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Dry Screw Compressor comparison with reciprocating, centrifugal & oil filled screw compressor
Dry Screw Compressor comparison with reciprocating, centrifugal & oil filled screw compressor

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Published by: ronny_fernandes363 on Feb 07, 2013
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Process-gas screw compressors (dry type) compared with reciprocating-, oil flooded screwand centrifugal compressors

1) 2. Moreover. Functional principle of a process gas screw compressor Process gas screw compressors are twin-shafted rotating displacement machines.and centrifugal compressors Dipl. At this. From the point of view of their operating characteristics.-Ing. (Fig. and which can excite vibrations and oscillations in the plant components installed in the vicinity of the compressor. Nevertheless. the opposite side of the rotor pair. This mechanically neutral operating action means that the foundation is simple and ideal also for critical installations on vessels or oil platforms. perform similar positive displacement compression strokes as those encountered in the reciprocating compressor. they are comparable with reciprocating compressors. These have to be modified at great expense 2 . In the meshing profile of the rotor pair. Klaus Lelgemann 1. There are no oscillating masses which have to be balanced or compensated for by the foundation. as the male rotor lobe exits from a flute in the female rotor at the intake side. and the pressure at which the gas is discharged. the screw compressor does not give rise to any low-frequency gas pulsations. Comparison with reciprocating (piston type) compressors The characteristic of the screw compressor confirms that its rotors with their innovative and sophisticated profile comprising lobes (teeth) and flutes. a port is reached through which the gas is discharged. the male rotor lobe enters the flute of the female rotor. the compression principle described is based on a purely rotational action. so reducing the size of the previously formed chamber in which the gas is located. The Figure 1: PV-diagram of a screw compressor with an inbuilt ratio of 3 Figure 2: Mode of operation size of this aperture determines the length of time during which the gas remains in the flute. thus eliminating the previously formed chamber. the filled flute leaves the intake port and migrates to the discharge end. a chamber is formed into which the gas flows. Before the male rotor lobe completely fills the flute of the female rotor. As rotation continues. 2) The gas is thus continuously compressed. oil flooded screw.Process-gas screw compressors (dry type) compared with reciprocating-. (Fig.

1 207.8 92. labyrinth piston Screw. MTBF: Mean Time Between Failure.3 2. January 1999. In processes. the inlet and outlet valves.5 0. plus a piston rod moving back and forth.0 that the availability of such machines falls well short of that of a process gas screw compressor. they are manifested solely as noise. A reciprocating compressor has a crankshaft with a connection rod. The above tabulation shows the average values.2 90.0 Recip. There have been innumerable investigations.3 91.2 766.. a crosshead with guideway. The noise must be attenuated by means of silencers. These rotor pair are the only moving parts in the machine. conv.7 IMR&O hr/year 237. but these have such a high frequency that they are only acoustically perceptible.3 97.e. and these are generally regarded as technically wear-free. based on a statistic presented in Hydrocarbon Processing. The bearing system in the case of the process gas screw compressor is provided exclusively in the form of hydrodynamic plain bearings for both the radial (journal) and axial (thrust) directions. oil free 97. not to mention the pistons themselves with their piston rings. non lube Recip. so it is hardly surprising Figure 3: Rotor pair with synchronizing gear 3 . reports and dissertations regarding this subject.1 147. DT: Down Time by pulsation dampers to produce a smooth gas flow so that the downstream systems is not adversely affected.3 99. two reciprocating compressors have to be provided in many cases to ensure adequate redundancy because of the associated problems.0 MTBF year 0.3 98.. See the availability and reliability rating of process gas screw compressors compared to reciprocating compressors. These mechanical components are.Compressor Type Availability Reliability % % 97. The gas flow is uniform.0 Forced DT hr/year 189. however. In fact. the screw compressor does indeed produce gas pulsations.0 5. Maintenance. in some cases. i. The screw compressor is fitted with 2 rotors.2 30.. Repair & Overhaul. lubricated Recip. The machine elements in a reciprocating compressor which are exposed to the most danger are. Notes: IMR&O: Inspection.6 99. exposed to mixed friction. which open and close with each compression stroke. It is these which actually determine the machine availability and reliability.2 670.

4 . there is no synchronizing gear unit. but which are nevertheless quite different. Needless to say. the process gas screw compressor has a synchronizing gear. It is worth mentioning that the male rotor requires more than 90% of the compressor power input. 4) The same lubricant must be injected into the compression chamber which is also used for lubricating the bearings. The compression chamber is not lubricated and the gas remains completely uncontaminated. The male rotor drives the female rotor via the profile lobes. so that they remain properly in mesh. (Fig. which simultaneously perform the gas suction and compression operations. because there are no semihermetic seals between the compression space and the bearings. 3) The profiles of the rotors intermesh to produce the suction and compression stroking without any mechanical contact. Comparison of the process gas screw compressor with the oil flooded screw compressor There are two types of screw compressor offering the same compression principle and the smoothness of operation. with less than 10% of the energy being transmitted via the synchronizing gear to the female rotor. (Fig. this mechanism cannot function without lubrication. Outside the compression chamber. This means that there is a pair of toothed wheels which are mounted on the male and female rotor and which synchronize the rotation of these two components. In the case of oil flooded screw compressors.Figure 4: Oil flooded Screw Compressor 3.

Compressor Type Availability Reliability % % 98. the lubricant is able to seal off the clearances between the rotors in the compression space. This means that the gas flows back more slowly.8 99. B. the oil flooded compressor is quieter overall. The portion of the gas which flows in the reverse direction has to be compensated for by raising the speed of the process gas screw compressor.9 90. This is not possible with a process gas screw compressor as there is no lubricant to provide the cooling effect. a portion of the gas escapes unhindered at its sonic figure through the rotary clearances in the compression space from those flutes with the higher pressure into those flutes in which the prevailing pressure is lower.7 IMR&O hr/year 199. Depending on the design of the compressor installation. Owing to its high viscosity.0 Screw. The oil flooded screw compressor can. however.7 99. 103 dB (A) at 1 m for the process gas screw compressor. The fact is. If. The associated refrigeration capacity is. The injected lubricant muffles the compression noise.0 Forced DT hr/year 99.9 30.g. In this sector. The process gas screw compressor must. from atmospheric pressure to e. in such cases. The advanta- ges of this compressor are so great that it is virtually the only compression system used for such applications. oil flooded Screw. 5 .0 Notes: IMR&O: Inspection. limited by the maximum possible flow capacity of these compressors. These compressors have also conquered their respective market and nowadays they are virtually the only compressors found in small and medium size refrigeration units. in order to ensure that the oil tank does not need constant replenishment. Compression is performed under polytropic conditions with the temperature of compression depending on the isentropic exponent and the pressure ratio. The experience gained with this design led companies to develop their refrigeration compressors also with lubricant injection. the respective sound pressure levels of compressors with no sound insulation are likely to be in the region of approx.4. for example. G. and this costs additional power. This means that oil flooded screw compressors are able to offer a better volumetric efficiency than that of an equivalent process gas screw compressor in which no liquids are injected. This is particularly so at low circumferential velocities. The lubricant must be recovered by means of sophisticated separating and filtration systems. Repair & Overhaul.5 5. something which cannot be permitted in many processes.0 MTBF year 1. E. The oil flooded compressor was originally developed as an air compressor for diesel-engine-operated portable compressors. compress air in a single stage with an isentropic exponent of 1. oil free 97. 93 dB (A) for the oil flooded compressor. DT: Down Time The oil flooded screw compressor have the following advantages: A. the gas is unable to flow back with the sonic figure from the flute with the higher pressure to the flute with the lower pressure. Maintenance. that these compressor types are manufactured in large numbers and are thus less expensive. however. both compressor systems must be encapsulated in acoustic enclosures. In the case of the process gas screw compressor. C. The lubricant contaminates the gas being compressed. the oil flooded screw compressor dominates the market. a maximum of 85 dB (A) sound pressure level is allowed for manned compressors. The oil flooded screw compressor have the following disadvantages: F. The injected lubricant cools the gas and the compressor. Consequently. MTBF: Mean Time Between Failure. compared with approx. 10 or 12 bar. Owing to the partial sealing of the rotary clearances in the compression space. be of two-stage design and be provided with additional intercooling. D.

a part of the lubricant is distributed into million of particles (droplets and aerosols) which forms a large surface and in the same time happens a close contact between the gas and the lubricant. The problem is predicting whether functional integrity can be guaranteed in relation to specific gas mixtures. To keep the compressor cool. The reservoir is situated in the lower part of the oil separator and therefore the lubricant quantity in the reservoir is restricted. and again the compressor is likely to be endangered! J. The compressor stage therefore has to be larger than would otherwise be the case with a process gas screw compressor. If the switch over intervals are very short. That means. 2. during service. All the gases or gas constituents which have an affinity with the lubricant are dissolved in the lubricant. because lubricant manufacturers are rarely in a position to test in their laboratories the particular gas mixture of a specific customer. availability. the circumferential speed is determined solely by the sonic figure of the gas concerned. because by the theoretically existing temperature of may be 300 °C in a polytropic compression (without cooling). When draining off the lubricant. When depressurizing the oil to atmospheric pressure. therefore. Liquids in the gas stream are absorbed by the lubricant. a large lubricant quantity is necessary to inject. In the case of the process gas screw compressor.H. The lubricant is used in a extremely manner: 1. 3. compromises in relation to service interval. the utmost care must be taken. Résumé: The oil flooded screw compressor is an ideal solution for clean gases and in processes in which the gas contamination by the lubricant is acceptable. is only possible with a pressure pump as the oil tank is exposed to the discharge pressure of the gas. so reducing the efficiency of the compressor. The oil tank can only be emptied following a lengthy period of degassing under atmospheric pressure. The circumferential speed therefore has to be limited to approx. M. L. In the case of all other gases. The lubricant is diluted or emulsified (depending on the liquid). 50 m/s. If operations were faster. When the lubricant is injected into the compression space to the rotors which are moving with up to 50 m/s tip speed. The escaping gas may be combustible and thus explosive. the filtration system then has to be switched over to the stand-by oil filter. Owing to its high viscosity. K. maintenance costs and repairs have to be made. this temperature rise will heat up the lubricant. The dust therefore has to be efficiently removed from the gas stream by filters at the suction end. the lubricant tends to become adhered to the flanks of the rotors. If the lubricant is deteriorated the compressor integrity is endangered! I. reliability. The lubricant is shock-heated from an injection temperature of about 50 °C to the discharge temperature of about 90 °C in some milliseconds. the customer cannot except this service. the question as to whether the oil flooded compressor will function properly when employed for this or that gas mixture is very difficult to answer. 6 . Dusts in the gas flow are absorbed by the lubricant so that the oil filter currently in operation is quickly clogged. short retention time are used and not the 8 minutes which are determined in the API 619 specification. The lubricant used has to be carefully disposed off. thus rendering its disposal extremely costly. having to overcome this adhesion effect would require more and more power input. The lubricant may be deteriorated by the process gas itself or by gas constituents located within it. if the oil flooded screw compressor has been employed to compress gases which contain constituents hazardous to health! The drained lubricant must then be declared and treated as toxic waste. A lubricant refill. the lubricant tends to foam as a consequence. Consequently.

Figure 5: Performance curves centrifugal compressor compared to screw compressor 4. sealing and on a lack of comprehensive test documentation has to be made. chemical-. bearings. the screw compressor is a displacement machine. based on a statistic presented in Hydrocarbon Processing. Consequently. If the molecular weight falls below the value for which the compressor is designed. Also. The occurrence of surging is. 5) Here we can see the characteristic of a centrifugal compressor compared with a screw compressor. The process gas screw compressor is lubricated with normal turbine oil. refinery.Not any supplier of the lubricant will perform a guarantee for the suitability! Conventional mineral oil can normally not be used in oil flooded screw compressors for gas service. The tabulation shows the average values. the oil flooded screw compressor therefore is often not accepted by process operators in the oil field. 7 . Comparison of the process gas screw compressor with the centrifugal compressor As already indicated. This lubricants are expensive and sometimes not available in some countries. the centrifugal compressor again surges. polyester and glycol basis are required. it is primarily the availability rating which counts rather than the initial investment outlay. With these customers.or petro-chemical sector. In the case of the centrifugal compressor the discharge pressure and gas molecular weight play an important role. January 1999. the centrifugal compressor surges. is a dynamic machine. however. Often compromises in regard to the materials. it is only possible to purchase the compressor stage models which are commercially available on the market. the centrifugal compressor on the other hand. The screw compressor has a rigid performance characteristic meaning that neither the discharge pressure nor the molecular weight of the gas have a great effect to the volume flow. Also it is necessary to clarify the disposal of the used lubricant. reliably prevented by special fast-response controls – an important safeguard as the occurrence of surging is highly damaging for the centrifugal compressor. Currently polyalphaolefin and lubricants on diester. See the availability and reliability rating of process gas screw compressors compared to oil flooded screw compressors. (Fig. If the discharge pressure in a centrifugal compressor is higher than the pressure for which the compressor is designed.

7 IMR&O hr/year 24.0 Notes: IMR&O: Inspection. In addition. It is self-evident that the liquid has to be distributed into droplets. In principle. For liquid droplets entrained in the gas there is nearly no limitation for the process gas screw compressor.7 99.5 99.6 30. The screw compressor can often produce the necessary pressure with just one compression stage. See the availability and reliability rating of process gas screw compressors compared to centrifugal compressor. Repair & Overhaul. oil free 99.5 percent of the volume of the gas under inlet conditions. This is complete different for a centrifugal compressor. This explains why the process gas screw compressor is not as sensitive to the presence of dust and liquid droplets in the gas as the centrifugal compressor. dust entrained in the gas causes abrasion also in a screw compressor. The quantity is allowed up to 0. Maintenance. The process gas screw compressor thus constitutes a more cost-efficient solution than the centrifugal compressor in the case of light gases. DT: Down Time Screw compressors cannot surge because they are displacement machines. where is nearly no difference.6 90. where the molecular weights changes very often.8 40. it will of course cause a liquid hammer. based on a statistic presented in Hydrocarbon Processing. clean service Centrifugal. But here the progress of wear with 1/3 of tip speed takes approx.0 3.0 MTBF year 8. This is very important in flare gas service.0 Forced DT hr/year 18.7 5. The centrifugal compressor gives rise to considerable problems in relation to these gases. January 1999. The centrifugal compressor generally runs at a tip speed which is three times than that of a process gas screw compressor. 9 times longer as with a centrifugal compressor.8 90. Due to this different compression principles the process gas screw compressor needs less stages in case of light gases. The liquid droplets therefore has to be efficiently removed from the gas stream by a separator at the suction. the process gas screw compressor is also suitable for gases in which the molecular weight constantly changes.0 99. MTBF: Mean Time Between Failure. fouling service Screw.8 99. There is a further advantage.0 Centrifugal.Compressor Type Availability Reliability % % 99. 8 . while the centrifugal compressor requires several impellers (stages). Due to the right material selection for the process gas screw compressor erosion will not occur. If a big quantity of liquid enters into the process gas screw compressor in one portion. The above tabulation shows the average values.

500 .000 m3/h actual inlet volume (2.5. gases with changing molecular weights like flare gas without surging. The mechanically neutral operation action means that the foundation is simple and forms no problem in oil fields. due to low tip speed liquid droplets entrained in the gas stream like associated gas in gas processsing or tank vapor applications. reliability and tailored performance is required.19.90. in a flow range from 150 .53.000 acfm). The compressor can handle. Compressor stages can be supplied for recompresssion of boil-off gas even at LNG for -160°C inlet temperature. All compressor stages are available conform to NACE MR 0175 alloy steels to handle gases with a high content of H2S. these compressors are particularly suitable for applications where difficult conditions occur and other compressor systems are less reliable or impractical. the compressor has no wear parts and the 24.000 acfm) and with a casing execution nominal pressure 50 bar (725psi) discharge pressure. Figure 6 Figure 7 9 . on platforms or vessels. Summary of the special features of process gas screw compressors Process-gas screw compressors can be employed for all normal operating conditions where a compressor offering high availability.000 m3/h actual inlet volume (90 . The compressor can compress gases with varying inlet pressures and discharge pressures without surging.: 0049/208/692-9787. For details in regard to process-gas screw compressors please send your inquiry to Fax No. As you remember.11. due to the positive displacement characteristic.000 . The comressor can handle. Compressor stages as a module system are available in casing executions with nominal pressure 16 bar (230 psi) in a flow range from 3. This predestinates the process gas screw compressor special for unmanned service in oil field service.000 operating hours required in API 619 between two major sevice activities can be achieved without any problems. In addition.

000 m3/h of flare gas from 1. (Fig. Carbon monoxide.1 bar.7. Styrene off gas. Steam compression. Two two-stage process-gas screw compressors are mounted on a single table-top foundation. calcination gas. HCI (dry). charge and offgas compressors In chemical plants: • Acetylene. converter gas. Each unit compresses 11. LAB cycle gas. vacuum distillation. MDI process) Vinyl chloride Power plant: • Gas turbine feeding Mining/Coking plant: • Pit gas • Coke oven gas Steel works: • Blast furnace top gas. PSA.85 bar. cooling gas Brewing. Carbon dioxide.37 bar to 6. It compresses 3. The machine compresses 5.000 m3/h of tank vapor gas is compressed from 1. Alcohol distillation: • Wort boiling.44 bar.018 bar to 2. 7) Process gas screw compressor completely assembled at the manufacturer’s works as a single-lift package for direct mounting on the deck of an offshore oil production platform. 8) Tank vapor compressor used in a desert area.Figure 8 Figure 9 6. Ammonia. Main applications of process gas screw compressors Oilfield (onshore. Process gas screw compressor with speed regulating motor driver in a degassing station. 3.01 bar to 7. Caprolactam plant.200 . Phosgene (TDI. Examples of application and design Flare-gas compressors with accessible noise enclosure.950 m3/h of associated gas from 1. 6) Process gas screw compressor completely assembled at the manufacturer’s works as a packaged unit for installation directly at a well-head (gas gathering) without needing a foundation. 9) 10 .03 bar to 3. reduction gas.650 m3/h of associated gas from 1. Lime kiln gas. MBE Process). Hydrogen. (Fig. Frigene. (Fig. VCM gas. Hydrogen-rich gas (catalytic reforming. concentration 7. Olefin facilities. Nitric acid gas (dry). Hydrogenrich gas.0 bar. (Fig. Chlorine (dry). off-shore and on FPSO’s): • Gas processing (last stage upstream of the flare) (Gas gathering of associated gas) Refineries: • Air compressors to API 619 standard • Boil-off gas from liquefied gas tanks (down to -160°C) • Delayed coker gas • Fuel gas • Flare gas • Crude gas • Recycle gas • Flue gas • Flush gas • Offgas • Tail gas • Strip gas • Vent gas • Wet gas In Petrochemical installations: • Air compressors to API 619 standard • Butadiene extraction.

0 bar a to 4. It compresses 20. 11) Figure 12 Process-gas screw compressor completely assembled at manufacturer’s works as a packaged unit. (Fig.Figure 10 Figure 11 Process-gas screw compressor with noise enclosure in a refinery.000 m3/h associated gas from 1.0 bar a.5 bar a. Semi packaged unit compresses 2.500 m3/h is compressed from 1. Single lifting unit during string test. Flare gas in an amount of 11.07 bar a to 4. 10) Process-gas screw compressor in foundation block design with separate oil unit. 12) 11 .200 m3/h recycle gas from 16 bar to 22 bar. (Fig. (Fig.

De Pretto Via Daniele Manin 16/18 36015 Schio (VI) / Italy Phone +39.r. September 2003 TURBO 921 e 0903 2. 6 92-20 19 www. 30. 6 91-5 11 Fax +39. 208.com MAN Turbomaschinen AG Egellsstrasse 21 13507 Berlin / Germany Phone +49. 0445. 278-22 11 Fax +41. 0445. subject to change without notice. 1. 5 11-1 38 . 30. 278-29 89 MAN Turbomacchine S. 440 402 2000 In the interests of technical progress. 1. Printed in Germany.MAN Turbomaschinen AG Steinbrinkstrasse 1 46145 Oberhausen / Germany Phone +49. 440 402 0 Fax +49. 208.0 ba MAN Turbomaschinen AG Schweiz Hardstrasse 319 8023 Zurich / Switzerland Phone +41.l.manturbo. 6 92-01 Fax +49.

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