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Compressor Review: part two

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

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


FS-Elliott is a leading manufacturer of integrally geared, centrifugal air and gas compressors with sales, service, and manufacturing locations around the world. First introduced to the market over 50 years ago; its energy efficient machines incorporate the latest aerodynamic and control system technologies to ensure optimum performance.

FS-Elliott’s oil free, centrifugal compressors suit a broad range of applications, with models ranging from 250 hp to 5000 hp in two, three, and four stage configurations up to 350 psig (23.1 bar g). The company’s long established and globally recognised PAP Plus compressors are custom engineered to specific needs in addition to the stringent requirements of API 672. The Polaris+ line of compressors provides industry leading efficiency in a standard package.At the heart of every PAP Plus and Polaris+ compressor is the Regulus Control System. This advanced control system features a touch screen display that allows operators to efficiently manage the performance of one or multiple compressors at the unit or remotely, to meet air demands while maximising energy savings.

Recent downstream projects include a repeat order for two PAP Plus units for a petrochemical application, one Polaris+ unit supplied to a power plant to support an emissions upgrade project, and two PAP Plus units for a fertiliser plant, all located in the Americas. An ethane cracker in the Middle East chose FS-Elliott to build four PAP Plus units to supply instrument air to its operations and three PAP Plus units were purchased by an oil refinery in the Middle East for supplying instrument air.

For more information on FS-Elliott, please visit Booth 1339 this September at the 44th Turbomachinery Symposium in Houston, Texas.


HOERBIGER is active throughout the world as a leader in the fields of compression technology, drive technology and automation technology. The company brand is synonymous with performance defining components in compressors, industrial engines and turbines, automobile transmissions, and multifaceted mechanical engineering applications.

eHydroCOM system

Hoerbiger eHydroCOM is a fully electric, stepless capacity control system for reciprocating compressors. Compared to traditional control methods, such as simple bypass control, variable clearance pocket control, recirculation valves, or speed control, eHydroCOM lowers energy consumption by as much as 40%. The system is easy to install, calibrate, and operate, making it also suitable for retrofitting existing compressor equipment.


Hoerbiger TriVAX™ is the reengineered electrohydraulic solution for intelligent automated valve actuators made by Hoerbiger. This performance defining component reverses the trend of complex systems, without compromising safety. The smart partial stroke test (sPST), a new safety function, drastically reduces maintenance related plant downtime and extends maintenance intervals to five years. Hoerbiger TriVAX™ blends maximum safety standards with extremely simple installation and operation, and monitoring of all functions and remote maintenance from a central control station.


The Hoerbiger XP reciprocating compressor valve with new PowerPEEK™ material combines outstanding efficiency with high reliability, yielding previously unachieved operating times in process gas applications. The robust design meets the requirements of the larger cylinders, higher pressures, and the gas and piston velocities characteristic of modern reciprocating compressors designed with a maximum of two to four valves per cylinder end. The Hoerbiger XP valve with PowerPEEK™ technology keeps pace with the sharply increased loads found during variable operating conditions, without compromising energy savings, reliability, or flow control flexibility.


Conventional packings for compressor piston rods tend to suffer from latent gas leakage. The new sealing system Hoerbiger XperSEAL marks an innovative technological turning point. The zero leakage technology of Hoerbiger XperSEAL is based on a known principle: a pressurised volume of oil completely surrounds the reciprocating rod, forming an insurmountable barrier for the gas compressed in the compressor. This creates reliable, no leak sealing for the entire service life of a compressor. The radically new sealing system is fail safe, easy to retrofit in all existing compressor models, and requires no more oil than conventional lubricated packings.

Aftersales service

The Hoerbiger REE audit makes reciprocating compressor operators aware of the present performance level of their equipment and forms the basis for suggestions on how to boost the reliability, efficiency, and environmental compliance of entire compressor fleets. This Hoerbiger service offering is a new approach for operators of refineries, and oil, gas, and process industry plants.


Howden designs, engineers and installs air and gas handling equipment to meet the process critical demands of its customers. Howden has an extensive portfolio of compressor technologies with a wide spectrum of pressure and flow capacities. Having supplied around 60 000 compressors around the world, Howden is active in the design and engineering of centrifugal, reciprocating and screw compressors, and has introduced and developed many of the most significant advances in compressor technology for over a century.

Howden delivers the largest API 618 compressors covering H2 needs in refineries, and small and mid size compressor packages ensuring the continuous functioning of refinery extensions, upgrades, and petrochemical site processes. Howden's largest oil injected screw compressors provide upstream gas boosting for the world’s first coal bed methane (CBM) to an LNG project in Australia. The company’s centrifugal compressors are used in various applications in the oil refinery, chemistry and metallurgy industry. Peripheral compressors were recently integrated at an offshore site for gas drying applications and petrochemical sites.

Howden’s vast compressor portfolio includes API reciprocating piston compressors reaching 1.800 kN and diaphragm compressors up to 1.300 m3/h; API oil injected and oil free rotary twin screw compressors up to 5.000 KW; centrifugal compressors up to 480 000 m3/h; low speed peripheral compressors; turbo compressors; blowers; and multi stage centrifugal compressors. Howden’s advanced compressor technologies offer high volume compression solutions that are capable of handling particulates and corrosive gases, and its systems are custom designed to operate reliably in some of the most demanding operating environments where downtime is not an option.

The compressors are available as both complete packaged systems and as bare shaft compressors for packager customers. Howden specialises in turnkey solutions customised to every project with gas simulation programs. The heavy duty equipment is made to last, with the design safety margins required in oil and gas applications. Howden’s knowledge and references across the oil and gas industries allows it to help shape overall plant and facilities design from the FEED stage through to installation and beyond. The company has a global network of service centres offering fast and responsive local support for all types and makes of compressors.

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

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