RECIPROCATING COMPRESSOR CONDITION MONITORING
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Technology for reciprocating compressor condition monitoring has been around since the 1950’s, however until the last 20 years or so it seemed that only the pipeline companies spent much effort on this activity. Technology has advanced, and there are very effective approaches to monitoring and protecting reciprocating compressors on the market today. While pipeline operations are pulling out their reciprocating compressors, this machine is still the workhorse of refineries, chemical plants, and oil production facilities. As a result a new generation of interest has developed in effective condition monitoring of reciprocating compressors. This paper will discuss risk based decision making in regard to measurements and protective functions, online versus periodic monitoring, proven and effective measurement techniques, along with a review of both mechanical and performance based measurements for assessing machine condition. Case histories will also be presented to demonstrate some of the concepts.
Schultheis, Steven; Lickteig, Charles; Parchewsky, Robert (2011). RECIPROCATING COMPRESSOR CONDITION MONITORING. Turbomachinery Laboratory, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station. Available electronically from