Operational Tests


The most straightforward way of proof testing the equipment would be to reproduce site conditions completely. Under such conditions, the testing would easily establish if the compressor performance requirements are met and if the driver and support systems function as intended and are adequate for the purpose.

With large power installations of 40 to 50 thousand horsepower compressing flammable gases, this is not usually possible, and each individual item has to be separately tested. A typical situation could be a 40 thousand horsepower gas turbine driving multibody process gas compressors, where the engineering and manufacture involve one contractor and six sub-contractors located in the UK, U.S.A., Japan, and Indonesia. The difficulties of separately testing each sub-unit to ensure compatibility will be compounded by distance and culture.

Establishing the interface design parameters is easy enough, but forcing designers to establish acceptable tolerance on interface boundary conditions is difficult. Operating parameters need tolerance just as much as manufactured dimensions.

After acceptable design tolerances have been agreed to by all parties, then these become the basis for system design and unit acceptance criteria.

Testing, as a topic, is usually discussed after completion of design. It is not out of order on more complex equipment to perform a detailed review of test requirements prior to placing an order.

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