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Texas A&M University students collaborated with Siemens Energy to deliver a rotating equipment selector app to aid in product selection.
By Travis Phoenix, Siemens Energy
Siemens Energy has released a rotating equipment selector app. It aims to improve the user experience when sorting through and selecting from the many compressors and drivers found on the company’s site. The app was designed as part of the company’s University Development Program, which provides R&D funding to university engineering students to develop products that address real-world challenges.
Siemens Energy partnered with Texas A&M University’s mechanical and electrical engineering departments. Students could participate in the project to fulfill their two-semester senior design requirement.
Students collaborated with Siemen Energy’s rotating equipment specialists, starting off with a problem-and-needs identification session. The mechanical engineering students then began the engineering design process for the app by developing an understanding of the equipment. This extended to their function, operating windows, and performance limits. This information was used to create the analytical models and methodology that would serve as the basis of the app.The students also engaged in some computer coding, logic and decision-tree development, and app design.
After the first semester, the mechanical engineering team had amassed a wealth of information, initial code, and equationsthat they passed on to the electrical engineering team.
In the second semester, the mechanical engineering team focused on validating the methodologies they developed for the app. This consisted, in part, of culling information from approximately 50 case studies in which the company provided specific rotating equipment solutions to customers.
For each case study, the initial parameters and project requirements were plugged into the app’s algorithm. The recommended product outputs from the app were compared with the product recommendations presented by the company’s engineering team in the case study. This exercise confirmed that the app’s product recommendations matched those from the case study.
The Rotating Equipment Selector app is now live. It provides users with a quick-sizing tool for multiple driver types—for both reciprocating and centrifugal compressors.
Designed for both iOS and Android handheld devices, it does not require the user to sign up for a service to access the data. All information is publicly available.
Once the user selects a market segment from the currently supported up-, mid-, and downstream sectors of the oil and gas market, they are prompted to enter data based on their specific application. The user can select between gas turbines and electric motors as driver options, English or Spanish as language options, and Imperial or metric units as default unit options.
The results output includes a proposed solution for the application—be it a centrifugal or reciprocating compressor and a gas turbine or electric motor. The app suggests a solution based on power outputs, power/temperature plots, compressor maps graphing head (ft) vs. flow (ft3/min), and other supporting parameters. The app also gives the user an early assessment of how the proposed solution will impact process conditions, the required equipment footprint and location in the station, and CAPEX requirements for the project. The proposed selection, initial inputs, and configurations can be saved for future reference or emailed directly to the user.
The rotating equipment selector app is the product of the first successful University Development Program project. Siemens Energy noted value in the cost-effective development process, improved brand recognition, and strengthened relationships with universities.
From the university perspective, students gained industry experience while earning course credits. It also allowed them to take the engineering principles they learned in the classroom and apply them in the real world. Students also gained experience in justifying design decisions to different groups within a company.
This collaboration prompted a follow-up project. It will expand the app into other products and industrial uses, including carbon capture and hydrogen production. Four new electrical engineering students are working on the next revision, including making coding improvements to streamline product selection. They are adding a new level of programming, which will enable the company to send product announcements and future app upgrades with ease.