Optimized testing campaign and creating onerous base line data for centrifugal compressor – A proposal to manufacturer

  • Mantosh Bhattacharya Petrofac International UAE
Keywords: MRT, Full Load test, optimization of schedule, rotor-dynamic data


As API mandates to conduct mechanical run tests (MRT) of all centrifugal compressors of similar deign and geometry, it takes a considerable amount of time to conduct these tests on original equipment manufacturer (OEM) test bed particularly if numbers of compressors are large. The test results are often found to be monotonously similar This paper proposes to conduct only one Full load Full speed (FLFS) test as mechanical run test at vendor works among the full lot of similar model and design. The primary intention of the paper is to classify the criticality of compressors and then deliberate on the extent / type of tests taking account of OEM test bed capability and schedule of delivery of machines and then optimize the test agenda .To supplement the FLFS test, the paper proposes to undertake extensive design audit activities in terms of rotor-dynamics, aerodynamics taking account of case histories of past failures which can raise the confidence level of the end user. The MRT does not identify the region of incipient surge, effect of aerodynamic cross coupling instability as well. The paper proposes to introduce various instruments and sensors to detect such instability region for the proposed extensive test. With the rotor-dynamic data taken from the proposed test set up, it shall be easy to further enhance the base line data after site performance test.


API 617 Standard for Axial and Centrifugal Compressors and Expander-compressors for Petroleum, Chemical and Gas Industry Services 8th edition.

Forsthoffer’s Best Practice Handbook for Rotating Machinery -By William E. Forsthoffer.

Forsthoffer’s Rotating Equipment Handbooks: v. 3: Compressors by William E. Forsthoffer.

Principles for alarm system design - Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Applying Condition Monitoring to Various Machinery-Application Techniques ALLEN BRADLEY.

Vibration Spectrum Analysis: A Practical Approach - by Steve Goldman.