August 2012

Special Report: Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment

Case history: Improve refrigeration compressor performance

This case examines the mechanical distress and performance deterioration of a critical refrigeration compressor that was installed at a world-scale petrochemicals complex.

Ghaisas, N., Fluor Canada Ltd.

The presented case history discusses the analysis and investigation regarding the mechanical distress and performance deterioration of a critical refrigeration compressor installed in a world-class petrochemicals complex. History The compressor is a three-stage centrifugal machine driven by a 5,000-hp rated electric motor through a speed increasing gear. The compressed refrigerant gas exiting the compressor is condensed by an overhead air cooler. The condensed refrigerant enters a receiver and is then sent to a flash drum. Vapors from the flash drum are directed to the second-stage suction of the compressor through a side-load nozzle. The liquid refrigerant in the chiller (evaporator) ex

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