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Compressor Review: part one

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Hydrocarbon Engineering provides an overview of the most advanced compressor technologies available in the downstream processing industry.

Burckhardt Compression

Burckhardt Compression is one of the worldwide market leaders in the field of reciprocating compressors and the only manufacturer that covers a complete range of reciprocating compressor technologies. Its customised compressor systems are used in the upstream oil and gas, gas transport and storage, refinery, chemical, petrochemical and industrial gas sectors. Burckhardt Compression’s leading technology, high quality compressor components and full range of services help customers to minimise the life cycle costs of their reciprocating compressor systems around the world. Since 1844 its highly skilled workforce has crafted superior solutions and set the benchmark in the gas compression industry.

Customers choice

Hyper Compressors are high pressure reciprocating compressors for LDPE plants with discharge pressures up to 3500 bara (50 000 psia). Burckhardt Compression, as a market leader, has an outstanding experience of over 60 years in manufacturing Hyper Compressors. They excel with a long lifetime and highest safety standards thanks to their unique design features.

Process Gas Compressors are designed for a maximum rod load of 1500 kN (335 000 lbs) and a power up to 31 000 kW (42 100 hp) and represent highest availability and a long meantime between overhaul, also thanks to in house engineered and manufactured high quality compressor components and valves. Practice oriented design principles result in easy maintenance work and short downtime for overhauls.

Laby® compressors

The Laby® has a unique labyrinth sealing system on piston and piston rod gland that allows oil free and contactless compression. Therefore the Laby® is insensitive to particles and contaminated gases and the perfect solution for these applications. The gastight design reduces gas emission and losses to the environment to zero.

High quality components and services

As an OEM with more than 170 years of experience and a clear focus on reciprocating compressors, Burckhardt offers its customers reliable, in house developed compressor components and the full range of services. To ensure utmost reliability, performance and maximum cost benefit, the company assists its customers throughout the entire lifecycle of a reciprocating compressor, regardless ofbrand.

Compressor Controls Corporation

Compressor Controls Corporation (CCC) has over 40 years of expertise dedicated to protecting customers’ critical machinery while at the same time achieving optimal performance. As CCC has grown, so have the offerings and capabilities to encompass a larger group that includes Trinity, SETPOINT and UCG. Together, the group provides complete ‘flange to flange’ advanced rotating and reciprocating machinery controls, optimisation and protection solutions.By combining this unique portfolio of capabilities, the CCC Group delivers unmatched and tangible value:

  • Project execution can be reduced up to 80% with iDefine® project automation software.
  • On time and error free commissioning service, backed by 180+ turbomachinery engineers located near CCC’s customer base.
  • Seamless DCS integration providing operators with native display and functionality.
  • Reduced unplanned shutdowns with SETPOINT™ Online condition monitoring systems in the OSISoft PI historian.
  • Increased process reliability and throughput with Prodigy® compressor control technology.
  • Advanced reciprocating engine and compressor control and monitoring systems in a variety of oil and gas applications.
  • When CCC identifies an opportunity to save a company energy costs, it guarantees it designed specific for a plant.
  • Flexible training is offered to meet customers specific needs from onsite hands on to interactive online courses.

Recently, CCC implemented a mechanical retrofit for a refining customer that was experiencing large swings in the speed control of its steam turbine (100 – 200 rpm). The speed was unstable due to a poor performing steam turbine actuation system. The sticking actuation could not achieve the setpoint target and had caused a process trip of the main air blower. Implementing a complete retrofit provided the following benefits:

  • Improved speed control with high responsive electro hydraulic actuation.
  • Reduced insurance rates for the turbine deck by derating the risk of fire through the removal of existing oil supply.
  • Automatic startup sequencing and load sharing features of the CCC control system could now be utilised.

The customer was very pleased with the improved performance of the machine. The financial effect of avoiding a single 20 minute turbine trip more than covered the cost of the retrofit and commissioning.


Elliott Group delivers state of the art gas compression performance in a diverse range of hydrocarbon markets including oil and gas production, petroleum refining, petrochemical processing, cryogenic refrigeration (LNG) and other industrial processes. Elliott designs, manufactures and services a full line of centrifugal and axial compressors in a variety of configurations designed to meet mechanical considerations and process demands. In addition, Elliott maintains a global network of service centres and regionally stationed field service crews, supported by engineering and manufacturing facilities in the US and Japan to provide responsive, technical expertise close at hand to its customers.

Elliott Group’s commitment to continuous product improvement is demonstrated by recent stage development testing for low volume applications up to 10 000 psi. The testing resulted in increased head per stage performance for use in applications such as gas reinjection and CO2 sequestration. Sensitivity testing and analysis of eye seal configurations has improved Elliott’s understanding of eye seal leakage on low flow rate stage performance. These discoveries are driving improvements in the body of knowledge that Elliott uses to deliver excellence and reliability to customers.

Elliott has recently introduced a high speed, high efficiency, multivalve steam turbine that serves as a direct driver for compressors in oil and gas related services, substantially reducing the amount of mineral oil, cooling water and steam required for high efficiency operation. The multistage turbine’s high speed capabilities allow for smaller compressor frame sizes with fewer compression stages for a smaller overall footprint. At typical operating pressures and temperatures, the turbine’s efficiency is greater than 80%.

Elliott continues to see significant success with strategic customer alliances structured to increase customer value in Elliott and non-Elliott critical rotating equipment investments. Through structured service and technical support agreements, Elliott has the ability to assess and benchmark gaps in a customer’s current practices against the better practices that Elliott has helped to enable. Historical issues are addressed through statistical analysis and lean techniques, generating structured improvements to eliminate emergency events. Integrated service teams develop and execute outage plans and provide for improved health and safety, and on time performance. Training and monitoring programs ensure operational discipline within the customer’s organisation to maintain the gains achieved.

An extract from the Compressor Review, which featured in the August 2015 issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering.

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