# Reciprocating Compressors

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Objective of the Training
• Acquisition of basic knowledge of reciprocating piston compressors,
as far as required for understanding valve-, control systems-, piston ring- and pressure packing performance.

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Contents
• • • •
Single-Acting Reciprocating Compressor
Principle, compressor cycle, pV -diagram (indicator diagram)

Double-Acting Reciprocating Compressor
compressor cycle, opening and closing of the compressor valves

Multistage Reciprocating Compressor Crank Mechanism
Components, kinematics, masses, rod forces

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Basic principles - working principle
• Gas is compressed in a reciprocating cycle

quick

slow

- Basic Principles - Double Acting Piston Compressor - Multistage Compressor

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Animation

Basic principles - indicator diagram
Pressure - time diagram Pressure - volume diagram

p,t
shows the pressure in the cylinder at a given time or crank angle

p,V
shows the pressure in the cylinder at a given volume or piston position

indicator pressure

time t
TDC BDC TDC TDC

volume V
BDC

360° 0° 180° crank angle 360° 0° crank angle 180°
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.VDiagram . of the gas in the cylinder volume V suction 6 All rights reserved .Basic principles ..compression cycle next cycle begins discharge pressure p expansion compression ...Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 p.

diagram suction pressure p1 4 1 v 7 .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 2 pV.n 30 cmax piston stroke s [m] cm = n . RPM suction p1 delivery p2 delivery pressure p2 3 All rights reserved ..piston speed piston speed c [m/s] mean piston speed cm s.Basic principles ..

efficiency pressure pV .diagram = indicator diagram (shown in ideal form) volume clearance volume Volumetric efficiency: η v= suction volume swept volume swept volume = piston area x piston stroke Top Dead Centre TDC Bottom Dead Centre BDC piston position 8 All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 suction volume .Basic principles .

single & double acting single-acting suction side delivery side drive cylinder double-acting end suction side head end crank crosshead delivery side drive cylinder 9 All rights reserved .Basic principles .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 crank .

Basic principles .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 drive cylinder °crank angle or t [sec] Double-acting compressor end head end p crank end head end “crank” “cross head” crank drive cylinder 0° 180° 360° 10 °crank angle or t [sec] .single & double acting Single-acting compressor Cylinder head p head end 0° 180° 360° All rights reserved .

Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 suction pressure 180° 360° crank angle 11 0° .Start of cycle suction valves closed end suction end TDC TDC 0° crank delivery head delivery valves closed delivery pressure indicator pressure indicator pressure head end crank end All rights reserved .

Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 suction pressure 180° 360° crank angle 12 0° 40° .HE suction valve opens head end suction valve opens end suction head end delivery crank 40° delivery valves closed delivery pressure indicator pressure indicator pressure head end crank end All rights reserved .

CE delivery valve opens head end suction valve open end suction head end delivery crank 105° crank end delivery valve opens delivery pressure indicator pressure indicator pressure head end crank end All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 suction pressure 105° 180° 360° crank angle 13 0° .

HE suction & CE delivery valve closed BDC end head end suction valve closes suction head end delivery BDC crank end delivery valve closes delivery pressure indicator pressure indicator pressure head end crank end All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 crank 180° suction pressure 180° 360° crank angle 14 0° .

CE suction valve opens crank end suction valve opens end suction head end delivery 235° crank delivery valves closed delivery pressure indicator pressure indicator pressure head end crank end All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 suction pressure 180° 235° 360° crank angle 15 0° .

HE delivery valve opens crank end suction valve open end suction head end delivery 300° crank head end delivery valve opens delivery pressure indicator pressure indicator pressure head end crank end All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 suction pressure 180° 300° 360° crank angle 16 0° .

Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 suction pressure 180° 360° crank angle 17 0° .CE suction & HE delivery valve close crank end suction valve closes end suction end 360° crank TDC 0° delivery head head end delivery valve closes delivery pressure Indicator pressure indicator pressure head end crank end All rights reserved .

1 sec All rights reserved .real versus ideal pt-diagram 60 bar 0.Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 p end head end “Crank” “Crosshead” crank drive cylinder 0° 180° 360° 18 °crank angle or t (sec) .Basic principles .

Multistage compressor • Compression in 2 .8 stages .to avoid exceeding the permissible temperature for compressor materials and lubricating oil .up to several hundred bars in high • pressure and ultra-high pressure compressors Cooling between the compression stages: .to achieve higher pressures .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .to save energy costs 1st stage gas intake delivery 3 bar 8 bar 22 bar cooling 2nd stage cooling 3rd stage cooling gas example: 1 bar 3 bar 8 bar 19 All rights reserved .

Multistage compressor • Energy saving: Multistage compression with inter-cooling p single stage compression to high delivery pressure compression in the 2nd stage pressure 2nd stage energy savings through 2-stage compression with intercooling minus intercooler losses compression in the 1st stage 1st stage volume V 20 All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .

Energy balance heat transferred to intercooler 1st stage 2nd 3rd stage stage to cylinder cooling to gas to lubricating oil and environment energy supplied at the crankshaft frictional losses leakages. heating of suction gas intercoolers TRANSFERRED HEAT ventilation losses (losses through pressure drop in pipes valves) adiabatic losses LOSSES energy for isothermal compression 21 All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .

Crank mechanism – crankshaft. crankcase • The crankcase houses the crankshaft and forms the bearing structure to the base frame or foundation.Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 . 23 All rights reserved .

cast steel. 24 .the “upper” (piston end) connecting rod eyes are usually closed.forged steel.connecting rod • Connecting rods convert the rotary motion of the crankshaft into the reciprocating motion of the piston . In special All rights reserved . • the “lower” ones usually split (except on overhung cranks or assembled shafts) Materials: . nodular graphite cast iron.Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 designs may be fabricated from sheet steel or aluminium.Crank mechanism .

Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .Rotating and oscillating components big end bearing (rotating) crankshaft connection rod (rotating) (2/3 rotating) (1/3 oscillating) piston rod (oscillating) piston & rings (oscillating) crosshead (oscillating) crosshead joint pin (oscillating) crosshead bearing (oscillating) 26 All rights reserved .

.kinematics: rod ratio λ rad ius r length l λ= r l BDC TDC TDC cmax with rod length = 8 TDC All rights reserved .25) must be taken into account in the design of valves and capacity control systems 27 .2..Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 piston speed cmax BDC 0 0° 180° 360° cmax cmax with usual designs The rod ratio (usually 0.Crank mechanism .0.

Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 • . forces • Oscillating mass forces and mass moments of inertia .partly avoided by suitable cylinder arrangements or compensated by balancing shafts Rotating masses .components.are generated by the acceleration and de-acceleration of the reciprocating masses of the crank mechanism . masses.centrifugal forces of the rotating parts are balanced by counter weights applied on the cheeks of the crank shaft 28 All rights reserved .they generate inertia forces in the stroke direction and forces of inertia around the drive’s centre of gravity .Crank mechanism .

Crank mechanism .rod forces • The gas acting on the piston and the moment of inertia generate forces which are transferred to the connecting rod via the crosshead and the joint pin Rod force = gas force + inertia forces indicator diagram indicator pressure [ bar ] 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 force diagram +200 crank end head end rod force [ 1000 N ] gas forces inertia forces All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 +100 0 compression -100 Rod force -200 TDC BDC crank angle TDC TDC BDC crank angle TDC 29 tension .

There is no tension load and thus no rod load reversal. when one cylinder is unloaded. .Lubrication of the connecting pin is not guaranteed ! crank end unloaded head end indicator pressure [ bar ] 35 rod force [ 1000 N ] 30 25 20 crank end 15 10 5 TDC BDC crank end TDC 200 no reversal of rod force! gas forces inertia forces no tension 100 0 compression -100 Rod force -200 TDC BDC crank end TDC 31 All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .Crank mechanism – 'rod load reversal' • The rod is only under compression load.

Cylinder .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 piston rings cylinder cover discharge valve nest piston rod packings discharge valve valve cage valve cover cylinder liner discharge duct cooling water channels 32 cylinder diameter .assembly diaphragm cylinder suction valve with unloader piston rod distance piece suction duct valve cover valve cage suction valve suction valve nest piston All rights reserved .

Valve types for Recips • Closing Elements Plates .rings ..balls ..reeds .cones . traditionally made of steel.Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 . Closing elements of HOERBIGER Valves are: steel plates profiled plastic rings plastic plates poppets reeds flapper plates 33 All rights reserved .stripes . today increasingly of fibre-reinforced plastics..poppets .

Suction valve and discharge valve Actuator Unloader discharge Valve suction Valve exploded view 34 All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .

Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .Installation in the valve nest • Requirements in Cylinder Design: • easy valve installation and • • removal low pressure losses in valves and valve pockets small clearance volumes • the valve cage or the jack bolt arrangement must have adequately sized openings for the gas flow. 35 All rights reserved .

Valve 36 All rights reserved . Don’t mix up suction valves with delivery valves. D (API 618 describes valve designs which are impossible to mix up). delivery valve pocket 3. S positioning of valve in valve nest delivery valve pocket firmly seated in valve nest: Danger of breaking valve seat if valve can move about. Correct valve assembly 2.Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .Correct installation in valve nests 1. Correct 4.

Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .Incorrect installation • Jackbolt failure and consequential damage 37 All rights reserved .

tighten the valve cover bolts to the specified torque.Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 - Missing or defective gaskets • Gas tightness in valve nest. cage clamping bolts (jacking bolts) and valve cover bolts Correct sequence: 1. 38 .Incorrect installation in the valve nest • Valve Installation .Causes of LOOSE VALVES Wrong assembly sequence of valve cage. with valve cage clamping bolts (jacking bolts) withdrawn 2. tighten the valve cage clamping bolts to the specified torque Height of valves or valve cages too low after overhaul All rights reserved . if valves are installed without gaskets Adequate quality of sealing surfaces of valve and valve nest. grinding-in may be required For this reason the contact surface of HOERBIGER valves are finished to N5 or N6 quality (HN150).

'Valve losses' • Total Gas Flow Losses in Indicator Diagram A certain percentage of the indicated power is lost due to: 30 25 pressure [bar] 20 15 10 5 Area bordered by the red line: Indicated work of cylinder end suction pressure All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 Discharge losses discharge pressure Suction losses 0 0% 20% 40% 60% displacement [%] 80% 100% 39 .

'Valve losses' • The areas exceeding nominal delivery pressure show the different losses at the delivery side.Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 pipe losses and pulsation losses losses in valve nest losses in valve . nominal discharge pressure pv diagram pulsating pressure in the pressure chamber 40 All rights reserved .

41 All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .Shape of valve nest and 'valve losses' • The shape of the valve nest in the cylinder has a considerable influence on total gas flow losses. • Two examples for considerable flow losses→high pocket factors. the valve nest shape can be taken into account with Pocket Factors. In the calculation of total flow losses with the help of the TKK.

by pockets or recesses in the cylinder head.by wide passage areas .Common pocket shape and 'valve losses' • Low losses in the cylinder nests can be achieved by minimal restriction of gas flow into cylinder.Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 . . 42 All rights reserved .

retracted piston end of contact area of piston rings retracted piston Cylinder head. retracted Cylinder head protrudes until here into cylinder 43 All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .Shading of valve nest by cylinder head • Narrow ports and gaps are restricting the gas flow too much.

Piston .Cast iron. steel.Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 • Types .Differential piston .Plunger piston (single-acting) .Disk piston (double-acting) . and aluminium .Tandem piston • Materials .Step piston .types 44 All rights reserved .

Rider Rings Piston Rings Seal the compression chamber between the piston and the liner. 45 All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .types Support the weight of the piston and half of the rod weight.Cylinder rings . but should not seal gas pressure.

design • Double-Acting Compressor: .Piston rod . Materials: .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 • 'Tailrod' (not shown): If the piston rod extends through the cylinder head for additional guidance 46 . tungsten carbide coating).g. The packings and oil wipers slide on the hardened rod surfaces (e.Case hardening and tempering steels.The piston rod connects the piston to the crosshead and transmits the piston force. piston rod piston All rights reserved .

Packings .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .types Pressure Packing Seals the inboard compression chamber against the distance piece Intermediate Packing Seals the first distance piece against the second distance piece Oil Wiper Packing Keeps off crank case oil from the distance piece 47 All rights reserved .

: Single-acting ring set 2 sealing rings radially split tangentially split 1 support ring for high pressures Pressure 48 All rights reserved .g. at least two rings per set are used and positioned offset from each other. To seal the cuttings. e.Packings .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 . A gas tight packing system is created by combining various ring types. For ease of installation and to maintain sealing after wear (selfadjusting action) the rings are split.Pressure Packings Ring Sets • Pressure reduction is carried out in steps by a certain number of ring • sets which depends on the height of the pressure difference.

49 All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 . lubricated packings with metallic or PTFE rings as well as oil-free packings with PTFE rings are used.Components of Ring Sets Annular springs PTFE rings (assist assembly) with additives Bronze-rings Depending on the gas type and operating conditions. oilfree packings must be cooled to extract friction heat. For higher compression pressures.Packings .

to allow the • piston rings to slide smoothly. 50 .Wet liners have coolant circulating between liner and cylinder wall. These are used for smaller cylinder diameters .Problem: keeping the coolant out of the compression chamber. The disadvantages of rather poor sliding characteristics and reduced heat dissipation have to be accepted. All rights reserved .Designs • Cylinder liners are usually made of cast iron.Liner . Some liners however are made of steel or Ni-resist. .Problem: They tend to hinder cooling.Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .Dry liners are in direct contact with the cylinder wall .

the parts of the piston rod which are in contact • with the medium must not come into contact with the lubricant of the crank mechanism A distance piece with two chambers and an intermediate packing between them is used achieve 100% separation .1 intermediate stuffing box packing 51 . an inert gas buffer may be maintained to avoid any leakage of (poisonous) gas to the environment.Distance Piece . . the piston rod bears an oil catcher.Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 two-chamber distance piece oil wiper piston rod oil catcher 1 2 main pressure packing 4. All rights reserved .In chamber 2.10.Function • In oil-free compressors.In chamber 1.

metered oil supply! • With excessive lubrication. As a consequence they open and close too late and suffer from heavier impacts. the valves and pistons build up oil deposits.Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 52 .The delivery valves clog up and wear.The suction valve plates stick to the valve seats and guards.Cylinder Lubrication • It is important to have a sparing. oil coke is formed with gases containing oxygen: .Lubrication . . All rights reserved . The plates and springs break more often.

C5. H4. pure gases: metallic rings. Running-in for all gases.Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 Differential pressure p2 . CH4. N2. Oil Quantity Estimation Specific oil quantity q [g/100m2 surface swept by piston] 1. He. CO. C3.6 1.4 1. CO2.2 0 0 50 100 150 200 250 3 2 1 All rights reserved .2 1 0. C6 parts. H6. impure gases: metallic sealing elements 53 .Cylinder Lubrication.8 0. PTFE stuffing boxes.p1 300 [bar] 1 2 3 Mini lubrication for all gases: PTFE rings and stuffing boxes Full lubrication for air. H2. Ar.6 0. full lubrication for NH3. C4. C2.4 0.

2π .. n .Oil Consumption in Cylinder Lubrication Calculation of oil consumption per cylinder: Q = q . stroke [m] n ..5 litre ~ 0. Oil quantity in g per 24 hours per cylinder q ...... 0.. Specific oil quantity from diagram [g/100m² surface swept by piston] s . D ..Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 D . 24 100 s Lf Q .. rpm Lf .. 60 . (s + Lf ) .4 kg) 54 All rights reserved .. length of piston [m] which is equipped with piston and rider rings (approx.8 x s) Please note: • Calculation methods of compressor manufacturers differ • The cylinder lubrication is often measured in droplets per minute (8000 droplets ~ 0. cylinder diameter [m] .

Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 . API 618).Pulsation Dampers • Pulsation dampers (“buffers”) are part of the gas lines.g. sometimes with internals. The amplitudes of gas pulsations are limited by various regulations (e.Peripheral Equipment . They are usually installed immediately before and after the cylinders to reduce gas pulsations in the lines. Suction damper • Low pressure “buffer” with internals to dampen strong pressure pulsations Discharge damper 55 All rights reserved . Pressure fluctuations can be calculated by means of computer simulation and design measures can be taken to dampen them. Mostly they are cylindrical pressure vessels.

Gas compressors .process gas compressor Combined gas engine / compressor with manual clearance pocket capacity control (USA) 56 All rights reserved .Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .

Training Centre HOERBIGER GMBH VIENNA – August 2003 .Reciprocating Compressors End of the Training File 57 All rights reserved .