Diagnostic Methods for Condition Monitoring of Reciprocating Compressors
Reciprocating compressors operate efficiently under a variety of conditions, which often gives them the edge over competing compressor types. In the past, however, exhaustive maintenance procedures have pushed up servicing costs. This drawback can be largely removed by using condition-based maintenance methods. In the course of the condition monitoring, it is also possible to recognize faults at an early stage using various diagnostic procedures. In this way, the overall availability of the entire plant, as required by operators, can be greatly increased. The condition monitoring process is based on information about temperatures, pressure levels, flow rates, vibrations and direct and indirect wear parameters as quasistatic or dynamic signals, which are metrologically recorded and used for evaluation. Other examination methods for condition monitoring include abrasion particle analysis. This paper describes the various possibilities of the diagnostic procedure in question specifically for reciprocating compressors. By assessing a range of pros and cons, the paper presents decision-making aids, depending on the priority of the marginal conditions, to enable the operator to put together effective online or offline condition monitoring systems in the style of the PROGNOST-NT tele-monitoring system.