Performance Analysis of Reciprocating Compressors and Engines

Performance analysis is employed in several Company locations as one of several available methods of predictive maintenance. Performance analysis is a program involving several elements, which can include:

• Analysis of power-cylinder pressure versus time,
• Analysis of compressor-cylinder pressure versus time, or volume,
• Analysis of vibration caused by mechanical events,
• Analysis of computed values, such as horsepower, and/or
• Analysis of power-cylinder ignition.

The concept of predictive maintenance is being successfully used throughout the industry to reduce maintenance expense. The essential philosophy behind a predictive maintenance program is a concentrated effort to gather pertinent data on a periodic basis. Data acquisition is covered later on in this section.

The advantages of a predictive maintenance program include:

• Elimination of catastrophic damage, thereby avoiding very high expense.
• Avoiding equipment (and plant) downtime.
• Performing only necessary maintenance.
• Avoiding disassembly of healthy machinery (periodic “overhauls,” for example) and exposing it to risks of maintenance errors.
• Allowing reliable machinery to continue operation.
• Optimizing fuel consumption.

The following is information summarized from two programs: one at a producing facility, the other at a large refinery.

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