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Rod Drop

Reciprocating
Compressors
Condition Monitoring &
Diagnostics

2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Presentation Contents

Fundamentals
Instrument Settings
Determining Trigger Angle
Probe Calibration

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Fundamentals
Over time, soft rider bands
wear away especially in
non-lubricated cylinders.

Piston
Ring

If the excessive wear is not


detected early enough, the
piston can contact the
cylinder liner, causing
expensive damage.

Rider Band
Cylinder Liner

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Piston Damage
Fundamentals

Scuffing
Wear

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Contact Sensors (Historic)


Fundamentals

Roller Valve
Fuse Metal Plug
(pressurized chamber)
(pressurized chamber)

Contact sensors are installed as


close to the piston as possible
(typically on the pressure
packing gland). They are
mounted below the piston rod
and are activated ONLY when
the rod contacts them with
adequate force.
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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Eddy Current Sensors


(Modern)
Fundamentals

(above or below rod)

Bently Nevada, LLC

Eddy Current
Proximity Probe

Eddy current sensors are also


installed as close to the piston
as possible (typically on the
pressure packing gland). They
can be mounted either above or
below the piston rod, and can
take measurements at ANY
time.
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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Rod Drop Trend Example


Fundamentals

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Measurement Geometry
Fundamentals

P IS T O N
M ID P O IN T

P R O B E P O S IT IO N

Per the similar


triangles
relationship,

L1 L1 L 2

B1
B2

We know L1 & L2, so


B2 can be calculated
from measured value
of B1:

L1 L 2 B1
B2
L1

PR O BE
V IE W
PLA N E
L1

C L

L2
B1

N EW
B2

A C T U A L R ID E R
BA N D W EA R
W O R N

P IS T O N R O D L E N G T H

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Assumptions
Fundamentals

1. The distance measurement made at the pressure


packing case changes in direct proportion to the
change in rider band wear (assumes the similar
triangles relationship is valid).
2. Gravity is the predominant vertical force acting on
the piston and rod assembly.
3. Rod flex is negligible compared to the amount of rider
band wear being measured.
4. Operating temperature of the piston is relatively
constant.
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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Ideal Piston Rod Behavior


Fundamentals

This animation illustrates an


idealized rod drop monitoring
situation.
The rod drop measurement
varies as a gentle sine wave
shape over an entire
revolution of the crankshaft.
Rod-Drop-Ideal.gif

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Actual Piston Rod Behavior


Fundamentals

The animation shows rod


position test data collected
from a highly-instrumented
compressor.

Probe pair at piston rod packing gland

3 probe pairs installed for testing

(animation)

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Instrument Settings
Installation dimensions (L1 &
L2)
Once-per turn reference
signal
Trigger angle (if collecting
one instantaneous sample
per crankshaft rotation)
Transducer scale factor

P IS T O N
M ID P O IN T

P R O B E P O S IT IO N

PR O BE
V IE W
PLA N E
L1

C L
L2

B1

N EW
B2

A C T U A L R ID E R
BA N D W EA R
W O R N

P IS T O N R O D L E N G T H

Compressor
Monitoring
Instruments

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Required Measurements
Instrument Settings

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Signal Processing
Instrument Settings

Average Value

Instantaneous Value

Monitor collects a single


Monitor processes the
sample at a specified value of
proximity transducer signal
crank angle (trigger angle)
to create a single average
for each stroke.
value over a complete stroke
(one full crankshaft rotation).
Requires once per turn crank
angle reference signal.
Does not require crank angle
reference signal.
May provide more accurate
trending for a compressor
May be adequate for general
with changing load
trending of rod drop values.
conditions.
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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Determining Trigger Angle


Selection Guidelines
Select a value of crank angle where
the piston rod is in tension.
the piston rod displacement is consistent at
different compressor loads.
the piston is close to the probe (minimizes
correction factor)
Note: The default monitor setting for
Trigger Angle may not be appropriate for
your application.

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Rod Load vs. Crank Angle


Determining Trigger Angle

40

120

240

40

120

240

tensio
n
compressi
on

Full Load Conditions

Part Load Conditions

The piston rod is under compression at the default trigger angle


setting (240).
However,
it is under tension for both full & part loads between
40 and 120.
2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

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Rod Displacement vs. Crank


Angle Determining Trigger Angle
40
120
60

40
120
60

tensio
n

tensio
n

Full Load Conditions

Part Load Conditions

Piston rod displacement is ~46 mil for both Full & Part loads at 60
crank angle.
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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Rod Displacement
(Oscilloscope)
Determining Trigger Angle

360

360

360

Full Load Conditions

360

Part Load Conditions

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Probe Calibration
Verify probe calibration to the actual piston rod
surface to reduce errors caused by the following
factors:
Specific composition of the piston rod alloy
Surface treatments, coatings, or contamination
Roundness of the cylindrical piston rod surface

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Piston Rod Material Effects


Probe Calibration
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Transducer Output Signal (VDC)

22
20
18
16
14
12
10
8

4140 Steel
Tungsten
Aluminum
Copper

6
4
2
0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90 100 110 120 130 140

Actual Probe Gap (mils)

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Micrometer Kit
Probe Calibration

Micrometer kit
accommodates creating a
probe calibration curve for
the actual piston rod.

Bently Nevada, LLC

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.

Practice Exercises
Rod Drop

Fundamentals
Instrument Settings
Determining Trigger Angle
Probe Calibration

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2007 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.