is no single solution to this problem, but some specific guidelines will be discussed below.
Pulsation dampeners serve as pulsation and noise mufflers by providing acoustical chambers with the dampener. Manufacturers generally provide dampeners to a specified discharge pulsation peak of 2 percent of line pressure. Figure 11-19 shows several typical pulsation dampeners. These units should be used whenever reciprocating and centrifugal compressors serve the same compressed air main, because the pulsations of the reciprocating compressor can transmit to and disturb the operation of the centrifugal compressor. Pulsation dampeners may not completely solve downstream resonance, but they will reduce the vibration amplitudes.
Several other ways to decrease noise and amplification caused by discharge pulsation are available. Surge chambers can be used to change the equivalent length of the piping and increase the pulse-absorbing volume of the pipe. A surge chamber can be as simple as an increased diameter of discharge piping near the compressor discharge. An orifice plate or plates may be installed in conjunction with surge chambers to change the acoustical resonant frequency of the piping system. Piping support is also important at the compressor. They must not only be supported from top or bottom but also have lateral support. When piping is large, provide spring-loaded two- way lateral supports to absorb vibration.
Compressor control systems generally include one or more controlling devices, such as safety controls, speed controls, and capacity controls. Such devices function in the system to regulate the output of the compressor as it meets the demand for compressed air.
On some small compressors the simple Bourdon tube-type pressure switch serves as a controller by actuating the prime mover on and off over a predetermined pressure range. More complex compressors require control systems that load and unload the compressor as air demands change. The CONSTANT-SPEED type of controller used with many compressors decreases or increases compressor capacity in one or more steps by the use of unloading devices, while allowing the prime mover speed to remain constant. Another type, referred to as the DUAL- CONTROL, is a combination of the constant- speed and an automatic start-stop control. It permits constant speeds when demands are continuous and an automatic stop or start when demands are light. There is still another system that enables the prime mover to idle and compressor suction valves to remain open when air pressure reaches a set maximum. As the pressure drops below a set minimum, the prime mover speed is increased, suction valves are closed, and air is compressed.
Figure 11-19. - Pulsation dampeners.Continue Reading