Compressors Management

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Oil and natural gas producers have always had an economic rationale to capture or recover as much product as possible in the oilfield.

One of the critical parameters in compressor design and selection is the compression ratio, often denoted as r. The compression ratio is simply the ratio of the absolute stage discharge pressure to the absolute stage suction pressure.
When long-time pump users enter the compressor world, they must leave behind familiar flow terms, like GPM, GPH, BPH, etc. and embrace new terms, like SCFM, ICFM, CFM and ACFM, which define the flow of gases and vapors under pressure.
In the 1963 edition of the Ingersoll-Rand (IR) frame ratings guide, the piston loads were defined. This document stated that piston load is frequently referred to as "rod load," which is a misnomer as it implies that the piston rod is the only limit in the establishment of a compressor load rating. It defined the piston load as the nominal pressure at the cylinder flange times the area of the piston.
Computer simulations of pumps and compressors can now serve the same function as hardware testing. These simulations can be done in less time with less cost while providing engineering data of similar quality. Furthermore, computer modeling can be performed directly by the engineer doing the hardware design, thus providing a tight link between analysis and design optimization.
Reciprocating compressors are usually rated in terms of horsepower, speed and rod load. Horsepower and speed are easily understood; however, the term rod load is interpreted differently by various users, analysts, OEMs, etc.
As the need to increase efficiency and meet lower emissions requirements puts pressure on gas turbine operators, they look for innovative solutions that do not necessitate large capital costs or high risks to make improvements. Some of the more reliable enhancements are water injection for nitrogen oxides (NOx) reduction, online and offline water wash programs to maintain compressor efficiency and fogging for power augmentation.
This article focuses on how leaks can negatively impact the system as a whole, and how leaks can affect the environment and the well-being of the personnel who work around them.
There are two primary classifications of industrial compressors: intermittent flow (positive displacement), including reciprocating and rotary types; and continuous flow, including centrifugal and axial flow types.
Overall vibration trending is excellent for monitoring rotating machinery health, but not generally effective for tracking reciprocating compressors. A new generation of Reciprocating Machinery Protector technology is very sensitive to compressor faults in their early development stages, yet less likely to give false trips. Here's how it works.

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This article is part of our ongoing series on The History of Pumps.

A reciprocating power pump, as depicted in Figure 1, is a displacement machine. It has characteristics that are different than a centrifugal pump.

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The legendary innovator was responsible for the design of more than 40 patented products during his seven-decade career.

During my time in New Orleans for the Siemens Automation Summit, I had the opportunity to tour Louisiana Sugar Refining, LLC (LSR) in nearby Gramercy, La. In Louisiana, sugar is a big business.

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