Mechanical Upgrades To Improve Centrifugal Compressor Operation And Reliability.
In today’s business environment, centrifugal compressor reliability is more critical than ever. Unscheduled equipment downtime has a negative impact on plant operations, oftentimes resulting in a temporary halt of production. In most centrifugal compressor applications, loss of production results in a substantial loss of revenue, sometimes measured in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars per day. This lost revenue has a direct impact on the profitability of the plant. There are tens of thousands of centrifugal compressors currently operating with outdated technology, resulting in increased maintenance costs and reduced reliability. However, product upgrades can improve compressor operation and increase reliability and availability by incorporating the latest technology into existing rotating equipment. The initial investment for these mechanical upgrades is very low in comparison to current operating and maintenance costs and the lost revenue resulting from unscheduled downtime. In most cases, the payback period is measured in months or even weeks. This paper identifies the following mechanical (nonaerodynamic) compressor upgrades and discusses the technical and commercial advantages of each, calling on actual field examples to illustrate achieved benefits: • Floating ring oil seals • Dry gas seals • Seal gas conditioning systems • Damper seals • Polymer labyrinth seals • Noise attenuation
Stahley, John S. (2003). Mechanical Upgrades To Improve Centrifugal Compressor Operation And Reliability.. Texas A&M University. Turbomachinery Laboratories. Available electronically from