Compressor Stations, what are they? What are they compressing? How do they work? Who runs them? Why are they so important? Do we really need them? This article is going to tell you all you need to know about compressor stations and what they do.
A natural gas compressor station is a place that is along a natural gas mainline that squeezes the natural gas to a certain pressure which allows it to go back and forth between other stations. The total number of stations needed along each mainline depends greatly on the area of which they are located and the environmental conditions. Typically, there are stations placed about every 40 to 70 miles but, sometimes you will find more and sometimes you will find less.
The pressure that the natural gas needs to be moved from station to station ranges from usually between 200 psi and 1500 psi but will change depending on the type of area. Also, changes in the environment can cause the levels to have to change daily. Availability and need for the natural gas also have a pretty big impact on how high the compression levels need to be.
Each compressor station needs to be equipped with a few different things in order for it to function properly. These things include but are not limited to, compressor units, electric motors made with reciprocating engines, turbines, filters, and scrubbers. The filters and scrubbers are used to make sure no kind of debris or liquid enters into the gas, even though the gas is considered to be a “dry” gas depending on the environment it is being transferred in it can get water and other condensations in there. The stations also have gas cooling systems and mufflers. Many stations do not need an on-site worker, they are placed and run remotely.
There are many kinds of gases made through compressor stations. This article is mainly focusing on natural gases though. The other types of gases include manufactured fuel gases and LPG. Manufactured fuel gases include coal gas, landfill gas, water gas, wood gas, and blast furnace gas to name a few. Different kinds of natural gases that are produced through these compressor stations include APG, CNG, SNG, and LNG to name a few. The different types of LPG include auto gas, butane, and propane.
You may not realize it, but we use gases every day to perform tasks. When your kids are in science class and light a Bunsen burner they are using gas. Your gas engine, gas heater, gas stove, even your pilot light you use gas for all of these. Gas is very important to keep things working the way you need them to daily. Without gas a lot of things you do daily that seem normal to you would be a lot more difficult. Gas is very important in today’s society. Maybe not as important as things like water and electricity but, it does follow close behind.