor (GRC) are:
Recent tests of a 20 hp GRC operating on air with an ambient inlet pressure, revealed measured adiabatic efficiencies ranging between 75% and 88%, at pressure ratios ranging from 2.8 to 4.6. This testing was competed by a third party, experienced in the performance measurement of a wide range of rotating equipment.
Laboratory and field testing experience shows that off-design performance is relatively flat as a function of rpm. This performance attribute allows significant flexibility with regard to installation longevity under changing field conditions.
Because liquid lubricant is introduced and is present within the compression volume, the GRC experiences a degree of isothermal cooling during compression. As a result, discharge temperatures experienced with the GRC are significantly lower than for comparable reciprocating compressors impacting the size and cost of installed heat exchangers.
Packaging the Guided Rotor Compressor provides significant opportunities to reduce the cost and complexity of compression systems. For a given performance level, the GRC is more compact, highly flexible for multistaging, provides numerous options for piping connections and transfers no shaking forces to the skid and foundation. The structural elements of the support skid can be lighter and significantly smaller than comparable reciprocating compressor systems.
The package on the left utilizes a GRC three stage natural gas wellhead or gas gathering compressor (Model No. 410-108) driven by a 150 hp engine drive mounted upon a simplified fabricated support skid. This package design represents one of the standardized designs developed by Combined Heat & Power, Inc. for natural gas production applications. For the larger Model 500 family of derivative GRC designs, the package layout and detail design for natural gas service is identical, whether the compressor is a single stage or a four stage assembly; differing only in driver horsepower, number and size of radiators and separators, and overall skid length. A high level of standardization is exhibited throughout the product range, resulting in lower costs, lower parts inventory and higher maintenance efficiency.
The package nearing completion above represents a highly standardized package suitable for application anywhere between a 0 psig to 125 psig inlet pressure and 250 psig discharge pressure, while delivering 100 mcfd to 1000 mcfd respectively, at less than 60 hp. The installed GRC is a Model 410-102, which is a two rotor, two stage configuration. This standard package design is suitable for Models 312, 350 and 410 single stage or two stage GRCs' driven by natural gas engines or electrical motors. The package is designed for high reliability, wide applicability, ease of access and maintenance and a small footprint (10' L x 5' W). The basic layout is also utilized for higher horsepower systems and for higher discharge pressure systems.
Combined Heat & Power, Inc. has designed and developed a broad natural gas compressor product line ranging between 10 to 5000 horsepower. This product line is differentiated and identified by Combined Heat & Power, Inc. by a model number related to the Eccentricity followed by a three digit suffix which identifies the assembly configuration. For example, the Model 410-102 is a compressor assembly utilizing an Eccentricity of 0.410", with the suffix -102 further identifying the assembly as a two stage configuration. The Model 1000 family of compressors utilize an Eccentricity of 1.000". The GRC product line potential extends from numerous marginal wellhead applications, through larger gas gathering, enhanced oil recovery applications within the natural gas production markets, as well as for the landfill/digester gas recovery markets. The GRC product line is also very suited for distributed generation fuel gas booster applications utilizing gas turbines and reciprocating engines.
For natural gas production applications, Combined Heat & Power, Inc. has designed a series of standardized compression packages suitable for a broad array of field appplications. Further information and quotations are available by contacting Combined Heat & Power, Inc., or its authorized distributor/packagers.
There are twelve (12) core designs in the GRC family:
|Type Number||Eccentricity||Max Suction P||MAWP|
|Model 250||0.250"||250 psig||350 psig|
|Model 275||0.275"||250 psig||350 psig|
|Model 312||0.3125"||250 psig||350 psig|
|Model 350||0.350"||600 psig||1300 psig|
|Model 350HP||0.350"||600 psig||1300 psig|
|Model 375||0.375"||250 psig||400 psig|
|Model 410||0.410"||250 psig||450 psig|
|Model 500||0.500"||250 psig||600 psig|
|Model 500HP||0.500"||250 psig||1200 psig|
|Model 700||0.700"||600 psig||800 psig|
|Model 750||0.750"||600 psig||550 psig|
|Model 1000||1.000"||600 psig||1200 psig|
|Model 1400||1.400"||600 psig||1200 psig|
Current inlet pressure maximums are defined by the drive shaft face seal design. The face seal is a simple and very reliable spring loaded carbon on ceramic design, suitable for an inlet pressure of 250 psig. If higher pressures are required, balanced face seal selections are available.
There are currently one hundred seventy eight (178) derivative assemblies based upon the above core designs. There are currently two (2) or more rotor widths for each core group. Future market requirements may dictate additional rotor widths and additional or modified aseembly configurations. Assembly derivatives, which are identified as "coupled" designs, are modular combinations of dual and/or single rotor assemblies, of identical or differing eccentricities, coupled together.
If additional rotor widths and differing eccentricities are applied, the number of possible combinations to address customer needs increases rapidly. It should be apparent, that although the number of assemblies increases dramatically, the number of specialized, one of a kind components remains low, thereby increasing production efficiency and economics.
The rpm range of the GRC product line is generally set between 900 rpm and 2,400 rpm, with the nominal at 1,800 rpm. The exceptions are the Model 700 which is currently limited to 1800 rpm, the Model 1000 which is currently limited to 1200 rpm and the Model 1400 which is currently limited to 900 rpm. Laboratory test runs, on prototypes, exceeded this recommended range, however these limits are currently selected for long term reliability, and to match available drivers. Virtually all commercial field experience is at 900 to 1,800 rpm, due primarily to driver selections.
The GRC product range are all oil lubricated designs, using; mineral oil, synthetic oil, ATF and process liquids. Combined Heat & Power, Inc. has approved GRC Models 250, 275, 312, 410 and 500 for glycol and glycol/water lubricated operation. Please consult with Combined Heat & Power, Inc. since horsepower limits are derated with these lubricants.
Currently, variable geometry apparatus for capacity unloading and variable pressure ratio control are not included in the GRC product range. Experience has shown that performance variation is minimal for GRC's at varying pressure ratios, and variable capacity can be economically achieved by external means. As such, the added complexity of variable geometry is not generally needed in conventional applications. If market conditions require variable geometry, Combined Heat & Power, Inc. will introduce variable geometry options.
With fixed suction and discharge porting, pressure ratio per stage is optimized between 2.5:1 and 3.0:1. Individual GRC assemblies can be optimized for other pressure ratios, if required and justified. Combined Heat & Power, Inc. is currently limiting maximum continuous pressure ratio per stage to 5:1. This self-imposed limit is to maximize thermodynamic and volumetric efficiency, and because multistaging the GRC is exceptionally easy. Higher pressure ratios are however possible and limited laboratory and field testing shows that there is potential to increase this imposed limit within future compressor generations.
Current Performance Limits for the GRC Product Line are:
|Model 250||Model 275||Model 312||Model 350|
|MAWP||350 psig||350 psig||350 psig||1300 psig|
|Max Suction Pressure (Face Seal Limitation)||250 psig||250 psig||250 psig||600 psig|
|Delta P for 1st Stage Rotor||125 psi||110 psi||120 psi||250 psi|
|Delta P for 2nd Stage Rotor||180 psi||160 psi||170 psi||400 psi|
|Total Delta P for Two Stage Assembly||305 psi||270 psi||290 psi||650 psi|
|Max Pressure Ratio per Stage||(Consult CHP, Inc.)||(Consult CHP,Inc.)||(Consult CHP, Inc.)||(Consult CHP, Inc.)|
|Max Horsepower per Assembly||30 hp||40 hp||40 hp||150 hp|
|Model 350HP||Model 375||Model 410||Model 500|
|MAWP||1300 psig||400 psig||450 psig||600 psig|
|Max Suction Pressure (Face Seal Limitation)||1000 psig||250 psig||250 psig||600 psig|
|Delta P for 1st Stage Rotor||400 psi||163 psi||165 psi||180 psi|
|Delta P for 2nd Stage Rotor||400 psi||235 psi||235 psi||250 psi|
|Total Delta P for Two Stage Assembly||800 psi||400 psi||400 psi||430 psi|
|Max Pressure Ratio per Stage||(Consult CHP, Inc.)||(Consult CHP,Inc.)||(Consult CHP, Inc.)||(Consult CHP, Inc.)|
|Max Horsepower per Assembly||300 hp||150 hp||175 hp||225 hp|
|Model 500HP||Model 700||Model 750||Model 1000|
|MAWP||1200 psig||800 psig||N/A550 psig||1200 psig|
|Max Suction Pressure (Face Seal Limitation)||250 psig||250 psig||250 psig||600 psig|
|Delta P for 1st Stage Rotor||600 psi||350 psi||350 psi||350 psi|
|Delta P for 2nd Stage Rotor||900 psi||400 psi||400 psi||550 psi|
|Total Delta P for Two Stage Assembly||1500 psi||650 hp||650 psi||900 psi|
|Max Pressure Ratio per Stage||(Consult CHP, Inc.)||(Consult CHP, Inc.)||(Consult CHP, Inc.||(Consult CHP, Inc.)|
|Max Horsepower per Assembly||550 hp||600 hp||600 hp||1940 hp|
|Max Suction Pressure (Face Seal Limitation)||600 psig|
|Delta P for 1st Stage Rotor||500 psi|
|Delta P for 2nd Stage Rotor||800 psi|
|Total Delta P for Two Stage Assembly||1300 psi|
|Max Pressure Ratio per Stage||(Consult CHP, Inc.)|
|Max Horsepower per Assembly||5000 hp|
The GRC can be applied to a wide range of gases. For existing production assembly numbers, suction and discharge port locations are optimized for the thermophysical properties of natural gas. For optimized operation with other gases or gas mixtures, such as Helium, Hydrogen, air or process gas streams, different port locations are defined and new performance envelopes are developed. In addition to relocated and resized suction and discharge porting, specialized considerations such as material selections, face seal design and rotor/housing width selections are also reviewed for the gas and intended application. If required, production GRC models can be manufactured in Stainless Steel. Please contact Combined Heat & Power, Inc. for further details.
Early commercial applications for the Guided Rotor Compressor (GRC) have been in marginal wellhead, larger wellhead, gas gathering service and in fuel gas booster service for micro turbine based distributed generation. Short term marketing and sales efforts center upon marginal wellhead compression, gas gathering, enhanced oil & gas recovery service and landfill/digester gas recovery. As unit field population increases, additional GRC models will be introduced into broader market segments.
The GRC pictured on the left is providing gas gathering service in Western New York. The system draws from 17 wellheads and delivers natural gas to a sales line and to a food processing plant. As of December 2009, the compressor has operated successfully for over 49,000 hrs. At approximately 5,000 hours, the control solenoid for lubricant oil supply failed, causing the compressor to run intermittently without lubrication for an estimated 25 to 30 hours. Upon discovery of this system failure, the compressor was disassembled and inspected for damage. The guiding rollers were found to be slightly scuffed, but fully functional and not in need of replacement. The rollers were however replaced to allow testing of another set of rollers based on a different design. These alternate rollers have operated for over 37,000 hours without performance degradation, the equivalent of 4.2 years of 24/7 operation. The incident described would have quickly caused a failure in a competing compressor type.
The GRC has also been successfully applied in supplying natural gas to a large system of microturbines in an innovative distributed generation installation. The installation pictured on the right is part of the world's largest utility independent micro turbine installation powering an industrial plant. Of the three compressors pictured, 1.5 compressors were required to provide full fuel load to twenty (20) micro turbines, each capable of producing 30 kw each. The balance of the compressors provided a level of redundancy.
During the initial start-up phase of this micro turbine installation, the amount of natural gas required limited compressor operation to a single unit operating 7 seconds on, 9 seconds off. During the system commissioning period, this single compressor experienced nearly 30,000 stop/start cycles without performance degradation. The drive systems were not equiped with soft starts or VFD's. On another occasion, one compressor module of the three pictured was rewired inadvertantly for reverse rotation, with the lubricant oil control bypassed. This compressor operated for some hours in the reverse direction and without lubricant flow, again without ultimate performance degradation, once again demonstrating the ruggedness of the GRC.
The following provides a quick summary of the potential markets and uses of the Guided Rotor Compressor:Natural Gas/Oil Production
Contact - Jerome M. Crewe
(301) 874-2920 Business
(301) 874-2433 Fax
Contact - Steve Krupski
(307) 682-0765 Office
(307) 680-0891 Mobile
Contact - Robert "Toby" Santik
(814) 938-2660 Business
(412) 289-9273 Mobile
(814) 938-2212 Fax
Contact - Francisco Nozolino de Azevedo
55 71 81976501 Mobile
Contact - Ian Speer
+61 0400 077 165
196 Chestnut Ridge Road
Queensbury, NY 12804
Contact - Frank H. Athearn, V.P. Business Development
(518) 793-0041 Business
(518) 694-1480 Cell
If you are interested in becoming a distributor/packager for the Guided Rotor Compressor, or if you would like to learn more about Combined Heat & Power, Inc., please contact Ewan Choroszylow at: email@example.com.