January 2004

Rotating Equipment/Reliability

How piston ring design affects dry-running hydrogen compressor capacity

Tests reveal the best choices

Feistel, N., Burckhardt Compression AG

To achieve the highest possible volumetric efficiency during oil-free compression of hydrogen, it is necessary to maximize performance of the dry-running sealing systems. Compression of small and medium flowrates to high pressures, as required for filling gas bottles and for process gas compression in the chemical industry, is especially critical. Due to the very small piston diameters typically involved in the final stages, the covering of the sealing element joints plays a significant role. Results of tests conducted with a variety of piston ring designs in a dry-running crosshead compressor are used to reveal the most important differences and related consequences for hydrogen capac

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