FUNDAMENTALS OF THE TURBOEXPANDER “BASIC THEORY AND DESIGN”

PRESENTED BY: MR. JAMES SIMMS

Edited: 3/23/09

Presentation.RPT.DOC

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION/DESCRIPTION .................................... A APPLICATION ................................................. B PRELIMINARY SIZE CALCULATIONS ............................... C ENERGY EXTRACTION ........................................... D HORSEPOWER BALANCE .......................................... E HOW DOES THE BOOSTER COMPRESSOR USE THE HORSEPOWER TO MAKE PRESSURE? ................................................... F DISCHARGE PRESSURE CALCULATION .............................. G HOW IS THE TURBOEXPANDER DESIGN SPEED DETERMINED? ........... H HOW TO APPROXIMATE THE EXPANDER WHEEL DIAMETER .............. I HOW TO APPROXIMATE THE COMPRESSOR WHEEL DIAMETER ............ J TURBOEXPANDER CONTROLS, WITH REFERENCE TO THE TURBOEXPANDER SYSTEM SCHEMATIC DWG (FIGURE 5) ............................. K LUBE OIL SYSTEM ............................................. K SHAFT SEALING SYSTEM ........................................ L DESCRIPTION OF THRUST BALANCE SYSTEM ........................ M DESCRIPTION OF SURGE CONTROL SYSTEM ......................... N MAINTENANCE ................................................. O IMPORTANCE OF LOGGING DATA .................................. P EXAMPLE OF DATA LOG SHEET ................................... P TROUBLE SHOOTING ............................................ Q ABOUT THE AUTHOR ............................................ R

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FUNDAMENTALS OF THE TURBOEXPANDER BASIC THEORY & DESIGN

INTRODUCTION/DESCRIPTION: The term "Turboexpander", Figure 1, is normally used to define an Expander/Compressor machine as a single unit. It consists of

two (2) primary components; the Radial Inflow Expansion Turbine and a Centrifugal (Booster) Compressor combined as an assembly. Its Wheels are connected on a single Shaft. The Expansion

Turbine is the power unit and the Compressor is the driven unit.

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This is done by the Expansion Turbine end efficiently extracting the potential heat energy from the gas stream. but complimentary. exhausting at a lower pressure and at a substantially colder temperature. The primary function is to efficiently generate refrigeration in the process gas stream. APPLICATION: The typical Turboexpander process installation is shown in Figure 2. or "Off-Design". moderately cold gas flows into the Expander section of the Turboexpander. Gas flows from the Expander to the Demethanizer. causing it to cool dramatically. Simplified Process Schematic. Points. 2 . This extracted energy is converted to mechanical energy to rotate the Shaft to the Booster Compressor end of the Turboexpander. which partially recompresses the residue gas stream. functions in a single machine. The gas flows through the Expander Variable Inlet Nozzles (Guide Vanes) and then through the Wheel. The Turboexpander operates according to the thermodynamic and aerodynamic laws of physics. the Turboexpander can yield very high efficiencies at the "Design Point" and reasonable efficiencies at other.In a Gas Processing Plant. When designed properly. the purpose of the Turboexpander is to efficiently perform two (2) distinctly different. High pressure. where condensate is removed.

It should be noted that the Expander Nozzles are used to control the gas flow rate in order to maintain the pressure in the Demethanizer. The Residue Gas from the Demethanizer Tower flows through the Feed Gas Heat Exchanger and then to the Booster Compressor end of the Turboexpander. as it can improve the expansion process for more refrigeration as well as more efficiently use the power extracted by the Expander. requiring computerized analytical 3 . The efficiency of the Booster Compressor is very important. While the engineering process to properly design a high efficiency Turboexpander is very complex.

In the case of a Turboexpander re-design in an existing plant. a fixed set of Process Stream parameters.tools. 4 . The parameters required to size the Turboexpander are:     Gas Composition Flow Rate Inlet Pressure Inlet Temperature Normally. we will assume the value of the Expander Outlet Pressure. This "Design Point" is normally set by the plant process engineer's system analysis in the case of new plants. the Expander Outlet Pressure is determined by the performance of the Booster Compressor's efficiency through a complex iterative analysis. the basic initial sizing process can be simplified by using certain basic equations and assumptions. the actual operating condition will dictate the new "Design Point". PRELIMINARY SIZE CALCULATIONS: The Turboexpander operation is best described as a dynamic system which responds to the Process Stream variations. For this simplified sizing exercise. must be established. or "Design Point". To start the initial sizing design process.

of the Expander (i. we see the process in terms of change of energy. respectively. or real terms. or Δh.e.ENERGY EXTRACTION: Where does the energy come from? With reference to Figure 3. or 100% efficient) and in the Actual Process. The ratio of these is the definition of the Isentropic efficiency. with units of btu/lb. been designated These have Δh's and Δho. if ηe. Δh's = 40 btu/lb. and ηe = Δho / Δh's ). example. ηe = 34 / 40 = . both in the Ideal Process (Isentropic..85 or 85% 5 . which shows the typical Expansion Process Graph. then: For Δho = 34 btu/lb.

w and = 20 lbs/second.85 = 961.9 HORSEPOWER BALANCE: The HP developed by the Expander must be absorbed in order to prevent over-speeding.4145 x 40 x 20 x . to calculate the Horsepower developed by the Since the mass flow rate is normally given by the process engineer. w = 20 lbs/second. w. Expander.85.4145 (This is the constant value to change btu units into Horsepower terms) We will assume the mass flow rate. ηe = . we then only need the gas mass flow rate. then: HPExpander = 1. So.With the Δh's and ηe values known. we now have enough information to calculate the Horsepower with the following formula: HPExpander = (778 / 550) x Δh's x w x ηe 778 / 550 = 1. The Bearings and the Compressor absorb The Horsepower Balance formula this power to create a balance. if Δh's = 40 btu/lb. is: HPExpander = HPCompressor + HPBearings 6 .

ηc. which is subtracted from the Expander Horsepower. developed by the Compressor and its to satisfy the Horsepower balance formula.HPBearings 30 = 931. If we rearrange the formula above. then the available Horsepower to the Compressor is: HPCompressor = = HPExpander 961. or Head Rise.4145 x Δh'Adiabatic x w ηc 7 ___________________________________ . The efficiency. Horsepower formula for the Compressor is similar to the Expander.Example: Let's assume that the Bearings consume a total of 30 Horsepower.9 Horsepower HOW DOES THE BOOSTER COMPRESSOR USE THE HORSEPOWER TO MAKE PRESSURE?: The pressure rise through the Compressor is a function of the adiabatic Δh'. formula is: The HPCompressor = 1. but slightly different as it is consuming power.9 .

Head Rise. from the The Inlet Pressure to the Discharge Pressure of the Compressor. just the same as the Expander formula.4145 is. required to achieve the = efficiency of the Δh' / Δho ηc. is usually given by With the available Compressor Horsepower the process engineer. on the Figure 4 on the next page shows a typical Compression Process in which the ideal head rise. and the units are lbs/second. Discharge Pressure.The value of 1. such as 75%. again. units are btu/lb of gas flow. for the Compressor. w. or Δh'. the constant to convert the units into Horsepower. 8 . w is the symbol for mass flow through the Compressor. The mass flow rate. ηc. as follows: Δh'Adiabatic = HPCompressor x ηc 1.4145 x w ______________________ We start by assuming a reasonable efficiency. the ratio of Compressor. or energy change. Compressor. lower than the actual Head Rise. known. we can rearrange the Compressor Horsepower formula to calculate the Δh'Adiabatic. Δh'Adiabatic is the ideal Head Rise. is Δho.

9 x .4145 x 27.0 = 18.0 lbs/second and solve the formula: Δh'Adiabatic = 931. of 27.75 1.30 btu/lb 9 .We will assume a mass flow rate. through the Compressor. w.

we will assume certain values for these (T1 = 60°F.54. Z. stands for the Ratio of specific heats To be accurate. °R (°R = °F + 459. Cp = . for this exercise. PSIA = Specific heat at constant pressure = Inlet temperature.69) = Compressibility Factor = Greek Symbol "Gamma". we can calculate the pressure rise through the Compressor by the following formula: Pout = Pin x [1 + Δh' ]γ / γ-1 CpT1Z DEFINITION OF TERMS: Pout Pin Cp T1 Z γ = Discharge Pressure. however. having calculated the Δh'Adiabatic. PSIA = Inlet Pressure. and γ = 1.98. 10 . and γ are best derived by a good equation of state computer program.DISCHARGE PRESSURE CALCULATION: Now. Z = .3) and solve the above formula. the values of Cp.

3 / . if the Inlet Pressure equals 145 PSIA. Δh's = 40 btu/lb Ns = 75 for good efficiency Assume a Specific Speed. 11 .69) x . or Expander Wheel: Ns.30 ]1.7 PSIA HOW IS THE TURBOEXPANDER DESIGN SPEED DETERMINED?: This is done by using the term Specific Speed.54 x (60 + 459.75 From earlier pages.333 = = 145 x 1.3 .98 = 145 x [ 1. of the Ns = ______ N x √ACFS2 ________________________ ( 778 x Δh's ) . the Discharge Pressure will be calculated: Pout = Pin x [1 + Δh' CpT1Z ]γ / γ-1 = 145 x [1 + 18.322 191.0665 ] 4.So. to repeat the formula for the Compressor.

7. N: N = Ns x ( 778 x Δh's ) .146 RPM HOW TO APPROXIMATE THE EXPANDER WHEEL DIAMETER: First. The Co term is known as the spouting velocity of the gas from the Nozzles into the Expander Wheel. the term U/Co should equal about 0.75 ____________________ ______ √ ACFS2 = 75 x (778 x 40) .75 __ √25 = 75 x 2343 5 = 35. ACFS2 = 25.0 (ACFS2 is the Actual Cubic Feet per Second Rearrange of volumetric flow at the outlet of the Expander). for good efficiency. the formula and calculate the speed. 12 .Assume.

The formula is: _____________ ___ Co = x _________________ = √ 2 x 32.8 1415 ft/sec x √40 __ x √40 Since the term U. needs to be 0.7 x 1415 = 990 ft/sec DEFINITION OF TERMS: U Co g J = = = = Tip Speed of Wheel.2 x 778 __________________ √2 x g x J √Δh's __ x √40 __ = = = √ 50103. then: U = . ft/sec Spouting Velocity.2 ft/sec2 778 ft-lb/btu 13 .7 of Co. Wheel Tip Speed.7 x Co = .2 223. ft/sec 32.

U.2 RPM 990 x 229.46 inches 14 .2 35. is the peripheral velocity of the Expander Wheel (tip speed) which is calculated by: U = Diameter (inches) x RPM 229.The term. to rearrange the formula to solve for the Wheel Diameter: Diameter = U x 229.2 So.146 = = 6.

30 x 32.4 ____________ U = √1.4 _____________________________ U = √(18.4 and rearrange the formula to solve for U: U2 = Δh' x g x J .30 btu/lb. we calculated the Compressor equal 18.6 ft/sec 15 .2 x 778) / .110.4 ______________________ U = √(Δh' x g x J) / .7 U = 1070. Let the head coefficient. be equal to .HOW TO APPROXIMATE THE COMPRESSOR WHEEL DIAMETER: The following formula can be used to approximate the Compressor Wheel Diameter: Δh'Adiabatic = U2 x Ψ g x J ____________ From previous pages.146. Δh'Adiabatic to Ψ.

etc.2 RPM = 1070. These assumptions were used for ease of demonstrating the formulas only. efficiency. as they may give false results in an actual case.146 RPM. Any actual design analysis should be performed by an experienced Turboexpander Design Engineer.98 inches ** CAUTION NOTE: While the above method does give the steps necessary to do the initial rough sizing of the Expander and Compressor Wheels. the design speed was calculated to be 35. In the above.2 From the Expander analysis. So rearranging and solving the above formula: Compressor Wheel diameter = U x 229. 16 . certain values were assumed for specific speed.2 35.146 = 6.Now calculate the Compressor Wheel Diameter from the equation: U = Wheel Diameter x RPM 229.6 x 229. These assumptions MUST NOT be used as "rule of thumb" values. head coefficient. it is vastly over simplified.

TURBOEXPANDER CONTROLS. 17 . This is achieved by venting the pressurized oil Reservoir through a De-misting Pad back to the Compressor Suction. LUBE OIL SYSTEM: The Lube Oil Pressure supplied to the Bearings is controlled at a pressure higher than the Reservoir. WITH REFERENCE TO THE TURBOEXPANDER SYSTEM SCHEMATIC DWG (FIGURE 5): The Turboexpander system pressure basically floats with the Compressor suction pressure. typically this pressure is 150 PSID controlled by a Differential Pressure Regulating Valve relieving excess oil to the Reservoir.

18 . The oil is then filtered by one of the Dual At this point the oil pressure regulates to the proper An Accumulator is installed to store oil Differential Pressure. SHAFT SEALING SYSTEM: The Shaft Seals are Labyrinth type using Seal (Buffer) Gas to prevent cold gas migration into the Bearing Housing and to prevent oil leakage into the process stream. Some systems have an oil flow rate measuring device in the oil supply line to the Bearings. Filters. Electric Motor Driven. The pressure to the Labyrinth Seals is maintained at a Differential Pressure of typical 50 PSID above the pressure behind the Expander Wheel. This is accomplished by use of a Differential Pressure Regulator sensing and floating with the Expander Back Wheel Pressure. The oil then travels to the Bearings. The Seal Gas system typically uses warm process gas that has been filtered.Dual. for emergency coast down in case of electrical power outage. Lube Oil Pumps (one Main and one Standby) take suction from the Reservoir providing oil through the Cooler or bypassing the Cooler via the Temperature Control Valve as required to maintain a preset oil supply temperature to the Bearings.

Thrust Oil. 19 . the Turboexpander System Pressure automatically floats with the process pressure via the Compressor Suction. this separates from the oil and then is vented through the De-misting Pad out into the Booster Compressor Suction. Bearing Temperature RTDs. A first-out Annunciator System provides an indication of the initial cause of a shut-down. Vibration Probe. The Automatic Thrust Equalizer System vents pressure from behind the Compressor Wheel to try to equalize the oil pressure measured at each Thrust Bearing. a local Hand Indicating Controller (HIC) is provided to adjust the Expander variable Nozzles to control the Gas Flow (and Expander Speed) during start-up. Basically. and Seal Gas Differential Pressure Switches. For control of the Turboexpander at start-up. Primary safety instrumentation includes Speed Probe.The small amount of Seal Gas going across the Seal towards the Bearing Housing mixes with the oil and drains to the Reservoir. In the Reservoir.

DESCRIPTION OF THRUST BALANCE SYSTEM: The purpose of this system is to control the Axial Thrust of the Expander/Compressor Rotor within safe load limits. The oil pressure at the Thrust Face of each Bearing is measured and connected to two opposite ends of a Piston Chamber. The original version (Figure 6) operates in the following manner. on the Thrust Bearings. A Piston Shaft is connected with an Internal Seal to a Gate Valve that is connected between the pressure port behind the Compressor Wheel and the suction of the Compressor. in either direction. 20 .

The Spool Valve is connected between the pressure vent port behind the Compressor Wheel and the suction of the Compressor.The GTS improved version (Figure 7) operates in a similar manner as the original system. but with the addition of a constant feed oil supply for improved response to Thrust variations. The Gate Valve is replaced by a "balanced piston" Spool Valve. 21 . just as the original system. which is less prone to sticking (less resistance) than the Gate Valve. and therefore more responsive.

The Thrust balancing is accomplished by maintaining or decreasing the pressure behind the Compressor Wheel. 22 . This is accomplished when the Thrust force (oil pressure) on the Compressor Thrust Bearing is increased. the end of the Thrust Equalizing Valve can be viewed and verified as to which direction the Thrust Valve is in. the Spool Valve will tend to close. With the GTS version. turn. thereby reducing the pressure in the area behind the Compressor Wheel causing the load on the Compressor Thrust Bearing to reduce. which causes the Piston to slowly open the Spool Valve. The opposite occurs when In the load is increased toward the Expander Thrust Bearing.

D. E.DESCRIPTION OF SURGE CONTROL SYSTEM: THE SURGE CONDITION: The phenomenon of “surge” in an axial or centrifugal Compressor occurs when the flow is reduced sufficiently to cause a momentary reversal of flow. Bearings. a point of maximum discharge pressure is reached as the flow is reduced. At any given Compressor speed. is a plot of Pressure increase (head) vs. Capacity (flow) over the full range of operating conditions. C. Compressor such Blades. This is indicated at points A. and F in Figure 8 on the next page. This reversal tends to lower the Normal compression resumes. FLOW RELATION IN THE COMPRESSOR: The performance map of the Compressor. B. and pressure in the discharge line. The line connecting these points describes the surge limit line. can vary in Intense of the and intensity from an audible rattle to a violent shock. typically supplied by the Compressor manufacturer. This cycling. 23 . which separates the region of safe operation from the surge area. surges are capable in the of causing complete as destruction components Seals. or surging. the cycle is repeated. An Anti-Surge Control system is therefore recommended to provide positive protection against surging or cycling.

As flow is reduced.FIGURE 8 - SURGE CONTROL: The most common method of Surge Control uses the Compressor ∆P to represent “head” and the differential pressure across an Inlet orifice (called “h”) to represent capacity. the pressure in the Compressor tends to be lower than the discharge pressure and a momentary reversal of flow occurs. . This reversal then tends to lower the pressure at the discharge. allowing for normal compression until the cycle repeats itself. The function 24 .

∆P/h from To provide some factor of safety. the Inlet measured differentially through an Orifice plate using a DP Transmitter. as shown in Figure 9 below. Flow is In operation.of the Surge Control system is to keep the ratio of exceeding the slope of the surge line. The Inlet and Discharge pressures of the 25 .FIGURE 9 - A typical anti-Surge control system block diagram is shown on the sketch on the next page. . with its output connected to a Ratio Station (multiplier) and then transmitted as a set point to the Controller(PID). Figure 10. a control line(Set Point) should be established to the right of the surge line.

.e. The output of the Controller operates a bypass valve that recycles the gas back to the Inlet of the Compressor. If the Flow rate is too low (i. near surge) then the Bypass Valve should open and allow additional flow to re-circulate back to the 26 . In general. the Controller will output a signal to open the Bypass (Recirculation) Valve.Compressor are also measured using a DP Transmitter and transmitted as the Process variable to the Controller. when the two (2) signals become equal within the bounds of the Proportional Band range.

For example. when the pumps are stopped). MAINTENANCE: The general rule is that there is no need for a strict. the Bypass Valve is closed to prevent pressure losses and it opens only to prevent surge.Compressor as necessary. In normal operation. wet Inlet Process Gas that may cause erosion on the Expander Nozzles or Wheel. 27 . This is important because the Accumulator pre-charge pressure is critical to providing emergency oil to the Bearings for a safe coast down during an electrical power outage. If the Accumulator must be checked while the pumps are running. regular maintenance schedule on the Turboexpander. The main component on the Turboexpander System that should be checked on a regular basis is the pre-charge pressure in the Lube Oil Accumulator's Bladder. There are no parts that are "wear parts" or parts that have a finite life expectancy. The exception to this general rule is when there is some known issue that may demand regular maintenance surveillance. This pre-charge pressure can only be checked when there is no oil supply pressure to the Accumulator (for example. then it must be isolated from the oil line by shutting off the Block Valve.

3 50 + 130 = 180 PSIG So the pre-charge pressure should be above 180 PSIG. The Bladder should be pre-charged using N2 gas to pressure of above ⅓ the oil differential pressure plus the normal Reservoir pressure. therefore: 150 = 50 . 28 . This is an approximate value. Changing the Lube Oil in the reservoir is normally not necessary unless there is a cause to believe that it is contaminated or its viscosity has changed. DP = 150 PSID and the Reservoir normal operating pressure is 130 PSIG.To accurately check the pre-charge pressure. so the tolerance can be ± 5 PSIG without creating a problem. For example. the oil in the Accumulator must be drained below the Bladder pre-charge pressure. sufficient unless some event occurs to suggest a more frequent check is needed. Normally a periodic sampling of the Perhaps twice a year is oil to check viscosity is recommended.

perhaps monthly. vibration. and sound. The best warning sign of a possible impending problem is a change in the operational characteristics of the Turboexpander.There have been several installations that have process streams with unusually high molecular weight due to heavy hydrocarbons. it is very important to Shown on the following sheet is maintain good data log sheets. Bearing temperature.e. the list of data points to be regularly recorded on data log sheets. the oil viscosity is rechecked frequently. 29 . For this reason. installations. i. The installation did experience some dilution of the oil which reduced the viscosity. IMPORTANCE OF LOGGING DATA: A very important trouble-shooting tool is reviewing the operational history of the Turboexpander. The solution was to mix higher viscosity In these oil of the same type to achieve the desired viscosity.

EXAMPLE OF DATA LOG SHEET *DATE/TIME *FLOW RATE *SIGNAL TO EXPANDER ACTUATOR *EXPANDER INLET PRESSURE *EXPANDER INLET TEMPERATURE *EXPANDER OUTLET PRESSURE *EXPANDER OUTLET TEMPERATURE *COMPRESSOR INLET PRESSURE *COMPRESSOR INLET TEMPERATURE *COMPRESSOR OUTLET PRESSURE *COMPRESSOR OUTLET TEMPERATURE *SHAFT SPEED *VIBRATION *EXPANDER BEARING RTD *COMPRESSOR BEARING RTD *EXPANDER THRUST PRESSURE *COMPRESSOR THRUST PRESSURE *SEAL GAS SUPPLY PRESSURE *EXPANDER BACK WHEEL PRESSURE *SEAL GAS FILTER DP *LUBE OIL PRESSURE AT PUMP DISCHARGE *LUBE OIL SUPPLY PRESSURE TO BEARINGS *LUBE OIL RESERVOIR PRESSURE TO BEARINGS *LUBE OIL FLOW INDICATOR *LUBE OIL TEMPERATURE (UPSTREAM OF COOLER) *LUBE OIL TEMPERATURE (DOWNSTREAM OF COOLER) *LUBE OIL FILTER AP *MISCELLANEOUS OPERATOR COMMENTS: ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ 30 .

INCREASE SEAL GAS PRESSURE. NOTE: SURGE WILL OCCUR UNTIL 70% OF DESIGN FLOW IS ATTAINED. THE LABYRINTH SECTION OF THE HEAT BARRIER HAS WASHED OUT. HOWEVER. THE TACHOMETER WILL FLUCTUATE 150 TO 200 RPM ABOUT EVERY 6 SECONDS. 1. SPEED. DISASSEMBLE UNIT. CAUTION: THE COMPRESSOR IS THE LOAD FOR THE EXPANDER. COMPRESSOR BYPASS NOT CLOSED. 2. THE SEAL GAS CAN NO LONGER BUFFER THE COLD PROCESS. CAUTION: OPERATING UNDER SURGE CONDITIONS FOR MORE THAN 10-15 MINUTES MAY DAMAGE THE BEARINGS. SAME AS ABOVE. CAUSING RECIRCULATION OF HOT GASES RESULTING IN COMPOUND TEMPERATURE INCREASES. ETC. ANY CHANGE IN THE FLOW WILL AFFECT THE OVERALL PROCESS CONDITIONS. ALLOWING COLD PROCESS GAS TO ENTER JOURNAL BEARING HOUSING. HIGH COMPRESSOR TEMPERATURE CLOSE BYPASS. TEMPERATURE.TROUBLE SHOOTING CONDITION: PROBABLE CAUSES: REMEDY: COLD OIL DRAIN TEMPERATURE LOW SEAL GAS PRESSURE. SYMPTOMS SAME AS ABOVE. OR EXPANDER SEAL INSERT AND EXPANDER SHAFT SEAL RING IF NECESSARY. CRACKED HEAT BARRIER. 31 . IF NOT- 1. INSPECT AND CHANGE HEAT BARRIER. A DROP IN OIL DRAIN TEMPERATURE OF LESS THAN 50°F IS NOT UNCOMMON. COMPRESSOR SURGE KEEP THE COMPRESSOR BYPASS OPEN UNTIL THE EXPANDER REACHES 80% OF DESIGN CAPACITY. SEAL GAS PRESSURE ADJUSTMENTS WILL GENERALLY REMEDY SUCH A TEMPERATURE CHANGE. 2. CHECK OIL DRAIN TEMPERATURE FOR INCREASE.

1. SAME AS ABOVE. 3. 2. EXPANDER ROTOR RELIEF HOLES (IF PROVIDED) PLUGGED. WASHED OUT COMPRESSOR IMPELLER BACK SEAL. 3. UNBALANCED THRUST TOWARD THE EXPANDER BEARING. CHECK OIL LEVEL. 2. 1. ABNORMAL PRESSURE DROP IN THE RESIDUE GAS LINE FROM THE DEMETHANIZER TO THE BOOSTER COMPRESSOR SUCTION. 2. CHECK COMPRESSOR THRUST BALANCER TO INSURE PROPER ADJUSTMENT FOR PARTICULAR RUN CONDITIONS. CHANGE IF NECESSARY. 1. CONDENSATE MIXING WITH OIL RESULTING IN LOWER VISCOSITY. THE DEHYDRATOR UPSTREAM OF THE EXPANDER IS SATURATED OR INOPERATIVE. HIGH OIL TEMPERATURE NOTE: OIL TEMPERATURE MAY VARY WITH CHANGES IN AMBIENT TEMPERATURE. 1.COMPRESSOR IMPELLER BACK SEAL WASHED OUT HIGH COMPRESSOR DISCHARGE TEMPERATURE CHECK PLAUSIBLE CAUSE OF COMPRESSOR HIGH TEMPERATURE. 2. 2. 32 . INSPECT. DISASSEMBLE. CAUSING PRESSURE BUILD-UP BEHIND THE ROTOR LOADING THE THRUST BEARING. EXPANDER ROTOR BACK SEAL WASHED OUT ALLOWING INLET PRESSURE TO BE FELT BEHIND THE ROTOR LOADING THE EXPANDER THRUST BEARING. SEE . CHECK TO SEE IF OIL CONTROL VALVE IS OPEN. OIL BYPASSING COOLER. EXCESSIVE THRUST UNBALANCE. CAUSED BY EXCESSIVE COMPRESSOR TEMPERATURE.HIGH COMPRESSOR BEARING TEMPERATURE OR OIL DRAIN TEMPERATURE (SET POINT SPECIFICATIONS) 2. 1. THIS CONDITION MAY WEAR THE JOURNAL BEARINGS RESULTING IN A HIGHER RUNNING TEMPERATURE. THE ROTOR MUST BE THAWED OUT BY A WARM GAS STREAM. CHECK FOR BLOCKAGE OR ABNORMAL PRESSURE DROP IN HEAT EXCHANGER. UNBALANCED THRUST TOWARD COMPRESSOR BEARING 1. & REPAIR.

com 33 . INSTALL A DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE REGULATOR IN THE EXPANDER "WHEEL TAP" TO MAINTAIN SEAL GAS PRESSURE ABOVE WHEEL TAP PRESSURE BY 20 TO 50 PSI.S.simmsmachineryinternational. INC.gts@verizon. 2357 “A” STREET SANTA MARIA.S.A. FOR ANY ASSISTANCE OR TROUBLESHOOTING QUESTIONS PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT OUR ENGINEERING SERVICE DEPARTMENT.net WEBSITE: www.gts@verizon.A.com GAS TECHNOLOGY SERVICES. TEL: 805-349-0258 FAX: 805-349-9959 E-MAIL: smi. 2357 “A” STREET SANTA MARIA. CALIFORNIA 93455 U.net WEBSITE: www. INC.FROZEN SEAL GAS LINE SEAL GAS PRESSURE TOO LOW. PROCESS GAS BACKS UP INTO SEAL GAS LINE. CALIFORNIA 93455 U. SIMMS MACHINERY INTERNATIONAL.gastechnologyservices. TEL: 805-349-2540 FAX: 805-349-9959 E-MAIL: smi.

Inc. to service Turboexpanders. founded Gas Technology Services. 34 . He worked in the Engineering Department of various Turboexpander manufacturing companies until he founded Simms Machinery International.ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James (Jim) Simms has been involved with the design. manufacture. along with others. primarily used in Gas Processing Plants. Inc. in 1988. and service of Turboexpanders and other Cryogenic Rotating Machinery since 1969. In 1994 he. The company primarily focuses on LNG Boil-off Gas Compressors aboard LNG Tankers (Ships).

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