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Another Case of Gas Charged Dampeners Not Controlling Pressure Pulsations

- Projects 1 -


Pressure pulsation generated by reciprocating pumps can generate high shaking forces that put the pump system at risk of vibration and fatigue failures. Piping designers are often unaware of the specific requirements for fatigue and vibration control in a vibratory service such as piping in a reciprocating pump installation.


API 674 includes two design approaches for reducing the effects of pressure pulsations. Design approach 1 describes best practices for the design of the pulsation and vibration control including pulsation control devices. Design approach 2 includes pulsation control design using acoustic simulations and mechanical analysis. However, API 674 does not give adequate guidance on when either design approach should be used.


This case study presents a reciprocating pump installation utilizing appendage style gas-charged dampeners designed following API 674 Design approach 1. The installation experienced high vibration in many parts of the system throughout the platform which posed a significant integrity risk. Results from field testing of the original installation to identify the root cause of the vibration will be presented. The design approach and solutions recommended from an API 674 Design Approach 2 study will be discussed including a unique pulsation control device for the discharge system. Field measurements after design modifications will be presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the changes made.



Kelly Eberle

Principal Consultant, Wood

Kelly is a Principal Consultant with Wood’s vibration, dynamics and noise team (formerly BETA Machinery Analysis) since 1988. Kelly graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1986. He has been a professional member of APEGA since 1991. 

Kelly has accumulated a wide range of design and field experience, particularly in the area of pressure pulsation analysis and mechanical analysis of reciprocating compressor and pump installations. The scope of his design experience includes acoustical simulations, thermal flexibility studies, dynamic finite element analysis, structural analysis and foundation analysis.

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