System Review

In the course of obtaining a new lube system, or when revising an existing one, there is a point in the design when the overall system should be reviewed. With a lube system, in particular, it is very easy to get totally engrossed in the individual parts and forget the functioning of the parts together. The possibility of an accumulator overriding the standby pump start function was previously discussed as an example of this problem. The system should be reviewed keeping the basic compressor operating parameters in mind at all times. The startup function should be reviewed in a systematic manner, from the time the pump is initially started to the time the overhead tanks automatically fill. From startup, the review should look at the running operations and the steady state conditions of each item. Some questions that should be answered include: Is the accumulator charged with oil? Did it charge properly to the desired gas pressure? Is the standby pump interlocked to prevent it from cycling if the main pump drops off the line? After looking at the possible upsets that could occur during normal operation, shutdown should be reviewed. If there are seals, do the pressures appear to track the process pressure, particularly if this pressure rises on shutdown? Is there enough power in the driver to take the additional head? Do the valves sequence properly? Are the valves properly sized for each step? This is a sample of the questions that might be reviewed, and not intended to be a comprehensive list. The review should be tailored to the system being considered and the length of the list should reflect the complexity. The review of existing systems for operational improvement can also be considered.

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