Eliminating Excessive Compressor Lubrication

CPI’s Proflo EOS optimizes the amount of oil injected into a reciprocating compressor.


Published:

By Lee Alexander

 

Lubrication oil is one of the highest costs associated with the operation of compressors. For the average compressor operator, oil usage can average 25 to 30% of running costs.

Managing these costs in today’s economy is more important, as excessive lubrication erodes operators’ profitability as well as impact the reliability of critical sealing components.

It is common practice to run break-in lubrication rates for new or overhauled compressors for a period of 200 hours after start-up. This break-in period prevents excessive temperature at start-up, allows conformity of piston and packing rings to mating surfaces and allows debris to be carried away.

It is very often the case that the lubrication levels are never scaled back to normal levels, especially in remote locations. When operating a large fleet of compressors, there is significant profit that can be gained through using an optimum lubrication system. There is an added cost of having this additional lubrication oil in the gas stream; the longevity of coalescing filters can be greatly improved when lubrication oil rates are set to the correct levels, preserving the life of the filters again, increasing the probability of an operation.

Excessive lubrication is equally damaging to reciprocating compressor sealing components. Increased oil lubrication can cause hydraulic locking of the packing case. This is where the packing rings do not have adequate side clearance and the rings overheat, extrude and ultimately fail. Another cause of over lubrication is valve stiction. Excessive oil causes the sealing elements to stick to the valve seat. The valve opening and closing events are delayed and increased pressure causes the valve to open and close with increased velocity, which in worst cases can cause the elements to break.

Compressor Products International (CPI) has introduced the Proflo EOS to specifically address these problems by optimizing the amount of oil that is injected into a reciprocating compressor. CPI acquired three leading compressor lubrication companies in 2010, and the Proflo EOS has been developed as a result of the knowledge and insight gained from these acquisitions.

The Proflo EOS replaces the manual adjuster on a conventional lubrication pump. It has the ability to automatically increase or decrease ...

Archive »Recent Articles

Cove Point LNG Export Project Approved

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has authorized Dominion to convert its Cove Point, Maryland, liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal on the Chesapeake Bay into a 5.75 million Tpy export facility.

GE Launches NovaLT16 Gas Turbine

GE has launched its 16.5 MW gas turbine (NovaLT16) for compression and power generation applications in the oil and gas industry.

Equations for Heavy Gases in Centrifugals

Belgium Refinery Orders GE Compressors

GE Oil & Gas will provide a variety of compressors for an off-gas expansion project as part of Total’s US$1.3 billion expansion of its Antwerp, Belgium, refinery complex.

GE's New Two-Shaft Gas Turbine