Installation and Startup Commissioning the Compressor

Ideally the compressor can be placed on the foundation, aligned, grouted, and piping connected. Shortly thereafter, the unit can be started. Most of the time there are lags between the various steps. User carelessness here can delay ultimate startup and may mar what otherwise might have been a very successful installation.

At the installation, alignment between the various elements should be made prior to grouting, primarily to ensure that all parts will align when the predrilled holes are used. Once successful, the unit can be grouted and given a second alignment. The couplings should not be made up until the piping is brought into place. Indicators should be used at the shaft to verify that the alignment didn't change by more than .002 inch in any plane as the piping flanges are made up.

Once done, the couplings can be put in place and the compressor readied for startup. When the piping is in place, lubrication, seal supplies and all utilities are complete, the compressor can be run. Alignment should be monitored, as the temperatures rise to the operating level. There are several methods used to determine alignment changes. The changes should be noted and alignment corrected as required.

If time and circumstances permit, data should be recorded when the compressor is run on process gas to establish a new base reference point. During operation, all monitoring equipment should be observed to establish a signature of vibration and temperature, and to be sure these data are all within permissible limits.

Each installation will have a series of startup checks that should be made prior to going into operation. These will vary for each compressor. A little extra time to record the overall compressor operation will be valuable if problems arise.

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