Shop Performance Test

To provide further assurance of compressor field performance, as specified, shop performance testing is an option for the user. A shop performance test may further be indispensable because of one or more of the following situations:

• To assure attainment of specified performance before actual installation.

• To be able to find and correct performance deficiencies quickly and effectively without production loss at the site.

• To be able to check guaranteed performance without the fouling effects caused by foreign material or impurities in actual duty gas.

• To be able to test according to accepted test codes which may be impractical or impossible at the site.

• To be able to log simultaneous readings in the shop, after stabilization is reached, of all points to evaluate correct performance.

Open-loop testing with air or with the specified gas is relatively straightforward, but there are difficulties in carrying out closed-loop tests with equivalent gases.

Selection of the test gas is an important consideration and the requirement for accurate mixture control and availability of reliable thermodynamic data really narrows the choice to industrial gases freely available in the market, for example, R22, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. When compressors are designed for low molecular weight gases, helium nitrogen mixtures may have to be used. When mixed gases are used, the gas should be bought premixed and certified in gas bottles ready for charging the loop, or mixed in a separate monitored mixing chamber whenever possible. This precludes problems with stratification which can occur if the gases are mixed directly in the loop.

In order to maintain gas purity, it is desirable to select a positive suction pressure in order to minimize air leakage into the loop. Apart from the need to minimize inlet density and, hence, test power, the selection of test inlet pressure is a matter of convenience.

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