Comparative Analysis — Liquid Ring, Other Options

Cooling Gasses – Liquid Ring

Piper Process Systems liquid ring compressors (LRC) use cooled-ring water combined with the internal dynamics of the rotor to create compression. This unique compression design not only creates an increase in pressure, but it does so with very little temperature increase to the gasses.

This reduces condensing within the pump casing and ensures a more stabilized gas during the compression cycle. Therefore, there is very little temperature increase between the suction inlet and discharged gases. In a full recycled system, the ring water is cooled through plate and frame coolers and recycled for repeated use.

Cooling Gasses – Vane, Screw, Reciprocating

Vane, screw or reciprocating compressors experience very significant temperature increases in their compression cycles. They require a cooling mechanism after compression to cool the gas. These machines also experience condensing of the process in the casing which can result in a catastrophic mechanical failure.

Lubricate and Seal – Liquid Ring

Ring water acts as a lubricant between the process gasses and the internal of the cone, rotor and casing. It creates the seal between the casing and the rotor to allow compression.

This is of significance when processing a highly corrosive and explosive gas. With the LRC, there is no contamination of the internal components by CO2 or H2S and the gases remains safe under the liquid ring compression process. At Piper Processing we have found that this temperature stability is especially important when handling explosive gases such as methane. 

Lubricate and Seal – Vane, Screw, Reciprocating

Vane, screw or reciprocating compressors require the processed gasses to be cleaned and dried prior to entering the compression cycle. This is costly and requires the gasses to be scrubbed and condensed prior to entering these types of compressors.

A liquid ring machine can handle solid particulate such as ashphaltenes whereas competing compressors cannot. Any solid particulate, no matter how small, will damage their internals and compromise the lubricity of touching parts.

This will eventually result in total failure and require the replacement of internal parts or entire compressor. Because vane, screw and reciprocating machines require an oil lubrication system, contamination of the oil in a Sour and Co2 rich process application will occur. This presents its own set of maintenance danger and will result in significant down time.