Conducting the Test

The problem with field testing is getting the test gear in place. If the process has been suitably defined, with the computer terminal turned on to the local favorite equation of state, the testing may begin. If the bodies are available to take the data, an all-manual set up works well. If getting to the point to read the data is a problem, then a transducer should be used. It should be good quality and calibrated before and after the test run. Automation by way of a data logger does help keep the scatter down since all points can be read in synchronism or at very close timing.

The test codes offer a good guide to use for the analysis. One technique to smooth the data is to screen off what appear to be bad points. The code suggests one bad reading out of a set of four instruments at any point is cause to discard the point. Since the data are hard to acquire, it three of the four readings look all right, keep the point and throw away the bad reading.

When the data have been screened and performance calculated, don't be surprised if all the points plot like a target in a shooting range, perhaps with a tighter circle rather than describing the complete compressor curve.

Using a cooled bypass around the compressor, or by any means possible, try to establish spread between the points. It is amazing how data points can look different and still come back to the same point on the curve when the calculations are complete. If the compressor is tied to a reactor, the points may have to be taken over quite a period of time which can be done if the instruments are maintained. Be careful of fouling when using this method.

It's better to run a test after a shutdown and prior to putting the compressor on stream. This will allow the test to take place in a day or two. Unlike the shop test, a field test is rarely completed in four to six hours.

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