To address problems with fugitive emissions, a local refiner commissioned us with the replacement of their existing cylinder and distance piece vent and purge system panels at nine of their compressors. Our team -- including one of our in-house application engineers -- worked with the Mechanical and Rotating Equipment engineering team at the refinery to design new purge panels that would not only resolve their immediate issues, but also improve monitoring capability, bringing consistency to their purge systems and fostering longevity in compliance with standards set forth in API 618.
Errant H2S emissions around their reciprocating compressor equipment.
A dome-loaded differential pressure regulator maintains a consistent nitrogen purge pressure to the packing with a setpoint at least 15 psi above the pressure vented from the packing. The new design utilized a diaphragm seal in the sensing line from the packing vent feeding the dome of the regulator. The diaphragm seal minimizes potential blockage in the sensing line and ensures the proper function of the regulator such that there is a constant pressure differential across the packing under all operating circumstances. Uneven, excessive and unintended wear can result from a variance in differential pressure across a seal or packing, increasing the likelihood of fugitive emissions.
We also produced a durable wrap for a panel mount of the system tubing and components, which was color coded and labeled to enhance both clarity and consistency across all their machines. This design both significantly reduces the time required for new – and even experienced – operators to properly identify components in their system, providing safe and effective troubleshooting. Moreover, new adjustable rotameters on the cylinder vent lines to flare allow operators to monitor and adjust vent flow rates from each of the cylinders.
Each of the panels was assembled inside a protective enclosure, leak tested and shipped to site ready for installation. This approach saved considerable downtime for the operating units in the refinery as shutdown was able to occur in stages across short time frames so at no point was the entire refinery shut down. Swagelok Kansas City staged the panel assembly, testing and delivery to meet the dates prescribed by our client personnel managing turnaround of the panels for each of the compressors.
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