Dry gas seal failures permanently eliminated

RoTechBooster helps to guarantee uninterrupted gas transportation.

KeyVisual_CaseStudy_RoTechBooster_compressor-station_2107
SITUATION:

One compressor in the network of an North America gas provider was having challenges to meet the required uptime. Several seal failures had occurred which led to a gas supply interruption. On top of this the seal failures were costly due to seal repairs, manpower and consequential compressor damages.

CHALLENGE:

Process gas contamination frequently caused dry gas seal failures with unplanned, costly compressor shutdowns. 

SOLUTION:

Consulting engineering, and implementation of a reliable seal gas supply during all conditions.

A major natural gas provider in North America was experiencing frequent dry gas seal failures on one of their pipeline compressors. This interrupted gas transportation, causing challenges to meet customer demands, along with unplanned and costly maintenance.

The pipeline company builds and operates, safe and reliable energy infrastructure, which includes a 93,300 km (57,900 miles) natural gas pipeline network. This network provides more than 25% of the clean-burning natural gas consumed daily across North America for heating homes, fueling industries, and generating power.

One compressor in the network was having challenges to meet the required uptime. Several seal failures had occurred which led to a gas supply interruption. On top of this the seal failures were costly due to seal repairs, manpower and consequential compressor damages.

Two concerns identified

Assessing the situation there were two concerns identified by the user: One was the seal gas supply loss during pressurization and standby operation. The second concern was the high contamination content in the seal gas, which was overburdening the existing seal gas filters. 

Sound expertise required

In search of a solution, the pipeline company‘s technicians turned to EagleBurgmann’s compressor sealing experts. After jointly researching and investigating the causes, it was decided to implement the RoTechBooster, an electrically driven seal gas booster to remedy the situation. A proven seal gas booster that keeps dry gas seals reliably clean not only during standby conditions, but any time insufficient seal gas flow occurs. The rotating design includes the ability to maintain an unlimited pressurized hold.

A suitable RoTechBooster model was selected according to the prevailing operating conditions. The high seal gas contaminant content was managed with a coalescer filter with the additional of a cyclone to remove most of the debris and liquids. This allowed the coalescing filter to manage the remaining fine debris and aerosols more effectively.

A skid was designed with these requirements in mind for delivering the most effective solution. As the seal gas system incorporated fixed orifices for controlling seal gas flow during normal operation, they produced too much restriction for the RoTechBooster to deliver sufficient seal gas flow when operating. The RoTechBooster system was designed to bypass these orifices to ensure sufficient seal gas supply (6 AM3/H) to the seals. The system was designed for the required conditions and manufactured by EagleBurgmann.

In June of 2019 the RoTechBooster with the additional filtration was installed at the site. As there was no major restriction in the seal flow path (fixed orifices bypassed) when the RoTechBooster was operating, the flow produced was 10 Am3/h. The flow was manageable by the filters and the additional consistent flow provided increased assurance the dry gas seals weren’t exposed to dirty process gas.

Advantages of RoTechBoosters

The RoTechBooster ensures abundant, reliable, and consistent seal gas flow, through fluctuating operating conditions; thus, clean and dry gas is supplied to the gas seal in every situation.

  • Simple to set-up, easy to operate
  • High reliability and availability
  • Unlimited continuous operation
  • Avoid seal failures
  • Low maintenance costs
  • Energy efficient
  • Eliminates the concern of unreliable external seal gas source

 

Result

After 2 years of compressor operation, numerous stops and starts and over 5,000 RoTechBooster operating hours no change in seal leakage has occurred, indicating the dry gas seals are contamination free.

The seal gas filter inspection verified they were in excellent condition, which is a big difference from inspections previous to the RoTechBooster skid installation. All pipeline contaminants were effectively being removed with the cyclone added to the filtration system.

RoTechBooster for pipeline compressor station

RoTechBooster helps to guarantee uninterrupted gas transportation in North America.

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