Reciprocating Compressors – Pulsation Suppression

Simple volume bottles were the earliest method, and are still used in some applications for pulsation suppression. Many individuals and companies had their own methods of sizing bottles. These bottles generally worked satisfactorily; however, some installations experienced intolerable piping vibration and failures.

In the early 1950’s, the Southern Gas Association appointed Southwest Research Institute to investigate the problem. The result was the development of an analog computer to simulate the acoustical interaction of one or more compressors and the associated piping. At first, the analog results were analyzed only from the standpoint of pressure pulsation amplitudes and frequencies. Later, the piping systems were analyzed for mechanical interaction between the gas pulsations and piping vibration.

Due to this research, in many cases pulsation dampers with proprietary internals replaced volume bottles except in low pressure applications. These dampers are also called snubbers or suppressors.

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