Performance Testing

What is Performance Testing?

When you acquire a compression unit, the manufacturer generally supplies an operating map for the unit, showing what the efficiency and gas power should be at various operating conditions.

What you don’t get, is a clear picture of how the unit actually behaves in your own pipeline environment, and whether the unit continues to meet the manufacturer's specifications.

Our Performance Testing software gives you the tools to accurately measure the current performance of each of your units, and each of the stages in multi-stage units.

You can build operating (wheel) maps, measure the onset of surge, and predict seasonal operating characteristics.

We also give you tools to measure anti-surge valve performance.

It’s common to use calibrated pressure and temperature transducers for Performance Testing, along with a portable data acquisition system. This will often give better accuracy than the station instrumentation. However, you can use either dedicated instrumentation, or the station instrumentation. Either way, remote operation is generally possible (but not recommended for surge testing!).

Getting started...

Benefits of Performance Testing

Performance Testing has both financial and operational benefits, including:

  • Reducing fuel costs by operating units at peak efficiency
  • Maximizing capacity at evey unit
  • Predictable system operation
  • Effective capacity planning
  • Diagnosing recycle (anti-surge) systems
  • Diagnosing system problems

More details...

You can also see Getting started,

read the brochure (pdf),

or read the User's Guide (pdf)


Doesn't our SCADA system do this?

The better SCADA systems do give you part of the story. In most cases though, not enough pressure & temperature information is transmitted to the SCADA system to be able to accurately measure performance, or to build accurate operating maps.


Getting Started with Performance Testing

Performance Testing has some immediate benefits, but you'll get the most value from an ongoing Performance Testing program. So we encourage you to look at it as an ongoing process. In order to obtain the most benefit, you'll want to integrate the process with Gas Operations, and with system capacity planning.


Think about whether you want to create a knowledge center in your own company, or whether it's better for you to bring in the necessary expertise as needed.

Either way, we're here to help with advice, or connections with qualified consultants in the area.


Our primary product for Performance Testing is our software.Check out our User's Guide for details on:

  • Setting up tests
  • Importing data values
  • Operational Testing
  • Generating Operating Maps
  • Determining compressor surge limits
  • Measuring compressor efficiency
  • Measuring anti-surge valve performance
  • Recalculculating test results with updated data, such a new gas analysis results


We recommend National Instruments cDAQ hardware, and can build their data acquisition system into rugged field-ready cases.

If you already have a data acquisition system for Performance Testing, we can generally create drivers for your current-generation hardware


You will need to accurately measure temperatures, pressures, and differential pressures at a number of places in your system. It's common to use a combination of dedicated testing transducers, and the station instrumentation. We directly support most measurement devices.

Image ©Feb, 2006, John Heerema, All rights reserved —