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Title:
METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR COMPRESSOR OPERATING RANGE EXTENSION VIA ACTIVE VALVE CONTROL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/231933
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An exemplary compressor system includes a compressor having a fluid inlet and a fluid outlet. An isolation valve connects the fluid outlet of the compressor to a condenser. A controller is communicatively coupled to the isolation valve and the compressor. The controller includes a memory storing instructions configured to cause the controller to detect one of a surge event and a surge event precursor and restrict an opening in the isolation valve in response.

Inventors:
SISHTLA VISHNU M (US)
COUSINS WILLIAM T (US)
Application Number:
US2020/032359
Publication Date:
November 19, 2020
Filing Date:
May 11, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CARRIER CORP (US)
International Classes:
F04D17/10; F04D27/02; F25B1/053; F25B49/02
Foreign References:
US20060242985A12006-11-02
US4248055A1981-02-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BURCH, Stephen A. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A method for extending an operating range of a compressor system comprising:

detecting one of a surge event and a surge event precursor, and restricting flow into a condenser in response.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein restricting flow into the condenser comprising restricting an actively controlled valve until the one of the surge event and the surge event precursor ceases.

3. The method of claim 2, further comprising maintaining a restricted state of the actively controlled valve for at least a predefined duration.

4. The method of claim 2, further comprising monitoring a compressor output and decreasing a restriction on the actively controlled valve in response to detecting a lack of the surge event and the surge event precursor.

5. The method of claim 4, further comprising adjusting a state of the actively controlled valve according to a feedback loop such that the restricted state of the actively controlled valve maintains a compressor operating point immediately below a surge line.

6. The method of claim 2, wherein the actively controlled valve connects an output of a compressor to an input of the condenser.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the compressor is a centrifugal compressor.

8. A compressor system comprising:

a compressor including a fluid inlet and a fluid outlet;

an isolation valve connecting the fluid outlet of the compressor to a condenser; and a controller communicatively coupled to the isolation valve and the compressor, the controller including a memory storing instructions configured to cause the controller to detect one of a surge event and a surge event precursor and restrict an opening in the isolation valve in response.

9. The compressor system of claim 8, wherein the compressor is a centrifugal compressor.

10. The compressor system of claim 8, further comprising a throttle valve connecting an output of the condenser to a cooled system.

11. The compressor system of claim 10, wherein an output of the cooled system is connected to the fluid inlet of the compressor via an evaporator.

12. The compressor system of claim 8, wherein restricting flow into the condenser comprising restricting the isolation valve until the one of the surge event and the surge event precursor ceases.

13. The compressor system of claim 12, wherein the isolation valve is an actively controlled valve.

14. The compressor system of claim 8, wherein the memory further stores instructions configured to cause the controller to maintain a restricted state of the isolation valve for at least a predefined duration.

15. The compressor system of claim 14, wherein the memory further stores instructions configured to cause the controller to monitor a compressor output and decrease a restriction on the isolation valve in response to detecting a lack of the surge event and the surge event precursor.

16. The compressor system of claim 15, wherein the memory further stores instructions configured to cause the controller to adjusting a state of the isolation valve according to a feedback loop such that the restricted state of the isolation valve maintains a compressor operating point immediately below a surge line.

Description:
METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR COMPRESSOR OPERATING RANGE EXTENSION

VIA ACTIVE VALVE CONTROL TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present disclosure relates generally to compressor systems, and more specifically to a method and system for extending an operating range of a compressor system using an actively controlled valve.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0002] This application claims priority to United States Provisional Application No. 62/847363 filed May 14, 2019.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Compressor systems, such as those utilized in air conditioning and refrigeration systems utilize a compressor to compress a coolant. The compressed coolant is provided to a condenser that condenses the coolant and provides the coolant to a cooled system and an evaporator. As the coolant passes through the cooled system and the evaporator, the coolant expands and gains heat. Once passed through the cooled system and the evaporator, the spent coolant is provided back to the inlet of the compressor.

[0004] Operations of the compressor are generally limited by a compressor load and temperature which dictate a choke parameter and a surge parameter of the compressor. The range of operations between choke and surge is referred to as the operating range of the compressor and defines efficient operation of the compressor system.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] An exemplary method for extending an operating range of a compressor system includes detecting one of a surge event and a surge event precursor, and restricting flow into a condenser in response.

[0006] In another example of the above described exemplary method for extending an operating range of a compressor restricting flow into the condenser comprising restricting an actively controlled valve until the one of the surge event and the surge event precursor ceases. [0007] Another example of any of the above described exemplary methods for extending an operating range of a compressor further includes maintaining a restricted state of the actively controlled valve for at least a predefined duration.

[0008] Another example of any of the above described exemplary methods for extending an operating range of a compressor further includes monitoring a compressor output and decreasing a restriction on the actively controlled valve in response to detecting a lack of the surge event and the surge event precursor.

[0009] Another example of any of the above described exemplary methods for extending an operating range of a compressor further includes adjusting a state of the actively controlled valve according to a feedback loop such that the restricted state of the actively controlled valve maintains a compressor operating point immediately below a surge line.

[0010] In another example of any of the above described exemplary methods for extending an operating range of a compressor the actively controlled valve connects an output of a compressor to an input of the condenser.

[0011] In another example of any of the above described exemplary methods for extending an operating range of a compressor the compressor is a centrifugal compressor.

[0012] In one exemplary embodiment a compressor system includes a compressor including a fluid inlet and a fluid outlet, an isolation valve connecting the fluid outlet of the compressor to a condenser, and a controller communicatively coupled to the isolation valve and the compressor, the controller including a memory storing instructions configured to cause the controller to detect one of a surge event and a surge event precursor and restrict an opening in the isolation valve in response.

[0013] In another example of the above described compressor system the compressor is a centrifugal compressor.

[0014] Another example of any of the above described compressor systems further includes a throttle valve connecting an output of the condenser to a cooled system.

[0015] In another example of any of the above described compressor systems an output of the cooled system is connected to the fluid inlet of the compressor via an evaporator.

[0016] In another example of any of the above described compressor systems restricting flow into the condenser comprising restricting the isolation valve until the one of the surge event and the surge event precursor ceases. [0017] In another example of any of the above described compressor systems the isolation valve is an actively controlled valve.

[0018] In another example of any of the above described compressor systems the memory further stores instmctions configured to cause the controller to maintain a restricted state of the isolation valve for at least a predefined duration.

[0019] In another example of any of the above described compressor systems the memory further stores instructions configured to cause the controller to monitor a compressor output and decrease a restriction on the isolation valve in response to detecting a lack of the surge event and the surge event precursor.

[0020] In another example of any of the above described compressor systems the memory further stores instructions configured to cause the controller to adjusting a state of the actively controlled valve according to a feedback loop such that the restricted state of the actively controlled valve maintains a compressor operating point immediately below a surge line.

[0021] These and other features of the present invention can be best understood from the following specification and drawings, the following of which is a brief description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0022] Figure 1 illustrates a highly schematic compressor system.

[0023] Figure 2 is a chart illustrating an operating range of the highly schematic compressor system of claim 1.

[0024] Figure 3 schematically illustrates a process for increasing the operating range of the schematic compressor system of Figure 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0025] Figure 1 illustrates a highly schematic compressor system 10 including a compressor 20. The compressor 20 is fluidly connected to a condenser 30 via an actively controlled valve 22. As used herein, an actively controlled valve refers to a valve whose state is controlled via a controller and that is able to be dynamically held in multiple states between fully open and fully closed. The condenser 30 is fluidly connected to a cooled system 40 via a throttle valve 32. The output of the cooled system 40 is provided to an evaporator 50 which further converts the spent coolant from the cooled system 40. The vaporized coolant is provided back to the compressor 20, which re-compresses the fluid allowing for the cycle to continue. [0026] A controller 60 is connected to the actively controlled valve 22 and controls an open/closed state of the actively controlled valve 22. The controller 60 can be any known controller type configured to control the state of the actively controlled valve 22. The controller 60 further includes a communication line 24 connected to the compressor 20. The communication line 24 allows for the controller 60 to communicate with sensors within the compressor 20. In some examples, the communication line 24 further allows the controller 60 to control operations of the compressor 20. While illustrated herein as a single communication line 24, it is appreciated that the communication line 24 can be any number of electrical communication connections in practical implementations.

[0027] In some examples, the controller 60 is a dedicated compressor system controller. In alternative examples, the controller 60 is a general controller configured to control multiple additional systems beyond the actively controlled valve 22 and the compressor 20.

[0028] The compressor 20 is a centrifugal compressor and includes an operating range defining efficient operations of the compressor system 10. An exemplary operating range chart 100 is illustrated in Figure 2, and includes a surge line 102 defining an operating condition (temperature vs. load) above which surge will occur within the compressor. This operating condition is a region above the surge line 102. The chart 100 also illustrates a stonewall point 104 at which choking will occur within the compressor 20. Choking occurs when the compressor is operating at a low discharge pressure and very high flow rates and results in _the system reaching a maximum flow rate.

[0029] When the temperature and load of the system 10 exceed the surge line 102 a surge begins occurring which can result in instability in the system 10. The instability can result in vibrations, audible noise, and potentially damage to components. Surge detection systems are conventional in the art and can be utilized to detect when a surge event begins occurring. In alternative examples, surge detection systems are employed that can detect conditions leading up to a surge and the precursors can be responded to, thereby avoiding the beginning of a surge condition entirely.

[0030] The operating point of the system refers to the current temperature and load of the compressor output, and is represented as a point 106 on the chart 102 with the vertical axis (T) being the temperature and the horizontal axis (load) being the load seen by the compressor 20. When the temperature increases, or the load decreases, the operating point 106 is shifted relative to the surge line 102. If the operating point 106 shifts above the surge line 102, a surge occurs and negatively impacts functions of the compressors system 10. The area under the surge line 102 and to the left of the stonewall point 104 is referred to as the operating range of the compressor system 10.

[0031] In the example system 10 (illustrated in Figure 1), the load seen by the compressor 20 is at least partially determined by the volume of the condenser 30 and the flow rate into the condenser 30. Restricting the actively controlled valve 22 increases the load seen by the compressor without altering the volume of the condenser by restricting the flow rate into the condenser 30. This is referred to as artificially increasing the load.

[0032] With continued reference to Figures 1 and 2, Figure 3 schematically illustrates a process 200 for responding to a detected surge event by modulating the actively controlled valve 22. Initially, the controller 60 detects the beginning of a surge condition via any known surge detection scheme in a“Detect Surge” step 210. Alternatively, the controller 60 can detect the precursors to a surge event and respond to the precursors instead of the event itself.

[0033] Once detected, the controller 60 causes the actively controlled valve 22 to begin restricting in a“Restrict Actively Controlled Valve” step 220. By restricting the actively controlled valve 22, the load seen by the compressor is artificially increased which shifts the operating point of the compressor system 10 to the right on the operating range chart 100. This shifting raises the surge line, thereby moving the operation point back below the surge line 102, preventing or stopping surge from occurring. During the process of restricting the actively controlled valve 22, the controller 60 monitors the compressor parameters via communication line 24 and can detect when the surge condition or surge precursors stop occurring.

[0034] Once the surge conditions, or surge precursors, have stopped occurring, the controller 60 causes the actively controlled valve to be maintained in the current state in a“Hold Valve Position” step 240. In some examples, the controller 60 can periodically, or gradually re open the actively controlled valve 22 as the time proceeds away from detected surge condition. In the alternative example, the controller 60 ceases re-opening the actively controlled valve when surge conditions or precursors are detected.

[0035] With further reference to the process described above and illustrated in Figure 3, another alternative example can include continuous monitoring and adjusting of the actively controlled valve 22. In this example, a feedback control loop is utilized to keep the operating point 106 as close to the surge line as possible, while not allowing the operating point 106 to cross above the surge line 102. Maintaining the operation point 106 as close to the surge line as possible without going over the surge line 102 provides for an increased ability to unitize the good operating range of the compressor system 10.

[0036] It is further understood that any of the above described concepts can be used alone or in combination with any or all of the other above described concepts. Although an embodiment of this invention has been disclosed, a worker of ordinary skill in this art would recognize that certain modifications would come within the scope of this invention. For that reason, the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this invention.