Néstor González Díez, MSc
- Fluid Dynamics
Safety, availability and operability are key performance indicators for operators of industrial facilities. In the design phase this is the concern of engineering contractors, who design these facilities, and equipment manufacturers. Design evaluation, trouble shooting and R&D are all relevant in the current installations and installations of the future.
Simulation is an important tool in the analysis of transient operations (e.g. shutdown) and the evaluation of process dynamics at steady state operating conditions (e.g. stability and controllability) of turbo machinery installations. The TNO Flow & Structural Dynamics department performs dynamic response analyses for oil & gas production facilities, petrochemical plants; in general process installations. This analysis focusses on the interaction between fluid machinery and the installation, which includes the tuning of the fluid machinery to the required operating conditions, the control of the installation (capacity and anti surge control), and the consequences of exceptional and extreme operating conditions such as emergency shutdown. Additionally, TNO offers research in several fields related to turbo machinery, e.g. noise and vibration control, material performance, new fields of application (FLNG, CO2).
The dynamic response analysis, the so-called System Dynamics Simulations (SDS) have been applied in front-end engineering, detailed engineering, commissioning and trouble shooting. SDS analyses have been applied to cover a wide variety of operational issues that were reported by our clients. This can range from plant availability and process stability (limit cycling, surge) to dynamic operating procedures (start-up/shutdown, ESD, up-set conditions) and the effect of failures of equipment. In order to deliver this range of services, a dedicated simulation tool has been developed within the PULSIM simulation environment. PULSIM/SDS uses an integrated system approach to predict the dynamic behaviour of the system or process. This is realized by simulating the flow in the pipe system, flow lines, and process equipment. Special simulation elements have been developed for modeling fluid machinery, including a surge cycle model, and process control functions, including anti surge control.
Because of a wide range of expertise in various fields related to turbomachinery, TNO can offer multidisciplinary research projects combining knowledge of for example flow/structural dynamics, material performance and cryogenic conditions. With this possibility, a wide range of (fundamental) issues in the field of turbo machinery can be addressed and has already been applied in the past. For example, a root cause analysis of a compressor failure has been carried out by combining numerical simulation for the analysis of acoustics and flow and material testing and analysis of samples of an impeller. These kind of analyses have lead to a research programme in high frequent pulsation and vibrations inside centrifugal compressors.