Did you know in 2021, US natural gas production involved about 34.5 trillion cubic feet of dry natural gas? Raw natural gas is a free-flowing, unpressurized gas found at the wellhead in pipelines at super-high pressures. As soon as the natural gas arrives at a market hub, it can be liquefied and sent through a pipe.
Natural gas compression is a significant part of the overall gas supply process, and it’s crucial for ensuring that pipeline transportation can take place. Before delving into the importance of the natural gas compression process, it’s essential to know what the critical elements are.
Read on to learn more about the natural gas compression process and its role in the energy sector.
1. How Natural Gas Compressors Work
Natural gas is one of the most important energy sources in the world. It can heat homes, power businesses, and generate electricity.
Compression is a process to increase the natural gas storage capacity or improve its delivery pressure. Two types of compressors can compress natural gas: positive displacement and centrifugal.
Positive displacement compressors work by trapping a volume of gas and then compressing it by reducing the volume of the chamber. Centrifugal compressors work by using a rotating impeller to increase the velocity of the gas, which then flows into a diffuser where the gas is converted into pressure.
The compression of natural gas has limitations depending on the pressure you can apply to the gas. The strength of the compressor determines the maximum pressure you can apply to natural gas.
Make sure to have all the right components to achieve the right process and applications. Look for suppliers where you can shop compressor packages with the best quality and certifications.
2. The Importance of Gas Compression
Gas compression can keep the natural gas moving through the pipes. If the gas is not moving, it will not flow and, therefore, will not be available for use.
The gas is compressed at various stages along the journey to its destination. The gas is typically first compressed at the wellhead and then at compressor stations along the pipeline.
Another reason for compression is to keep the gas at a specific pressure. It is necessary so that you can use gas in different ways, such as powering a stove or running a car.
3. Natural Gas Compressor Sizes
Compression involves either a reciprocating or centrifugal compressor. The size of the compressor is essential because it needs to be able to handle the volume of natural gas that will be flowing through it.
Natural gas compressor sizes can vary depending on the application. You can find small compressors in home appliances that can be as small as a shoe box. Industrial applications have large compressors and can be as big as a semi-truck.
Regarding horsepower, the reciprocating compressor is typically more powerful than the centrifugal compressor. However, the centrifugal compressor is more efficient and commonly used for large-scale projects.
The Future of Natural Gas Compression
Natural gas compression is an important process in the production of natural gas. There are many things to know about the process, including the types of compressors used, the purpose of compression, and the benefits and limitations of natural gas compression. Although natural gas compression is complex, understanding the basics can help you make informed decisions about your natural gas production.
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