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Woodward’s new Vertex line provides total compressor control

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World Pipelines,

The Vertex control product line controls and protects industrial-sized axial or centrifugal compressors driven by stationary speed motors, variable frequency drive motors, or turbines.

Woodward’s new Vertex line provides total compressor control

This purpose-built controller has the control, protection, and decoupling logic required for one or two recycle loop compressor applications. OEM-qualified algorithms are used to ensure that proper start sequences are followed, proper and accurate compressor load calculations are used, and proper protection and recovery actions are performed.

Designed to function as a plant DCS node, the Vertex controller can be configured to interface with the plant DCS via hardwired inputs/output signals or serial or Ethernet communications. With the capability to monitor and control all compressor-based functions the Vertex controller is a cost-effective compressor control/protection device as well as a plant DCS monitoring node.

“Vertex is truly a transformative solution to absolute compressor control,” says Rich Kamphaus, Woodward’s Global Sales Director for steam turbine and compressor markets. “Many of the past compressor controllers were considered ‘black boxes’ which were not truly understood and could only be configured by the control manufacturer. Those days are gone. The Vertex is an easy-to-use, off-the-shelf industrial compressor controller that gives users the power to configure their compressor control for their specific plant process.” Kamphaus emphasises that now users can easily configure and make changes to these controllers themselves to best meet the requirements of their process.

“Also in the past,” Kamphaus adds, “multiple devices from several vendors required substantial and continuous integration efforts. Now, you can have one integrated, purpose-built device for complete compressor control and protection. In addition to surge prevention, surge recovery, process bias logic, and compressor process limiting, Vertex also performs auxiliary functions – making this controller unique in today’s marketplace.” With control functionality that includes compressor control, performance control, anti-surge control, system sequencer, operator control panel, and first-out indicator, Vertex not only minimises external system devices but it also reduces system installation, wiring, and troubleshooting.

The Vertex controller is field configurable, allowing users to configure/select the specific control algorithm required for the specific compressor loop and application. The control’s special stage-to-stage and performance controller decoupling logic allows stable control during normal compressor operation as well as during plant upsets, minimising process over- or undershoot conditions.

“The Vertex advantage can be summed up by better software and better anti-surge algorithms,” says Kamphaus. “In addition to Woodward’s industry-proven software, OEM-qualified software, and our superior derivative control, the Vertex controller includes Woodward’s patented Rate Limiter PID control function. This special PID controller senses the acceleration of the calculated control point to anticipate surge conditions and respond before a severe surge event occurs. The included algorithms also include proprietary filtering techniques and automatic compensation for changes in mole weight, pressure or temperature to ensure limited process variations and infrequent need for boost action.

Vertex is ideal for both upstream and downstream processes. Upstream industries include gas production, GOSP (gas-oil separation package), offshore, subsea, and NGL-LPG. Downstream industries include refining, ethylene/propylene, methanol, polyethylene, and PTA (purified terephthalic acid). “Designed to replace old or obsolete anti-surge controllers, the Vertex can be configured to function like those controllers but it uses faster scan rates, improved surge anticipation logic, and one integrated package for all control functions,” Kamphaus says.”

“Vertex’s integrated HMI opens a new window into compressor control, especially in a compressor load-sharing environment,” Kamphaus adds. “A Vertex customer, using four of these controllers, was amazed with the full view of his compressor – he had never had such knowledge and information so thoroughly visible. And, when used for load sharing, there is no need for additional master controller hardware.”

Kamphaus also points out that the Vertex can be used in industrial and power generation facilities such as steel mills, sulfur plants, utility plants, waste water treatment, cogeneration, chemical plants, and synthetic fuel processing.

All models in the Vertex product line are user configurable and suitable for one- and two- stage applications. The standard Vertex model is for compressor control only, while the Vertex-XT and Vertex-Pro are for turbine and compressor control.

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