A Solution to Years of High Vibration Problems in Three Reinjection Compressor Trains Running at 33 MPA Discharge Pressure
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Case Study 22: Over a 13‐year span, a major South American oil company’s maintenance department fought high vibrations in three gas reinjection compressor trains. To reduce the chances of machine trips, technicians field balanced the compressors every year and replaced worn point contact pivot tilt pad journal (TPJ) bearings and O‐ring squeeze film dampers (SFDs) with new ones yearly. The downtime from implementing these preventative measures and from actual trips in the trains resulted in a loss of capacity of 1% a year and additional flaring of the gas. After a thorough analysis of the compressors and inspection of damaged components, it was determined that the reoccurring problems would be solved by installing optimized Flexure Pivot tilt pad journal bearings with Integral Squeeze Film Damper (ISFD) technology into the compressors. In 2013 the reinjection compressors were placed back into service with Flexure Pivot TPJ bearings with ISFD technology. Since then the reinjection compressors have exhibited lower vibration levels that do not grow over time, have had ZERO trips, and have not required field balancing for continuous operation. Overall efficiency has increased by approximately 1%.
Blair, Barry J.; Kim, Jong; dos Santos, Marcio Felipe (2016). A Solution to Years of High Vibration Problems in Three Reinjection Compressor Trains Running at 33 MPA Discharge Pressure. Turbomachinery Laboratories, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station. Available electronically from