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Protecting and Managing

API-618 Reciprocating Compressors

Best Practices

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API-618 Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without Notice (August 2006)

Proprietary notice the data contained herein is proprietary to Bently Nevada LLC and shall not be duplicated, used or disclosed in whole
or in part for any purpose, other than for which it was furnished, without the express written permission of Bently Nevada LLC.
Table of Contents

SECTION 1 - INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................3

SECTION 2 - PROTECTION / MANAGEMENT.........................................................................................4

SECTION 3 - TRANSDUCER SELECTION.................................................................................................5

SECTION 4 - DRIVERS ...............................................................................................................................6


Electric Motors...........................................................................................................................................................................6
Stator Temperature ..........................................................................................................................................................6
Bearing Temperature.......................................................................................................................................................7
Bearing Vibration (Rolling Element Bearings).......................................................................................................8
Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine..................................................................................................................9
Integral Engine ..........................................................................................................................................................................9
Turbine and Gearbox Driven...............................................................................................................................................9
SECTION 5 - CRANKSHAFT / CRANKCASE......................................................................................... 10
Multi-Event Keyphasor System ...................................................................................................................................10
Main Journal Bearing..........................................................................................................................................................11
Temperature......................................................................................................................................................................11
Frame..........................................................................................................................................................................................12
Vibration ..............................................................................................................................................................................12
SECTION 6 - CROSSHEAD ..................................................................................................................... 14
Vibration ..............................................................................................................................................................................14
Shoe Temperature..........................................................................................................................................................16
SECTION 7 - PRESSURE PACKING........................................................................................................ 17
Case Temperature..........................................................................................................................................................17
Vent Line Temperature.................................................................................................................................................18
SECTION 8 - PISTON AND ROD............................................................................................................ 19
Rod Position .......................................................................................................................................................................19
SECTION 9 - CYLINDER ......................................................................................................................... 21
Cylinder Pressure ............................................................................................................................................................21
Valve Temperature.........................................................................................................................................................23
Discharge Temperature...............................................................................................................................................25

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Section 1 - Introduction

This best practices document contains recommendations for the selection and installation of Bently
Nevada transducers, monitoring systems, and trending systems on API-618 reciprocating
compressors. These recommendations apply to both new machines and existing machines targeted
for retrofit installations.

API-618 style reciprocating compressors are typically found in refinery and petrochemical
applications. The compressors are typically slow speed (less than 600 RPM) and are handling
hazardous and flammable gases.

Continuous collection, trending and analysis of the cylinder pressure, vibration, rod position, and
temperature data using a machinery management system such as System 1 software is strongly
recommended. Use of these tools will maximize the ability to diagnose problems and analyze the
performance of reciprocating compressors.

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Section 2 - Protection / Management

API 618 Guidelines for basic machine protection are typically applied to critical process reciprocating
compressors. Machine protection specifics may vary from the API recommendations. The basic
machine protection found on these machines can also be provided thru the protection /
management system described herein for an integrated system approach.

API-618, 4th edition, June 95 ( Table 4 )


Condition Alarm Shutdown
High Gas discharge Temp for each Cylinder X X
Low Frame Lube-oil Pressure X X
Low Frame Lube-oil Level X -
Cylinder Lubricator System Failure X -
High Oil-Filter differential Pressure X -
High Frame Vibration - X
High level in Separator - X
Jacket Water System Failure - -
Note: X = When the condition occurs, Alarm or Shutdown as required
- = When the condition occurs, Alarm or Shutdown is not required

Beyond the standard instrumentation/protection package specified in API-618, these measurements


are recommended.

Protection Solution The recommended protection system for reciprocating compressors includes
the API-618 protection system with the addition of main bearing temperature, cylinder pressure and
crosshead accelerometers. See Cylinder, Crosshead and Crankshaft in the Transducer Selection
Section.

Management Solution The recommended management solution for reciprocating compressors


includes the recommended protection solution with the addition of System 1 trending and analysis
software, temperature monitoring on compressor valves and pressure packing, crosshead shoes
(slippers) and piston rod position. Figure 1 shows the placement of each transducer on a
reciprocating compressor. Each item is discussed in detail in the Transducer Selection section of the
document.

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Fully Instrumented Reciprocating Compressor

Section 3 - Transducer Selection

The following table summarizes the transducer selection for API-618 reciprocating compressors:

Component Monitoring Point Transducer

Electric Motor Stator Temperature RTD or Thermocouple


Bearing Temperature RTD or Thermocouple
Rolling Element Bearing Velomitor
Vibration

Crankcase Main Bearing Temperature RTD or Thermocouple


Crankshaft Position Keyphasor transducer/ Recip multi-
Reference event wheel
Frame Vibration Velomitor

Crosshead Machine Vibration Accelerometer


Shoe Temperature RTD or Thermocouple

Pressure Packing Case Temperature RTD or Thermocouple


Vent Line Temperature RTD or Thermocouple

Piston and Rod Rod Position Horizontal and Vertical Proximity Probes

Cylinder Internal Cylinder Pressure Pressure Transducer


Valve Temperature RTD or Thermocouple
Discharge Temperature RTD or Thermocouple

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Section 4 - Drivers

Electric Motors

Stator Temperature
Stator winding temperature is typically not a shutdown parameter; however this
is subject to NEMA/OEM recommendations or customer preference.

System Monitor Transducer


3500 3500/60 (No recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple
3500/61 RTD / Thermocouple
3500/65 (No recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple*
* - Only supports isolated (non-grounded) thermocouples

Benefits - Electric motor stator winding temperature can indicate problems related to the stator,
including unloaded balances between phases, low / improper line voltage, short circuit in windings,
and ground in winding.

Applications Can be used on both induction and synchronous motors.

Installation installation includes imbedding either a RTD or thermocouple into each winding.
Typically the OEM does this during manufacturing, but motors can be retrofitted.

Filtering 50 or 60Hertz line noise rejection on 3500/60 or 3500/61

Alarm / Shutdown In the absence of actual engineering data the recommended* initial alarm and
danger set points, starting with a maximum ambient of 104F (40C), are:

Insulation Class Alarm Shutdown


A 203F (95C) 221F (105C)
B** 248F (120C) 266F (130C)
F** 293F (145C) 311F (155C)
H 338F (170C) 356F (180C)
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions
**Most common classes for industrial duty motors

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Bearing Temperature
Bently Nevada strongly recommends that customers use bearing temperature as
a shutdown parameter.

System Monitor Transducer


3500 3500/60 (No recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple
3500/61 RTD / Thermocouple
3500/65 (No recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple*
* - Only supports isolated (non-grounded) thermocouples

Benefits -Electric motor main bearing temperature can indicate problems related to fluid-film and
rolling element bearings, including overload, bearing fatigue or insufficient lubrication. Measuring
temperatures at the main bearings and correlating them with other process variables can assist in
determining the overall condition of reciprocating compressor drivers.

Applications No known restrictions.

Installation - Main bearing caps may be drilled and tapped to accept temperature probes during the
manufacturing process. If not done during manufacture, the bearing caps can be removed and
drilled to accept the temperature probes.

Filtering 50 or 60Hertz line noise rejection on 3500/60 or 3500/61

Alarm / Shutdown In the absence of OEM recommendations or engineering data the


recommended* initial alarm and danger set points are:
Alarm: 180 oF (82C)
Danger: 200 oF (93C)
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Bearing Vibration (Rolling Element Bearings)
Bently Nevada strongly recommends that customers use bearing vibration as a
shutdown parameter.

System Monitor Transducer


3500 3500/70 190501 Velomitor CT
330500 Velomitor
3500/42 190501 Velomitor CT
330500 Velomitor

Benefits -Electric motor rolling element bearing vibration monitoring can indicate problems including
overload, inner race defects, outer race defects and cage defects. Measuring vibration at the motor
bearing(s) and correlating them with bearing temperature and lubricating fluid condition can assist in
determining the overall condition of reciprocating compressor driver.

System Description Bearing vibration detection system consists of two components: the
Velomitor Piezo-Velocity Sensor and the 3500/42M four channel monitor.

Applications For machines with rotational speeds below 500 RPM, the Velomitor CT should be
used. For application with rotational speeds greater than or equal to 500 RPM the standard
Velomitor should be applied.

Installation The Velomitor transducer is mounted to the bearing casing. At a minimum, one
should be installed in the horizontal direction. For large motors or critical applications two
orthogonal Velomitors provide early indication of bearing failure.

Bearing caps may be drilled and tapped to accept velocity transducers during the manufacturing
process, otherwise the bearing caps can be removed and drilled to accept the Velomitor.

Filtering Reference Rolling Element Bearing Methodology.

Alarm / Shutdown Reference Rolling Element Bearing Methodology.

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine
Reference Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine Best
Practices. For turbocharger Best Practices, reference the
Turbocharger Best Practices.

Integral Engine
The compressor cylinders, compressor valves, compressor piston,
piston rod, crosshead, compressor connecting rod and crankshaft
on these machines are covered in these Best Practices. For power
cylinder, power piston, power connecting rod and power cylinder
valve recommendations reference the Reciprocating Internal
Combustion Engine Best Practices. For turbocharger Best
Practices, reference the Turbocharger Best Practices.

Turbine and Gearbox Driven


Instrumentation requirements and recommendations for
gearboxes applied between turbomachinery and the reciprocating
compressor can be found in Gearbox Monitoring Methodology
document.

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Section 5 - Crankshaft / Crankcase

Multi-Event Keyphasor System


System Monitor Transducer
3500 3500/25 3300 8mm Proximity probe

The multi-event Keyphasor system is a special variation of the standard Keyphasor transducer
system that produces a voltage pulse for every 30 degrees of shaft rotation. The signal produced is
used by the 3500 compressor monitoring system as an accurate reference of crankshaft position.
The multi-event Keyphasor transducer is typically a proximity probe (recommended for permanent
installations in which the probe observes a physical gap).

Benefits Provides a reference signal based on every 30 degrees of crankshaft rotation in addition
to a once per turn event to establish a once per turn reference. Without the multi-event wheel,
piston ring leaks and valve leaks can be difficult to detect.

System Description The multi-event Keyphasor system is a special configuration of the standard
3500/25 monitors.

Applications The multi-event Keyphasor system is required for the cylinder pressure monitor,
3500/77M. The multi-event wheel is strongly recommended to attain the highest accuracy on the
cylinder pressure measurements and provide the most accurate pressure-volume (PV) curves

Installation The multi-event wheel is typically mounted to the shaft on the outboard end of the
driver within 6-12 (12-25cm) of the bearing. Drilling and tapping of the driver shaft is normally
required. The once per turn reference is normally aligned with the top-dead-center position of the
#1 cylinder. For those motors with no outboard bearing, a custom multi-event wheel must be
fabricated and installed within 6-12 (12-25cm) of the compressor main bearing.

Run-out of the multi-event wheel must be minimized to ensure accurate angular resolution. The
probe mounting bracket should be constructed and mounted to minimize relative movement
between the probe and the multi-event wheel that would be seen as vibration or run-out. The table
below provides angular uncertainty for total indicated run-out (8mm probe) and gap voltage (with
the probe at its nearest position).

Run-out Uncertainty Uncertainty


(Mils Pk-Pk) 8V gap (Degrees ) 12V gap (Degrees)
5 -0.13/+0.03 -0.15/+0.02
10 -0.26/+0.05 -0.34/+0.04
15 -0.42/+0.08 -0.56/+0.06
20 -0.60/+0.10 -0.85/+0.08
25 -0.82/+0.12 -1.29/+0.10

Filtering N/A

Alarm/Shutdown N/A

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Main Journal Bearing

Temperature

Bently Nevada strongly recommends that customers use bearing temperature as


a shutdown parameter.

System Monitor Transducer


3500 3500/60 (No recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple
3500/61 RTD / Thermocouple
3500/65 (No recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple*
* - Only supports isolated (non-grounded) thermocouples

Benefits - High crankshaft main bearing temperature can indicate problems related to fluid-film
bearings, including overload, bearing fatigue or insufficient lubrication. Measuring temperatures at
the main bearing and correlating them with other process variables can assist in determining the
overall condition of the compressor.

Applications No known restrictions.

Installation - Main bearing caps may be drilled and tapped to accept temperature probe during the
manufacturing process. If not during manufacture, the bearing caps can be removed and drilled to
accept the temperature probes after machine installation, during an overhaul or retrofit.

Filtering 50 or 60Hertz line noise rejection on 3500/60 or 3500/61.

Alarm / Danger In the absence of OEM recommendations or engineering data the recommended*
initial alarm and danger set points are:
Alarm: 180 oF (82C)
Danger: 200 oF (93C)
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Frame

Vibration
Bently Nevada strongly recommends that customers use frame vibration as a shutdown
parameter. It is a recommended shutdown parameter in API 618.

System Monitor Transducer


3500 3500/70M 190501 Velomitor CT2
2 For Operating Temperatures in Excess of 185F (85C), consult sales representative.

The cylinders on balanced-opposed compressors are physically offset, causing moments to be


generated on the crankshaft. The pressure forces across the machine can become unbalanced due
to process changes, valve unloading, or damaged valve assemblies. These forces are transmitted
through the bearing to the frame, resulting in crankcase vibration at one or two times machine
running speed. Frequencies 1X to 2X the machine speed occur on reciprocating compressors due to
their layout and all whole multiples of running speed due to gas forces. Excessive amplitudes at
these frequencies may indicate mechanical or operational problems. Velomitor piezo-velocity
sensors are ideal for detecting machinery problems on reciprocating compressors where rotation-
related vibration is transmitted to the compressor frame. Velomitor sensors eliminate the cross-
axis sensitivity problems inherent to moving coil velocity sensors. At the same time, they have a
better signal-to-noise ratio at the low running speed (frequency) of reciprocating machines when
compared to standard accelerometers.

Benefits -Typical operational problems that the Velomitor sensor and monitor can detect include:
Imbalance due to an unusual pressure differential or inertial imbalance.
Looseness in the foundation attachment (such as deteriorating grout or shims).
High moments caused by excessive rod load.

System Description - Frame vibration detection system consists of two components: the Velomitor
Piezo-Velocity sensor and the 3500/70M Recip Impulse/Velocity Monitor. The Velomitor sensor
employs an accelerometer with a piezoelectric crystal at its core along with a low noise amplifier
/integrator that provides an output in velocity units. The result is a small sensor with no moving
parts, integrated electronics, and a virtually unlimited lifespan. The transducer provides a vibration
signal in velocity units.

Applications - The Velomitor CT transducer is ideally suited for measuring casing vibration on
reciprocating compressors with a running speed down to 90 rpm. The monitor should use peak
readings and should not use the rms or integrate options since the low frequency response would
be affected by these selections.

Installation - The best locations to mount Velomitor transducers are on the crankshaft frame in the
horizontal axis between each pair of cylinders in-line with the main bearings. Mounting Velomitor
transducers level with the bearing split line is preferred, as it places them in the direct path of the
forces acting on the machine.

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Filtering When used in a system with accelerometers mounted above the crosshead, the high and
low pass filter corners should be set as close as possible to 1/2X and 20X, respectively. When the
system does not include accelerometers above the crosshead, the filter corners should be set to the
widest possible settings (3Hz to 30 kHz).

Alarm / Shutdown In the absence of OEM recommendations or engineering data the


recommended* initial alarm and danger set points are:
Alarm: 0.25 in/s peak (6 mm/s peak)
Danger: 0.5 in/s peak (12 mm/s peak)
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Section 6 - Crosshead

Vibration
Although not an API recommended shutdown parameter, Bently Nevada
recommends that customers use crosshead vibration as a shutdown parameter.

System Monitor Transducer


3500 3500/70M 330400 Accelerometer and
37439-01 Mounting Base

Placing accelerometers over each


crosshead provides the single best
method to detect machinery
problems due to impact-type
events. Impact-related events
characteristically cause free
vibrations and are typically due to
liquid ingestion into the cylinder or
mechanical problems such as
looseness in the crosshead and
piston assembly.

Acceleration can detect impact-


type machinery problems better than a velocity measurement due to the high frequency vibrations
created by impact events. Under normal conditions, the vibration level should be very small. As
impacts occur, the vibration level increases and the waveform will resemble the classic impact ring-
down response over each stroke, as shown in the figure. The large increase in amplitude should be
readily apparent from looking at an acceleration waveform generated by an impact.

Benefits - The benefits of monitoring free vibration using accelerometers include the ability to detect
the following mechanical faults:
Liquid ingestion into the cylinder.
Excessive crosshead clearance.
Loose or cracked nuts, bolts or pistons.
Excessive clearance in the crosshead pin bushing.
In addition to these mechanical faults, the crosshead accelerometer also includes the ability to
detect valve opening and valve closing events.

System Description - The 3500/70M Recip Impulse/Velocity Monitor is a 4-channel monitor that
accepts input from seismic transducers, conditions the signal to make various vibration
measurements, and compares the conditioned signals with user-programmable alarms. Channel
pairs of the 3500/70M can be configured for acceleration transducer inputs.

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Applications - The 330400 Accelerometer transducer is ideally suited for measuring free vibration
events on reciprocating compressors.

Installation - Install an accelerometer on each cylinder over the crosshead, distance piece or
cylinder to detect impact-type events. For best results with a single accelerometer per throw, install
the accelerometer directly above the crosshead in the vertical plane.

Filtering When used in conjunction with a case-mounted Velomitor transducer (see Frame
Section) and to protect against only mechanical faults, the filtering should be set between 3 Hertz
and 2 kHertz. Although not recommended, the low pass corner setting can be changed to 20 kHertz
to include protection for events with high frequency content such as valve failures.

If the accelerometer is the only monitoring or protection system then minimal filtering is
recommended.

Segmental Banding Six segmental vibration bands provide protection at discrete intervals during
the crankshaft revolution. In the absence of engineering data* initial bands should be configured as
Band 1 350 degrees start, 20 degrees duration (Trapped debris/liquid ingestion head end)
Band 2 170 degrees start, 20 degrees duration (Trapped debris/liquid ingestion crank end)
Band 3 - 185 degrees start, 25 degrees duration (Loose valve / Loose running gear)
Band 4 10 degrees start, 25 degrees duration (Loose valve / Loose running gear)
Band 5 and 6 spare, configured per customer request.

Alarm / Danger (3Hertz to 2kHertz Filtered) In the absence of OEM recommendations or


engineering data the recommended* initial alarm and danger set points are:
Alarm: 1.5 gs peak
Danger: 2.0 gs peak
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions

Alarm / Danger (3Hertz to 20kHertz Filtered) In the absence of OEM recommendations or


engineering data the recommended* initial alarm and danger set points are:
Alarm: 2.0 gs peak
Danger: 5.0 gs peak
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
Page 15 of 25
Shoe Temperature
Crosshead shoe temperature is typically not a shutdown parameter.

System Monitor Transducer


3500 3500/60 (No recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple
3500/61 RTD / Thermocouple
3500/65 (No recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple*
* - Only supports isolated (non-grounded) thermocouples

Benefits Crosshead shoe (slipper) temperature can indicate problems including overload,
fatigue, or insufficient lubrication.

Applications On reciprocating compressors there is an up running and a down running crosshead.


The up running side is on the left side of the machine when viewing from driver to driven equipment
with the machine turning in the clockwise direction. If the machine were turning in the counter
clockwise direction then the up running side would be on the right side of the machine. If only one
temperature probe is requested it should be placed on the active side (e.g. top on up running side
and bottom on down running side).

Installation An RTD or thermocouple may be mounted either on the bottom or top of the
crosshead guide. Precise machining of the crosshead guide is required to make the necessary
provisions for the temperature probes.

Filtering 50 or 60Hertz line noise rejection on 3500/60 or 3500/61.

Alarm / Danger In the absence of OEM recommendations or engineering data the recommended*
initial alarm and danger set points are:
Alarm: 180 oF (82C)
Danger: 200 oF (93C)
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Section 7 - Pressure Packing

Pressure packing prevents process gases from leaving the cylinder and entering the distance piece
and crankcase. With the increase in concern for the release of volatile organic compounds, packing
glands incorporating a nitrogen-purged cup have grown in popularity.

Case Temperature
Packing case temperature is not typically a shutdown parameter.

System Monitor Transducer


3500 3500/60 (No recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple
3500/61 RTD / Thermocouple
3500/65 (No recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple*
* - Only supports isolated (non-grounded) thermocouples

Benefits Pressure packing temperature can indicate problems related to the packing, including
excessive wear, insufficient cooling or insufficient lubrication.

Applications Applies to pressure-packing glands. For those glands not drilled for temperature, the
vent line temperature measurement can be applied.

Installation The RTD or thermocouple should be installed as close as possible to the packing.
Typically, provisions are made on the packing case flange to insert a temperature probe into the
case.

Filtering 50 or 60Hertz line noise rejection on 3500/60 or 3500/61.

Alarm / Danger In the absence of OEM recommendations or engineering data the recommended*
initial alarm and danger set points are:
Alarm: 180 oF (82C)
Danger: 200 oF (93C)
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
Page 17 of 25
Vent Line Temperature
Vent line temperature is not typically a shutdown parameter.

System Monitor Transducer


3500 3500/60 (No recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple
3500/61 RTD / Thermocouple
3500/65 (No recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple*
* - Only supports isolated (non-grounded) thermocouples

Benefits As the purge packing begins to leak from the atmospheric side, the leaking gas exits
through the packing vent line to flare. With the increase in process gas flow, the vent line becomes
hotter. For years, operators have used the subjective method of touching the line to see if gas is
leaking.

Applications The application of vent line temperature monitoring is well suited for all reciprocating
compressor applications.

Installation A RTD or thermocouple may be embedded or affixed on the packing case vent line. It
is important to have only one packing case vent line at each monitoring point to assure any leak will
cause a temperature change in the monitored vent line. The placement of the temperature probe
should be as close to the packing vent discharge as practical.

Filtering 50 or 60Hertz line noise rejection on 3500/60 or 3500/61.

Alarm / Danger In the absence of OEM recommendations or engineering data the recommended*
initial alarm and danger set points are:
Alarm: 140 oF (60C)
Danger: 160 oF (71C)
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
Page 18 of 25
Section 8 - Piston and Rod

Rod Position
Bently Nevada does not recommend that customers use rod position as a shut down
parameter.

System Monitor Transducer


3500 3500/72M 3300 11mm X & Y Proximity
Probes1
1 For piston rods with a diameter less than 3.0, consult sales representative.

The 3500/72M monitor is designed to measure the rod position from the geometric center of the
cylinder bore at the pressure packing case. Based on configuration data, a circular acceptance
region is defined. When the piston moves too close to the cylinder wall in any direction, as defined by
leaving the acceptance region, an alarm or danger signal is generated.

In some cases, although not recommended as a Best Practice, the 3500/72M Rod Position Monitor
may also be configured with a single probe to provide single rod position.

Benefits - The Bently Nevada Rod Position Monitoring System continuously monitors the crosshead
looseness, rod bow and rider band condition of each cylinder in a reciprocating compressor. The
monitor has the following features:
Continuous online indication of maximum magnitude and direction of rod movement along
with the crank angle at which the maximum occurs. This information points to the source of
movement enabling you to schedule maintenance to replace rider bands or repair the
crosshead only when required, maximizing the lifespan.
Alert and Danger alarm level indications warn of potential cylinder damage.

System Description - The 3500/72M monitor is a four-channel monitor providing rod position
measurements for two piston rods using an X-Y probe pair on each rod. The measurement is
primarily a machinery management tool. The monitor provides alarms on rod position and rod
position angle using data from the orthogonal probe pairs and position crank angle, peak to peak
amplitude, gap, 1X amplitude, 2X amplitude, and Not 1X amplitude measurements for each of the
horizontal and vertical probes.

Applications The 3500/72M monitor can be applied to any horizontal, vertical or V-shaped
reciprocating compressor greater than 600 horsepower. For compressors less than 600 horsepower,
consult sales representative.

Installation - X and Y proximity probes must be mounted in an orthogonal arrangement. The probes
should be mounted directly on the high-pressure packing gland. For single plane rod position
measurements, the preferred probe orientation is in the true vertical. A Keyphasor sensor is
required (see the Crankshaft/Crankcase section).

Monitor configuration requires the following user supplied parameters:


Proximity probe pair calibration data, physical mounting location and mounting angles
Cylinder bore diameter
Cylinder to bottom of piston clearance (rider band effective thickness)
Cylinder to top of piston clearance (piston to cylinder effective clearance)

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Piston Material
Piston rod length and diameter
Probe Position
Operating temperatures

Filtering N/A

Alarm / Danger - In the absence of OEM recommendations or engineering data the recommended*
initial alarm and danger set points are:

Rod Position Alarm and Danger Initial Setpoints*


Concentric Rider Bands Eccentric Rider Bands
(Piston Top Clearance > Piston Bottom Clearance) (Piston Top Clearance < Piston Bottom Clearance)
Position
(Piston Bottom Clearance) * 0.70 * (Probe Position (Piston Top Clearance) * 0.70 * (Probe Position /
Magnitude / Piston Rod Length) Piston Rod Length)
Alarm
Position
(Piston Bottom Clearance) * 0.85 * (Probe Position (Piston Top Clearance) * 0.85 * (Probe Position /
Magnitude / Piston Rod Length) Piston Rod Length)
Danger

Alarm/Danger Time Delay should be set for its maximum value of 3 seconds.
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
Page 20 of 25
Section 9 - Cylinder

Cylinder Pressure
Although not an API-618 recommended shutdown, Bently Nevada strongly
recommends that customers use rod reversal as a shut down parameter.

System Monitor Transducer


3500 3500/77 165855-XX Cylinder Pressure
Transducer

The 3500/77M Cylinder Pressure Monitor is a four-channel monitor with provisions for inputs from up
to four pressure transducers.

Benefits - The most effective method to determine the overall health of a reciprocating gas
compressor is through examination of the cylinder pressure profile. The cylinder pressure monitor
provides on-line access to the internal pressure for each cylinder on the compressor. This enables
continuous monitoring of rod reversal, peak compression rod load, peak tension rod load, cylinder
pressures and compression ratios. This provides valuable information on the condition of suction
valves, discharge valves, piston rings, packing glands, and crosshead pin.

The difference in calculating the forces for the crosshead pin and the connecting rod is the inertial
mass of the crosshead is used to calculate the forces on the crosshead pin. It is not used to calculate
the force on the piston rod.

The OEM should be consulted in order to decide whether to monitor either crosshead pin forces or
piston rod forces.

Note: If the piston rod is necked down where it is bolted to the crosshead making it the weakest part
of the running gear, then monitoring at the piston rod is better. If the crosshead yoke, crosshead pin
or small end of the connecting rod is more susceptible to breakage, then monitoring at the
crosshead pin is better. Typically, monitoring at the crosshead pin is the chosen point.

System Description Cylinder pressures are monitored through the use of permanently mounted
pressure transducers located on each chamber of the cylinder. The cylinder chamber pressure along
with crankshaft position is used for both continuous monitoring data and also performance data.
Separate alarm and danger set points can be set for each continuous monitored point.

Continuous monitoring data includes the following


Discharge pressure
Suction pressure
Maximum pressure for each crankshaft revolution
Minimum pressure for each crankshaft revolution
Compression ratio
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Peak rod load for both compression and tension
Number of degrees of rod reversal

With an interface to System 1 software, the following performance data is generated from the
cylinder pressure monitor data output:
Indicated horsepower
Capacity at suction conditions
Capacity at discharge conditions
Suction horsepower losses
Discharge horsepower losses
Indicated clearance
Flow balance of suction to discharge
Median capacity between suction and discharge capacity
Adiabatic flow balance between adiabatic discharge and suction
Power to median capacity
Displaced volume
Adiabatic discharge temperature

With an interface to System 1 software, the following software plots are generated from the
cylinder pressure monitor data output:
Pressure versus displaced volume (P-V Diagram)
Log pressure versus log volume (Log P Log V Diagram)
Combined rod load versus crank angle
Gas rod load versus crank angle
Pressure versus crank angle
Pressure versus time

Applications The 3500/77M monitor is applicable to all reciprocating gas compressors with either
single or double acting cylinders in either single or tandem arrangements.

Installation Pressure ports are required on each chamber of the cylinder. Refer to API 618, Section
2.6.4.6 (4th Edition), for cylinder pressure port requirements. Cylinder pressure transducers mount to
an isolation valve. Typically, this is a Kiene double block and bleed isolation valve that mounts on the
cylinder pressure ports. A multi-event Keyphasor transducer is strongly recommended (see multi-
event Keyphasor system). When retrofitting an existing cylinder without pressure ports, an
indicator ported suction valve assembly can be used to provide a cylinder pressure tap.

Filtering N/A

Alarm / Danger In the absence of OEM recommendations or engineering data the recommended*
initial alarm and danger set points are:
Rod Reversal (reference API paragraph 2.4)
Alarm: Less than 25 degrees of rod reversal
Danger: Less than 15 degrees of rod reversal
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions

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Valve Temperature
Valve temperature is not typically a shutdown parameter.

System Monitor Transducer


3500 3500/60 (no recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple
3500/61 RTD / Thermocouple
3500/65 (no recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple*
* - Only supports isolated (non-grounded) thermocouples

Suction and discharge valves are typically the highest maintenance items on a reciprocating
compressor. Faulty valves can significantly reduce the efficiency of the compressor. The
temperature monitor displays the temperatures of the compressor valves and can help manage your
valuable reciprocating equipment.

Benefits - The benefits of monitoring valve temperature monitor include the following:
Detect bad or damaged valves at an early stage. Bad valves can result in reduced capacity,
reduced efficiency, and damage to the cylinder liner due to valve parts falling into the
cylinder.
Determine if gas leakage is occurring between the head and crank ends of the piston due to
damaged or worn piston rings.

System Description- During normal process conditions, an increase in the gas temperature near a
valve is a primary indication of a failing valve. The temperature monitor provides early warning of
valve temperature changes and allows the operator to identify the bad valve(s).

Applications - By recompressing the same gas, a leaky valve becomes hotter than normal, causing
the valve cover plate temperature to increase. Since the normal operating temperature of each
valve varies with changes in load, gas stream and ambient temperature, it is necessary to compare
the temperatures of similar valves in the same process conditions. Measuring the differential
temperature between these valves provides an early and reliable indication of a degrading valve. If a
valve is unloaded, however, it may affect the temperature of that individual valve and can cause a
wide variation in temperature.

Leaking piston rings will cause the temperature of the entire cylinder to increase through the
reworking of gas between each side of the piston. Therefore, detecting changes in absolute valve
temperature is also important. If a temperature increase for all valves in the same cylinder is not due
to a process change or lubrication problem, it is most likely due to piston ring leakage. Both intake
and discharge valves at the head end and crank end will show an increase in temperature due to
piston ring leakage.

Installation The thermocouple or RTD should be placed as close to the valve as possible. However,
in most installations the temperature probe mounts on the valve cover.

With the new o-ring type valve cover, installation of the probe into the gas passage is possible. This
is accomplished by mounting a thermowell directly to the valve cover that enters the gas passage.
The thermowell should extend into the gas passage as far as possible allowing placement close to
the valve.

Under no circumstance should the valve jackbolt be altered in anyway without review and specific
recommendations from the OEM.
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Filtering 50 or 60Hertz line noise rejection on 3500/60 or 3500/61.

Indicated Temperature Alarm / Danger In the absence of OEM recommendations or engineering


data the recommended* initial alarm and danger set points are:
Alarm: 20 oF (11C) above normal suction or discharge temperature
Danger: 30 oF (17C) above normal suction or discharge temperature
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions

Temperature Relative to Group Alarm / Danger In the absence of OEM recommendations or


engineering data the recommended* initial alarm and danger set points are:
Alarm: 20 oF (11C) above other valves in same group
Danger: 30 oF (17C) above other valves in same group
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions

2006 Bently Nevada LLC API618-Reciprocating Compressor Best Practices Data Subject to Change without notice. August 2006
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Discharge Temperature
Bently Nevada strongly recommends that customers use discharge temperature
as a shutdown parameter. It is a recommended shutdown parameter in API 618.

System Monitor Transducer


3500 3500/60 (No recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple
3500/61 RTD / Thermocouple
3500/65 (no recorder output) RTD / Thermocouple*
* - Only supports isolated (non-grounded) thermocouples

Discharge temperature is one of the first parameters used to monitor the condition of reciprocating
compressors. Discharge temperature gives a good indication of overall cylinder health.

Benefits - Monitoring of discharge temperature can give an indication of worn valves, unloaders,
piston rings, inadequate lubrication, excessive compression ratio, or insufficient cooling water.

Applications Should be standard on all reciprocating compressors.

Installation The temperature sensor should be mounted in the discharge line as close as possible
to the cylinder. This is typically in the neck of the discharge nozzle.

Filtering 50 or 60Hertz line noise rejection on 3500/60 or 3500/61.

Alarm / Danger In the absence of OEM recommendations or engineering data the recommended*
initial alarm and danger set points are:
Alarm: 20 oF (11C) above normal maximum**
Shutdown: 30 oF (17C) above normal maximum**
*These should be adjusted based on actual operating conditions
**Not to exceed OEM recommended operating limits

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