Industrial Maintenance for Compressor StationsAugust 3, 2016
Transporting natural gas via pipelines is very safe and cost-efficient. However, in order for the transportation process to work properly it is imperative that the natural gas be kept at the correct pressure. To accomplish this compressor stations are needed at regular intervals. Let’s take a look at some key components of compressor stations as well as industrial maintenance needs.
The Components of Compressor StationsCompressor stations are outposts placed at various regular points along a natural gas pipeline that house the equipment needed to main the proper pressure gradient needed to ensure delivery. The primary component of any such station is the actual compressor unit. While the compressor unit is the mechanism through which gas is compressed to its optimal traveling psi level, the entire system is supported by a network of ancillary components that help treat the gas itself to facilitate its delivery.
- Filters and Scrubbers - Chief among these are the filters and scrubbers used to remove any impurities that accumulate or form in the gas during its transport through the pipeline. Such impurities may consist of dirt, particulates, hydrocarbons, and even water. These elements are separated from the gas and then dealt with as desired by the provider.
- Cooling Systems - Along with filters and scrubbers, cooling systems are required to help prevent damage to the pipeline as grass travels through it. The actual compression process releases energy, which manifests in the form of heat, which then raises the internal temperature inside the line. The heated gas is then forced through the cooling system, thus offsetting the heat and returning the gas to a safe temperature. Mufflers are also placed at certain operation points around a compressor station, helping to reduce equipment noise.
- Reciprocating engine compressors - These utilize large engines fueled by their own supply of natural gas to compress what is flowing through the pipe by rotating reciprocating pistons housed on the sides of the units.
- Electric motor compressors - Motor compressors rely on a motor to spin a centrifuge which generates the power needed for compression. As its name implies, these are driven by an external electric power supply.
- Turbine compressors - Turbine compressors also rely on centrifugal force to compress the gas traveling through the station. However, these compressors are powered by the actual gas traveling along the pipeline.