The impact of imposed high-temperature piping loads on the chronic failures of steam turbine-driven compressor units in gas compression plants

A. Kittur, Saudi Aramco

This article examines liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) gas compressors that employ steam turbines as drivers (FIG. 1) which consistently faced chronic issues during operating conditions—compressor trips due to malfunctions were observed on the turbine side. Bearing overload conditions due to deviations in shaft centerline, significant piping movements in the steam header of the turbine during startup, and severe misalignment at operating conditions were some notable observations. This article details the steam system piping layout from a piping stress and flexibility standpoint, the imposed loadings on the turbine nozzles, and the susceptibility to water hammering and condensate carryover. An i

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