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EDS/CD-14

Compressor Valves
The compressor valves are nothing more than check valves designed to open or
close based on the differential pressure across the valve. Since most of the
maintenance of reciprocating compressors have to do with the valves, there has been
much research and improvements in valve types and materials. Channel valves
have been used for a long time. The channels move up and down 300-500 times a
minute against the valve springs. If any liquid gets between the channel and spring,
the spring could break as liquid is incompressible. It is important that the gas is
kept clean and dry.

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EDS/CD-15

Ring valves have rings acting as the moving parts. The rings are sturdier than the
channels and provide less opportunity for particles or liquid to get trapped.

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EDS/CD-16

Ring valve. Today the rings are made out of a high temperature thermoplastic,
PEEK.

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EDS/CD-17

Plate valves and ring valves replaced channel valves in many applications. The
plates or rings proved to be stronger and more reliable than the channels. The plates
and rings are now made out of a thermoplastic material called PEEK, Polyether
Ether Ketone. This material holds up better in corrosive atmospheres than stainless
steel.

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EDS/CD-18

Plate valve.

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EDS/CD-19

Plate valve with PEEK plate.

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EDS/CD-20

Today, many applications use poppet valves with PEEK poppets. The poppets
provide a more streamlined path for the gas and less chance for particles or liquid to
collect.

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EDS/CD-21

Poppet valve with PEEK poppets. One size poppet fits all valve sizes.

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Magnum Valve

EDS/CD-22

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Two Stage Compression
120
6
7
Second Stage Referred
100 to First Stage

80 Volume Reduction due


Pressure, psia to Cooling between Stages

60
5 2
40 3

20 4
1

0
Volume

EDS/CD-23
CD-R00-11

Staging
Reciprocating compressors have a discharge temperature constraint. Due to
mechanical considerations, the discharge temperature of a gas compressor should
not exceed 275°F. Discharge temperature is a function of compression ratio and
suction temperature. If the process demands a compression ratio resulting in an
unacceptable discharge temperature, the compression can be staged. The
compressor shown above has a suction pressure of 15 psia and a discharge pressure
of 115 psia. This compression ratio of 7.7 will result in an unacceptably high
discharge temperature. Therefore, the compression is divided into two stages with
intercooling. The first-stage cylinder(s) raise the pressure up to 40 psia. The gas is
then cooled back down to 100°F. The second-stage cylinder(s) then raise the
pressure up to 115 psia. At no time does the gas temperature exceed limitations.

Staging also saves power consumption. Cooling the gas after partial compression to
a temperature equal to the original intake temperature reduces the power required in
the second stage. (HP is a function of mass flow times differential head. Head is a
function of temperature.) Occasionally, even if discharge temperature is not a
consideration, intercooling is used to save power. The power savings has to offset
the utility consumption of the intercooler.

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