Engine Tuning, Not Balance, is the Key to Performance: the âCOVâ Method
To ensure that reciprocating units are maintained at maximum efficiency and availability, proper power cylinder tuning, not a one-dimensional (1D) balance, holds the key to power cylinder performance and reliability. Engine balance is a term used throughout our industry to describe a state-of-tuning for reciprocating engines. This tuning standard has been established by the equipment OEMs and further enhanced by the advent of the new electronic engine analyzing products. However, if one desires to maintain their equipment to these standards (as a minimum) plus insure engine integrity, superior performance, personnel safety, and customer satisfaction through the reliable delivery of gas, additional steps need to be taken. A one-dimensional approach to engine performance is not adequate. This paper will discuss the various 1D approaches and show by example the benefits to be gained by tuning the power cylinders as a whole rather than a stand-alone entity. The author will discuss peak pressure, temperature, standard deviation, peak angle, and COV (coefficient of variance). This paper will demonstrate why the 1D approaches don't work and can, in fact, be very harmful to the unit as a system. A software program for the calculation of COV will be available to each attendee.