Understand Reciprocating Compressor Trouble Spots

July 17, 2020
Knowing the function of valves, lubrication and pulsation control can spare maintenance and save money.

Reciprocating compressors are used in many applications because they can compress air or gas in a wide range of pressure ratios and flowrates. They can offer excellent operational flexibilities for different services.

However, beside many advantages, there are some disadvantages and areas of concern. For example, pulsation is a major challenge for nearly any reciprocating compressor. It can impose many issues, including severe vibration, piping failures (due to fatigue), reduction in compressor efficiency, and errors in flow measurements. Also, the cylinder valves and unloaders can be sources of operational problems and reliability issues.

This article reviews several key areas of reciprocating compressor reliability, operation, and performance, including cylinder valve operation, lubrication, and pulsation.

Read the rest of this article from our sister publication Plant Services. 

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