2018 Riaz Fatima Handling high vibrations and temp spikes in CO2 compressor

This paper is a case history of high vibrations and temperature spikes observed on a brand new Urea CO2 compressor train, only a few months following commissioning. Investigation revealed that electrostatic charges caused pitting damages on journal bearings of high pressure compressor and gearbox pinion shaft which ultimately reflected as high vibrations. Charges were generated by poor quality steam generated in a plant reactor and used as induction steam in turbine. Additionally, oil sludge formation on gearbox bearings caused higher average running temperatures with occasional temperature spikes which caused plant trips in a few instances and narrow escape alarms in many others. The paper elaborates complete troubleshooting process and highlights how a close collaboration of plant team and compressor train OEM helped to successfully solve the problem.


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