Lube and Seal System

The specification must recognize this very important auxiliary part of the compressor. API 614 is a very complete specification and should be used when applicable. When direct use is not applicable, it makes an excellent guide. The seal system in many cases is combined with the lube system. When separate, many of the seal system components are fundamentally the same, with some specifics, such as operating pressure and control, being unique. For those applications where the sealant is other than lubricating oil, the particular fluid will need discussion. The system basic components, on the other hand, will probably be quite similar. General items that must be considered include:

• Piping. Specify materials—stainless steel has numerous advantages. Specify welded construction and the minimum use of fitting. Tape-type thread lubricants should be avoided.

• Pumps. Specify the type and number of pumps required. Minimum is two full-size pumps.

• Driver. If steam is available, a common choice is a steam turbine driver for the main pump and an electric motor for standby. Some plants prefer two electric motor-driven pumps. Give the minimum steam condition. Give the expected voltage drop on the electric system if more than 10% is expected, especially on large systems.

• Accumulator. Required for multivalve steam turbine servo control.

• Filter. Specify twin filters with a non-interrupting transfer valve. Specify the degree of filtration (10 microns or lower, possibly even one micron in some applications).

• Cooler. Specify twin coolers with non-interrupting transfer valve. Specify materials of construction, utilities, and fouling factor.

• Resen'oir. Retention time should be 5-8 minutes. Stainless steel material is recommended.

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