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19-11-2020

Burckhardt Compression's oil-free API 618 Process Gas Compressor sets a new benchmark

Oil-free compression of hydrogen mixtures is mandatory in many industrial applications which involve components sensitive to oil. However, the absence of oil lubrication reduces the lifetime of the wear parts, to the point that a compressor can become the determining factor for an entire plant’s maintenance cycle.

To solve this challenge, the industry often uses oil-lubricated compressors with complex oil removal systems or accepts the typically short maintenance intervals of oil-free compressors (~8'000 - 12'000 hours). Burckhardt Compression has proven at a customer site in Germany, that new sealing technologies can solve this challenge.

Oil-free API 618 Process Gas Compressor in operation for more than 27'000 hours
Burckhardt Compression has now demonstrated the outstanding long lifetime of Burckhardt Compression's proprietary Persisto® materials in Redura® piston and packing configuration.

The API 618 Process Gas Compressor, which is operated in hydrogen/carbon monoxide duty compressing from atmospheric pressure to 60 bar, was revised in September 2020 after 27'000 hours of operation (more than 3 years), within the scope of the overall plant maintenance plan. The installed sealing rings still showed good sealing efficiency after the 27'000 operating hours. This sets a new benchmark for compressor sealing ring durability in oil-free compression duty.

The long lifetime of Burckhardt Compression’s sealing systems enabled the customer to operate the plant continuously for 27'000 hours and clearly reduced down-time. This enabled the customer to increase the plant’s output and profitability while saving maintenance costs on the compressor. Burckhardt Compression uses similar components in high-pressure compressors for mobility applications, that require the use of oil-free hydrogen for fuel cells.

Global services provider
Burckhardt Compression’s global service network helps customers to improve their compressor performance with component upgrades. Furthermore, its subsidiary Prognost Systems offers monitoring systems that help compressor operators plan preventive maintenance and detect damage or potential compressor failures at a very early stage. The PROGNOST®-NT monitoring system records all changes affecting a compressor system onsite in real-time and relays this data to its head office.

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