Industrial Utility Efficiency

Progress Continues on ASME PTC 13, Blowers

In 2010, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) established the PTC 13 Committee to establish a power test code for all blower technologies. Blower & Vacuum Best Practices interviewed Committee Chair Jacque Shultz, HRO-Turbo Product Technical Leader, Howden North America, Inc., for an update on the new code.

Howden Technician

The ASME PTC 13 Committee is in the final stages of developing a performance test code for blower technologies, including those used in wastewater aeration applications. Copyright ©2019 Howden Group Limited.

Good afternoon! Let’s start with your history in the blower industry.

I have 20-plus years of experience in the industry, which includes working with gas compression, compressor-motor-steam/combustion turbine controls, thermodynamics, structural design and vibration analysis.

I started my career as a compressor controls engineer with Hoerbiger Corporation of America, which is a leader in compression technology. I later joined the National Gas Machinery Lab (NGML) at Kansas State University where I worked as the Manager of Laboratory Operations & Research. While at the NGML, I also earned my Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. I was responsible for designing and maintaining the turbocharger test and research facility used to evaluate and verify turbocharger performance for large bore engines for nuclear facilities and the natural gas pipeline. This experience established the foundation needed for serving on the ASME PTC 13 Committee.

Following my work at the NGML lab, I served in a number of managerial and sales roles focused on turbo compressors and heavy industrial air compressors at Turblex, Inc., and Siemens, before joining Howden Roots.

ASME PTC 13 Committee Members

The ASME PTC 13 Committee is made up of 14 representatives from across the industry. Those serving on the committee include the following:

Jacque Shultz, Chair, Howden North America, Inc.

Lloyd A. Slezak, Vice Chair, Brown and Caldwell

Fred Constantino, Secretary, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Andrew R. Balberg, Lone Star Blower/GL-TURBO

Hiran de Mel, Jacobs

James Elbro, Atlas Copco

Michael J. Fischbach, Consultant

Julie V. Gass, Black & Veatch

Thomas E. Jenkins, Jen Tech Inc.

Kacy Park, TNE Global Inc.

Rajendraprasad Vagvala, Stickney Water Reclamation Plant

Ralf Weiser, Aerzen USA

Mark Addison, Alternate, Aerzen USA

Bjoern Hansen, Alternate, Howden


ASME PTC 13, Blowers, has been in the works a long time. When did you first become involved with it?

I was on a Compressed Air and Gas Institute (CAGI) committee in 2010 and worked together with other colleagues to develop a performance-testing standard for compressors focused on low-pressure air. There was awareness at that time from all areas of the industry, including organizations like Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), regarding a need for a new test standard for testing and verifying compressor performance. Later in 2010, I became interested in the work ASME was doing in this regard and then joined the ASME PTC 13 Committee.


What has been the biggest challenge in developing ASME PTC 13?

The challenge from the very beginning was to focus on what matters most to end users and other stakeholders. End users, utilities and design engineers requested a methodology to legitimately validate manufacturers’ claims for blower performance versus actual performance. Doing so meant relying solely on the technical aspects of testing and the data available at the time rather than any number of variables that cannot be measured easily and accurately with instrumentation readily available.

Industry-wide, it seemed there was an understanding of the need to eliminate any bias toward one technology versus another, which is also why the ASME PTC 13 Committee collected as a healthy cross section of persons from across the blower community – all of whom are volunteers. Toward that end, I feel we have accomplished our goal of ensuring a high level of technical integrity in everything we do as a committee.


What originally drove the need for ASME PTC 13?

The codes in existence could not be used to verify performance of newer technologies and different types of packages, including turbo blowers with high-speed synchronous motors and Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) controllers. Other technologies at the time included blowers engineered to combine dynamic and positive displacement compression, such as screw blowers. Additionally, some of the available codes at the time were not quite at the point of verifying performance in the correct wire-to-air type of strategy.


What ASME performance test codes are available, and why would these not work for this task?

ASME PTC 9 was originally written for positive displacement blowers, and was not re-affirmed by ASME so this became obsolete. ISO 1217 displaced PTC 9 for most of the industry many years ago.

ASME PTC 10 is the test standard for centrifugal blowers and it is fantastic for testing machines built for various gases, which makes this code complex and this does not cover key areas. Specifically, PTC 10 does not cover power losses for the type of driver. This also does not take different packages into consideration. Opening the doors of a package, or eliminating components, for example, changes the restriction to airflow and energy consumption by as much as 10% (approximated). ASME PTC 10 does not address these factors directly.

ASME PTC 13 includes sections that incorporate aspects of PTC 9 and PTC 10. This code also includes procedure flow charts to illustrate testing both positive displacement and centrifugal blowers based on the different methodologies these machines are designed specifically to operate to ensure the corrections in power conversions for these methodologies are accounted for during testing in the test stand, and best match the final conditions and performance in the field.


Centrifugal blower for large flow

Shown is an example of centrifugal blower for large flow. Copyright ©2019 Howden Group Limited.

ASME PTC 13 obviously addresses the needs of the wastewater industry. Is it intended for use with other applications?

Yes, this has been designed for any application with the ratio of discharge pressure over suction pressure of 3.0 and below with air.


How does the code address the different types of blower control mechanisms, such as guide vanes, VFDs or throttling controls?

ASME PTC 13 includes Tables 3.1 and 3.2, which are very useful since they can be used to correct for performance differences that can occur between the manufacturer’s test stand and the field on different types of control mechanisms.  

This includes blower control technologies you mention, as well as other components: air filters or mechanical devices. We boiled everything down to provide a true wire-to-air basis where all performance losses, whether electrical, mechanical, or aerodynamic, and are included. This solidifies our main goal: the development of a fair code for all manufacturers and as accurate as possible for all technologies.

There will be situations that take place between end users and manufacturers that cannot be perfectly replicated in the field, and the code accommodates these realities. For example, if a machine at a site facility is located in a filter room with all blower inlets piped to it, and if the manufacturer’s test stand uses an open inlet instead of a filter room, the inlet conditions are clearly different. In this example, the end user and the manufacturer can use the tables to plot and review data and come to an agreement on performance.


Does ASME PTC 13 allow for performance testing in the field?

That is a very popular question. The code is meant strictly for use in a test stand. I have performed a lot of testing in the field over the years and there’s almost nothing within accuracy and control, whether it’s piping, electrical connections, instrumentation issues, etc. There are many loose ends. The best opportunity for control of performance verification is with a test performed in a controlled environment.


Will the code make manufacturer’s test stands obsolete, or require the need for major upgrades to them?

As long as manufacturers have modeled their test stands around PTC 10 and ASME PTC 19.5: Flow Measurement. ASME PTC 13 has also been calibrated to accommodate the latest advancements in instrumentation and electronic data acquisition systems. Obviously there have been changes in the regard over the years, and we have attempted to accommodate these to be covered in the new code.


Speaking of changes, will PTC 13 involve new reporting requirements?

The reporting requirements, which are covered in Section Six of the code, are very similar to the requirements of PTC 9 and PTC 10. It is a simple regimented process and outlined clearly to ensure everyone has a clear understanding of where to look for information and how to report it.

This is in addition to the reporting in Tables 3.1 and 3.2, which covers information related to external equipment or other variables mentioned earlier.


How do you think the industry will react to PTC 13?

We are anticipating this will be very well received when published, which we are targeting for this year. ASME has a very strong reputation and a long history for performance test codes in the United States and internationally. ASME has a very rigorous and advanced process for developing codes. This is more advanced than I had anticipated, which is good for everyone in the industry.


How do you personally feel about the new code given the time and effort involved?

This has taken longer than we expected, however, that is because of the thoroughness of the code and the hard work invested by all members of this voluntary committee. That said, we believe to have done a very good job. This required a blended community with representatives from all areas of the industry to ensure everyone has a fair voice. In that voice, there’s a democracy that occurs based on technical information, experience and data. Within this democracy that routed to where we are today, collectively. We think PTC 13 is not only fair, but we think this is a new code end users and all others will appreciate. The photos of blowers in this article are an example of differing designs accounted for in the testing processes within PTC 13 for accuracy of comparisons.

Centrifugal blower for medium flow

Shown is an example of centrifugal blower for medium flow. Copyright ©2019 Howden Group Limited.

Thank you for providing us this update, Jacque.


For more information, please contact Jacque Shultz, email:; tel: 765-827-9223.

All photos courtesy of Howden Group Limited.

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