A Practical Guide to Compressor Technology / Edition 2

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A Complete overview of theory, selection, design, operation, and maintenance

This text offers a thorough overview of the operating characteristics, efficiencies, design features, troubleshooting, and maintenance of dynamic and positive displacement process gas compressors. The author examines a wide spectrum of compressors used in heavy process industries, with an emphasis on improving reliability and avoiding failure. Readers learn both the theory underlying compressors as well as the myriad day-to-day practical issues and challenges that chemical engineers and plant operation personnel must address.

The text features:

  • Latest design and manufacturing details of dynamic and positive displacement process gas compressors
  • Examination of the full range of machines available for the heavy process industries
  • Thorough presentation of the arrangements, material composition, and basic laws governing the design of all important process gas compressors
  • Guidance on selecting optimum compressor configurations, controls, components, and auxiliaries to maximize reliability
  • Monitoring and performance analysis for optimal machinery condition
  • Systematic methods to avoid failure through the application of field-tested reliability enhancement concepts
  • Fluid instability and externally pressurized bearings
  • Reliability-driven asset management strategies for compressors
  • Upstream separator and filter issues

The text's structure is carefully designed to build knowledge and skills by starting with key principles and then moving to more advanced material. Hundreds of photos depicting various types of compressors, components, and processes are provided throughout.

Compressors often represent a multi-million dollar investment for such applications as petrochemical processing and refining, refrigeration, pipeline transport, and turbochargers and superchargers for internal combustion engines. This text enables the broad range of engineers and plant managers who work with these compressors to make the most of the investment by leading them to the best decisions for selecting, operating, upgrading, maintaining, and troubleshooting.

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Editorial Reviews

Advises mechanical engineers and plant operations personnel on selecting, operating, and maintaining compression equipment used in the processing of raw material into refined products. Compiling information from a wide range of equipment suppliers, discusses the design and manufacturing details incorporated in positive displacement and dynamic compressors made in the US and Europe; the types of compressors available for the heavy process industries; the arrangements, material composition, and basic laws governing compressor design; and configurations, controls, components and auxiliaries. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471727934
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/11/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 590
  • Product dimensions: 7.28 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

HEINZ P. BLOCH, MS, is a Consulting Engineer. Previously, Mr. Bloch held the position of regional machinery specialist for the United States at Exxon Chemical. He has authored seventeen books and more than 330 papers and articles and conducted more than 500 technical courses on such issues as practical machinery management, failure analysis and avoidance, turbomachinery, oil mist lubrication, and practical lubrication for industrial facilities.

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Table of Contents




1 Theory.

1.1 Symbols.

1.2 How a Compressor Works.

1.3 First Law of Thermodynamics.

1.4 Second Law of Thermodynamics.

1.5 Ideal or Perfect Gas Laws.

11.6 Vapor Pressure.

1.7 Gas and Vapor.

1.8 Partial Pressures.

1.9 Critical Conditions.

1.10 Compressibility.

1.11 Generalized Compressibility Charts.

1.12 Gas Mixtures.

1.13 The Mole.

1.14 Specific Volume and Density.

1.15 Volume Percent of Constituents.

1.16 Molecular Weight of a Mixture.

1.17 Specific Gravity and Partial Pressure.

1.18 Ratio of Specific Heats.

1.19 Pseudo-critical Conditions and Compressibility.

1.20 Weight-Basis Items.

1.21 Compression Cycles.

1.22 Power Requirement.

1.23 Compressibility Correction.

1.24 Multiple Staging.

1.25 Volume References.

1.26 Cylinder Clearance and Volumetric Efficiency.

1.27 Cylinder Clearance and Compression Efficiency.


2 Reciprocating Process Compressor Design Overview.

2.1 Crankshaft Design.

2.2 Bearings and Lubrication Systems.

2.3 Connecting Rods.

2.4 Crossheads.

2.5 Frames and Cylinders.

2.6 Cooling Provisions.

2.7 Pistons.

2.8 Piston and Rider Rings.

2.9 Valves.

2.10 Piston Rods.

2.11 Packings.

2.12 Cylinder Lubrication.

2.13 Distance Pieces.

2.14 Reciprocating Compressor Modernization.

3 Reciprocating Compressor Performance and Monitoring Considerations.

3.1 Capacity Control.

3.2 More About Cylinder Jacket Cooling and Heating Arrangements.

3.3 Comparing Lubricated and Nonlubricated Conventional Cylinder Construction.

3.4 Compressor Vent and Buffer Systems.

3.5 Compressor Instrumentation.

3.6 Condition Monitoring of Reciprocating Compressors.


4 Labyrinth Piston Compressors.

4.1 Main Design Features.

4.2 Energy Consumption.

4.3 Sealing Problems.

5 Hypercompressors.

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 Cylinders and Piston Seals.

5.3 Cylinder Heads and Valves.

5.4 Drive Mechanism.

5.5 Miscellaneous Problems.

5.6 Conclusions.

6 Metal Diaphragm Compressors.

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Terminology.

6.3 Description.

7 Lobe and Sliding Vane Compressors.

8 Liquid Ring Compressors.

9 Rotary Screw Compressors and Filter Separators.

9.1 Twin-Screw Machines.

9.2 Oil-Flooded Single-Screw Compressors.

9.3 Selecting Modern Reverse-Flow Filter-Separator Technology.

10 Reciprocating Compressor Performance and Sizing Fundamentals.

10.1 Theoretical Maximum Capacity.

10.2 Capacity Losses.

10.3 Valve Preload.

10.4 Valve and Gas Passage Throttling.

10.5 Piston Ring Leakage.

10.6 Packing Leakage.

10.7 Discharge Valve Leakage.

10.8 Suction Valve Leakage.

10.9 Heating Effects.

10.10 Pulsation Effects.

10.11 Horsepower.

10.12 Horsepower Adders.

10.13 Gas Properties.

10.14 Alternative Equations of State.

10.15 Condensation.

10.16 Frame Loads.

10.17 Compressor Displacement and Clearance.

10.18 Staging.

10.19 Fundamentals of Sizing.

10.20 Sizing Examples.


11 Simplified Equations for Determining the Performance of  Dynamic Compressors.

11.1 Nonoverloading Characteristics of Centrifugal Compressors.

11.2 Stability.

11.3 Speed Change.

11.4 Compressor Drive.

11.5 Calculations.

12 Design Considerations and Manufacturing Techniques.

12.1 Axially vs. Radially Split.

12.2 Tightness.

12.3 Material Stress.

12.4 Nozzle Location and Maintenance.

12.5 Design Overview.

12.6 Bearing Configurations.

12.7 Casing Design Criteria.

12.8 Casing Manufacturing Techniques.

12.9 Stage Design Considerations.

12.10 Impeller Manufacturing Techniques.

12.11 Rotor Dynamic Considerations.

12.12 Fouling Considerations and Coatings.

13 Advanced Sealing and Bearing Systems.

13.1 Background.

13.2 Dry Seals.

13.3 Magnetic Bearings.

13.4 Development Efforts.

13.4.1 Thrust-Reducing Seals.

13.5 Integrated Designs.

13.6 Fluid-Induced Instability and Externally Pressurized Bearings.


Suggested Reading.

14 Couplings, Torque Transmission, and Torque Sensing.

14.1 Coupling Overview.

14.2 Coupling Retrofits and Upgrades.

14.3 Performance Optimization Through Torque Monitoring.

15 Lubrication, Sealing, and Control Oil Systems for Turbomachinery.

15.1 Considerations Common to All Systems.

15.2 Seal Oil Considerations.

16 Compressor Control.

16.1 Introduction.

16.2 Control System Objectives.

16.3 Compressor Maps.

16.4 Performance Control.

16.5 Performance Limitations.

16.6 Preventing Surge.

16.7 Loop Decoupling.

16.8 Conclusions.


17 Head-Flow Curve Shape of Centrifugal Compressors.

17.1 Compressor Stage.

17.2 Elements of the Characteristic Shape.

17.3 Conclusions.

18 Use of Multiple-Inlet Compressors.

18.1 Critical Selection Criteria.

18.2 Design of a Sideload Compressor.

18.3 Testing.

19 Compressor Performance Testing.

19.1 Performance Testing of New Compressors.

19.2 Shop Testing and Types of Tests.

19.3 Field Testing.

19.4 Predicting Compressor Performance at Other Than As-Designed Conditions.


20 Procurement, Audit, and Asset Management Decisions.

20.1 Incentives to Buy from Knowledgeable and Cooperative Compressor Vendors.

20.2 Industry Standards and Their Purpose.

20.3 Disadvantages of Cheap Process Compressors.

20.4 Audits vs. Reviews.

20.5 Auditing and Reviewing Compressors.

20.6 Compressor Inspection: Extension of the Audit Effort.

20.7 Compressor Installation Specifications.

Special-Purpose Machinery.


21 Reliability-Driven Asset Management Strategies.

21.1 Strategy for Reciprocating Compressors.

21.2 Achieving Compressor Asset Optimization.






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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2013

    An extremely valuable text. It acquaints the reader with process

    An extremely valuable text. It acquaints the reader with process compressor technologies that can optimize a process plant's profitability. Profitability is influenced by selection strategies that pay attention to pre-purchase activities, equipment energy efficiency, maintenance frequency, machine reliability and many other factors. This is a practical book, written and compiled by an expert in the field.

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