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Reciprocating Compressor Seals Partner Savings From Compressor Rod Packing

Reciprocating Compressor Seals Partner Savings From Compressor Rod Packing

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Reciprocating Compressor Seals Partner Savings From Compressor Rod Packing

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  1. Reciprocating Compressor Seals Partner Savings From Compressor Rod Packing Presented to 2005 EPA Star Conference - Midland June 8, 2005 Jim Rauh, Compressor Engineering Rick Loveless, Northern Natural Gas

  2. Engine and Compressor

  3. Discussion Points • Standard packing cases • How packing works • Impediments to proper sealing • Packing case leaks • Northern Natural case histories • Low Emission Packing (LEP) • Summary/Q and A

  4. Compressor Cylinder Cut Away

  5. Standard Packing Case

  6. Pressure Activates Packing

  7. Ways packing case can leak Nose gasket (no crush) Packing to rod (surface finish) Packing to cup (lapped surface) Packing to packing (dirt/lube) Cup to cup (out of tolerance) What makes packing leak? Dirt or foreign matter (trash) Worn rod (.0015”/per inch dia.) Insufficient/too much lubrication Packing cup out of tolerance (+.002”/-.000”) Improper break-in on startup Liquids (dilutes oil) Incorrect packing installed (backward or wrong type/style) Impediments to Proper Sealing

  8. Typical Packing Leak Paths

  9. Leakage Rates • Packing is designed to restrict leakage • Fugitive natural gas emissions result in significant loss of revenue/greenhouse gas • Average rod leak rate is .98 to 1.86 scfm (28-53 liters/minute) based on Pipeline Research Committee findings

  10. Northern Natural/CECO Historical Data on Units A/B • Monitored emission units are methane leakage in liters/minute for two locations • Testing is still in progress, current 3 months leak rate shows zero leakage • Unit A leakage as high as 301 liters/min • Unit B leakage as high as 105 liters/min

  11. NNG Unit A/B Leakage Rates

  12. NNG Packing Leakage Economic Replacement Point • Approximate packing replacement cost is $3000 per compressor rod (parts/labor) • Assuming gas at $5/MCF: 1CFM=28.316L • 50 liters per min/28.316=1.766 scfm • 1.766 x 1440min/day=2543 scf per day • 2543/1000=2.543 MCF • 2.543 x 365 days= 928MCF per year • 928 x $5MCF=$4640 per year leakage

  13. Here Is the Solution • Low emission packing (LEP) overcomes low pressure to prevent leakage. • The side load eliminates clearance and maintains positive seal on cup face. • LEP is a static seal, not a dynamic seal. No pressure is required to activate the packing. • This design works in existing packing case with limited to no modifications required.

  14. LEP Packing Configuration

  15. Orientation in Cup

  16. Reasons to Use LEP • Upgrade is very inexpensive. • Significant cost savings and reduction of greenhouse gas are major benefit. • Refining, petrochemical and air separation plants have used this design for many years to minimize fugitive emissions. • Should the natural gas industry follow suit?

  17. What’s in Your Packing Case? • Consult with operations to verify your current packing case configuration. • What are the current leak rates? • Typical LEP conversion is around $125 and with gas at $6 MSCF, packing case leakage should be identified and fixed. • Monitoring emissions reduces greenhouse gas release.

  18. Reduce Fugitive Emissions

  19. Summary • Packing is a dynamic seal designed to restrict leakage. • Verify your current leakage rate. • Low Emission Packing (LEP) is an inexpensive conversion to reduce fugitive emissions.

  20. Questions? Thank you!