Application Of Dry Gas Seals On A High Pressur Hydrogen Recycle Compressor.
Maintenance and operation of high pressure seal oil systems on centrifugal compressors has been a major problem faced by refinery operators. This problem is intensified when sealing gases like hydrogen and mixtures of hydrocarbons. High pressures, low vilcosity, and solubility in oil pose unique problems in sealing with conventional wet seal oil systems. A breakthrough in sealing high pressure hydrogen with a gas seal design, which incorporates a natural breakdown of pressure across two seals without external pressure or flow controls is described. The retrofit has resulted in increased safety, low maintenance, and ease of operation; thus eliminating seal oil leakage and contamination. The recycle gas compressor that was retrofitted operated on 94 percent hydrogen at a discharge pressure of 12,896 kpa (1870 psig), a discharge temperature of 71°C (160°F) and an operating speed of 10,250 rpm. The problems that existed with the conventional seal oil system, the economics of the retrofit, the applicable dry seal design, process problems encountered during the retrofit and startup of the compressor and the successful resolution of these problems are covered. Operating data on the test bench and in field service are described and discussed.
Carter, Donald R. (1988). Application Of Dry Gas Seals On A High Pressur Hydrogen Recycle Compressor.. Texas A&M University. Turbomachinery Laboratories. Available electronically from