Optimizing the Performance of Pumps & Compressors used for Renewable Diesel Refining
During the pandemic, 11 refineries in the US were shuttered, due to the declining demand for transportation fuels of all kinds. This year, 4 of these refineries are coming back online, and they’re being converted to renewable diesel refineries. Each refinery has a wide range of pumps & compressors that have been used for decades to refine traditional fuels. As these refineries return, they’re being modernized to handle different (and greener) feedstocks. This provides operators with the perfect opportunity to update equipment.

Our latest article in Pumps & Systems takes a look at 10 Aftermarket Updates that plant operators should consider to optimize efficiency and meet changing process conditions in their plants:
  1. Pump & Compressor Upgrades: Outdated compressors/pumps in the field can be upgraded with the latest technology without changing out the major components (such as the casing, housings and foundation).
  2. Re-Rates: when process conditions change, pumps & compressors should be re-rated to tailor flow and head to the new process requirements. Efficiency improvements are achievable without requiring a new motor, footprint or piping. Some re-rates have been able to provide 30% additional head with 10% power savings.
  3. Seal replacements: new materials have improved seal performance and extended seal life. Modifications to seal housings improve fluid flow-through and remove high-point vapor pockets, which improves seal life.
  4. Cartridge Seal Upgrades: facilitate error-free replacements for pump shaft seals. Self-contained cartridge seals include a shaft sleeve, seal and gland plate, and they’re fitted onto the pump shaft as a single assembly.
  5. Inboard & Outboard Bearings: the latest generation of bearings offers better rotor stability over a wider operating range. They also dampen & reduce vibration and extend seal longevity.
  6. Bearing Frame Upgrades: Power-end replacements enhance reliability and ensure compliance with current API 610 bearing life requirements.
  7. Gearbox Conversion Kits: deliver up to 10 design improvements via an interchangeable, bolt-on package that delivers an estimated minimum 5-year MTBM. Gearbox exchanges provide better bearing life and they include stronger gear sets that facilitate higher load levels.
  8. Compressor Inlet Guide Vanes (IGVs): are a series of blades arranged at the inlet of a compressor that “pre-swirl” gas flow entering the impeller. IGVs increase a compressor’s turndown while reducing the amount of work needed from the main driver.
  9. High Efficiency Compressor Impellers: recent impeller design improvements enable compressors to produce the same amount of flow utilizing up to 20% less power than previous designs.
  10. Instrumentation: updated instrumentation for monitoring vibration and temperature gives operators peace of mind that rotating equipment is operating at Best Efficiency Points.

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To learn more about Renewable Diesel and the ROI that comes from the suggested updates, read the full story here.

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