Installed reciprocating compressor horsepower is approximately three times that of centrifugal compressors and maintenance costs of reciprocating compressors are approximately three and half times greater than those for centrifugal compressors. The expected level of reliability and availability of reciprocating compressors is very high and it presents a real challenge. Advanced methods of control and condition monitoring shall be applied in order to obtain the high level of performance, safety and reliability.
Optimum configuration for control system, instrumentation, electrical and condition monitoring of reciprocating compressor is presented. Reciprocating compressors are most flexible and most efficient available compressors. Recommendations regarding inter-stage pressure control, capacity control system, temperature control, performance monitoring, local control panel, irregularity and condition monitoring are discussed.