Diagnostic Monitoring & On Board Diagnostics for Engine-Compressors: Needs & Opportunities
Unprecedented numbers of staff with compressor-engine specific expertise are retiring from the pipeline. Their fewer and younger replacements will be tasked with more responsibilities precluding development of compress-engine specific expertise. To maintain and improve reliability and reduce maintenance costs, better Diagnostic Monitoring (DM) tools are needed to fill the experience and expertise gap and assist the new workforce with troubleshooting and diagnosis. Concurrently, regulatory expectations are shifting from quantification, requiring CEMS or PEMS, to Green-light/Red-light automotive like On Board Diagnostics (OBD). These OBD approaches utilize already installed sensors and actuators to monitor and maintain emissions compliance and have supplanted costly extractive testing for automotive engines in many states. OBD could potentially offer similar benefits in the pipeline. Recognizing these challenges and opportunities, SCGC sponsored the PRCI funded ERLE 1d program to evaluate diagnostic approaches using current and emerging technologies to fill these gaps and exploit the regulatory opportunity. Under ERLE 1d, AETC investigated diagnostic approaches used in the automotive, flight engine and other industries. AETC also met with stakeholders, defined the most common modes of compressor engine failure and methods of detecting those failures. Based on these findings, the ERLE 1d team defined infrastructure requirements, system approaches and potential benefits for various monitoring strategies. This paper summarizes the findings and offers suggestions on moving forward with OBD and DM in the pipeline industry.