Friday, July 23, 2010

Compressor Stations: Noise That Can Change Your Life

In order to keep an even pressure on the natural gas that comes up from the bowels of the earth, and to make sure the gas reaches the pipeline efficiently, compressor stations provide the necessary means to get the gas to market.  Compressor stations are placed at intervals along pipelines (40-100 miles apart).  Will you have any say as to where these monsters will be built?  No.  Listen to the sounds.  Could they not drive you crazy?  Literally?

More on compressor stations: (link to source)

".......natural gas is highly pressurized as it travels through an interstate pipeline. To ensure that the natural gas flowing through any one pipeline remains pressurized, compression of this natural gas is required periodically along the pipe. This is accomplished by compressor stations, usually placed at 40 to 100 mile intervals along the pipeline. The natural gas enters the compressor station, where it is compressed by either a turbine, motor, or engine.

Turbine compressors gain their energy by using up a small proportion of the natural gas that they compress. The turbine itself serves to operate a centrifugal compressor, which contains a type of fan that compresses and pumps the natural gas through the pipeline. Some compressor stations are operated by using an electric motor to turn the same type of centrifugal compressor. This type of compression does not require the use of any of the natural gas from the pipe, however it does require a reliable source of electricity nearby. Reciprocating natural gas engines are also used to power some compressor stations. These engines resemble a very large automobile engine, and are powered by natural gas from the pipeline. The combustion of the gas powers pistons on the outside of the engine, which serves to compress the natural gas.

In addition to compressing natural gas, compressor stations also usually contain some type of liquid separator, much like the ones used to dehydrate natural gas during its processing. Usually, these separators consist of scrubbers and filters that capture any liquids or other undesirable particles from the natural gas in the pipeline. Although natural gas in pipelines is considered 'dry' gas, it is not uncommon for a certain amount of water and hydrocarbons to condense out of the gas stream while in transit. The liquid separators at compressor stations ensure that the natural gas in the pipeline is as pure as possible, and usually filters the gas prior to compression."

Photo credit: Duke Energy Gas Transmission Canada




Unknown said...

Dear Peacegirl,

Oh, I am so sad and angry with what has and is happening in PA. We here in NY are doing our best to keep it out.

Thanks for your blog.


Unknown said...

We in North East Township face the same drilling activity. The DEP says their hands are tied about drilling and fracking in our 20 mile creek watershed. This needs to be stopped and the people need to regain their control of what happens in their watershed. Check out the Environmental legal defense fund. They helped Pittsburgh.

Unknown said...

We, in North East Twp are faced with the same drilling , fracking and compressor problems. This drilling will eventually effect everyone. Clean, water,air and an empowered environment are necessary to us all. The Environmental Legal Defense Fund has helped Pittsburgh and can aid every Township hoping to stop this infringement on people's rights.

Annamarie O. said...

What a nightmare these compressor stations are. In Minisink Ny we are trying to stop Millennium Pipeline a NiSource company from recklessly building a 12,260hp compressor in our backyard. Compressor stations should be in industrial areas not residential. NiSource and Millennium Pipeline dont care whose lives they destroy in the process. Millenium Pipeline and NiSource have shown me they only care about whats best and cheaper for them. Disgusting!!

Peacegirl said...

I am very sympathetic. What a horror that you have to worry about this compressor station in your backyard. It is unconscionable that a gas company would even think of such a thing.


Jeni said...

The fact that FERC can even entertain the idea of letting Millenium Pipeline and NiSource install a compressor station smack dab in the middle of a residential area is unbelievable. There are homes as close as a couple hundred feet. Something is wrong with this picture. Thank you for describing how a compressor station works in simple terms.

Maria Racz said...

My family and I live in Westtown NY. Millenium pipeline (NiSource) is looking to build a 12,000 plus HP gas compressor station in the middle of a residential community. Our community is comprised of families with small children, veterans, 9/11 first responders (fdny and nypd), elderly, disabled.. We DO NOT want this here. They are bullies using fake photos of meetings and calling us a "host community" when in fact we are a hostage community. Millenium Pipeline LIES!!!!!
I am so sorry that what has happened in PA continues to go on. We need to stand together to show that we are not just the poor unfortunate people who this is happening to. Stand tall and stay active in what you believe is right. Continue to call your gov't reps and convince, beg, cry to them to take notice..Call the media.. again and again.. do not give up!!

Our fight is only beginning!

Donna B said...

My family and I also live in Westtown N.Y. and I can't believe how fast Millenium and parent company Nisource are trying to get FERC to approve this gas compressor station. We have seen what is happeneing in PA and other states and we are trying to save our community from this nightmare of pollution that will come with it. I really can't understand how our state governments are willing to destroy their own state..We need to let them know we are not going to let this happen to any more communities.

Anonymous said...

It is still happening, we moved four years ago from the city life to the country. Just last weekend the property owner beside us, informed us that this compressor station is coming April first we are very worried about the sound, we don't know what to do but move after finding our dream house:(

Peacegirl said...

Anonymous- Thank you so much for posting here and expressing your concerns- real life concerns for you and your family. Are you in PA? We used to think that, once the well pads were put in and the rigs leave, life would be OK. But that is just the beginning, isn't it. The compressor stations and pipelines are just as much of a nightmare, if not worse.

Anonymous said...

I live near (~1 mile) from a Colonial Pipeline pumping station and after living here 20 years, last year I started noticing a low frequency hum in my house that I can detect on a audio frequency analyzer app. It makes my ear, tooth and jaw hurt when it happens. My neighbors don't hear it but I can hear it outside like a UFO landing late at night. It took me a year to figure out where the sound was coming from. I feel like I live in a bass tube, like there is an idling truck parked down the street.extremely annoying. I will have to move if I can't get something done.