Valves are an essential component of a reciprocating compressor which directs the flow of gases. These valves serve as automatic components since it is the difference in pressure across the valves that operate them.
Reciprocating compressor valve acts as a check valve in a compressor. It opens and closes every time the crankshaft takes a complete revolution. It means, if a compressor is running at 1000 rpm, in 24 hours, the valves will open and close for 1,440,000 times! This accelerates the wear rate of this component.
Selection of a reciprocating compressor valve depends upon various factors such as pressure, differential pressure, compressor rpm and working temperature. The four different types of reciprocating compressor valves available in the market are poppet, ring, plate and StraightFlo valves. Of these, the one that requires the least compressor valve repair is the StraightFlo valve.
Operating cost of StraightFlo valves
Lower Fuel Costs
Since the flow of the gas in these valves is straight, they are very efficient. The increase in valve efficiency results in more flow rate and reduced compressor power. For a StraightFlo valve working at 1000 rpm, the fuel consumption will be reduced by 10%.
This reduction in fuel cost will also result in lower carbon footprint and efficient use of energy.
Image credits: ZahroofValves Inc.
Lower Service Costs
StraightFlo valves are like reed valves that have a long lifespan. Unlike other valves, they do not need machining or replacement of the carrier plates which is the most expensive part of the valve. The modular design of the valve makes it easy for anyone to replace the old modules with the new one. Also, replacing these valves takes around 5 to 10 minutes which makes its turn-around time to be a fraction compared to its counterparts.
Reduction in Downtime
Compressor valve accounts for 36% of unscheduled compressor shutdowns.
Image credits: Dresser-Rand
The service interval for these valves is 2 to 5 times better as compared to other valves, which reduces the downtime of the compressor and the whole production. Production downtime results in huge losses for the company. There are other losses including harmful emissions that occur because of the unscheduled downtime. These emissions are caused due to blowdowns of pipes, venting, flaring, and purging which in turn affects the environment.
Reduction in inventory costs
It is important that the design of the valve should be crafted in a way that when a need arises the modules are the only part that would require a change. It is observed that about 5 to 6 module part numbers are enough to service all the valves. This makes the storage area requirement for compressor valves very less. Also, it is not uncommon to see the machine components being unkempt because of a huge number of these inventory items stashed.
Valves such as ring, plate and poppet valves have helical springs in them to keep them in “off” position. Since there are a number of stresses that the helical spring is exposed to, they are bound to break. This reduces the efficiency of the valve and makes it easier to fail.
StraightFlo valves do not have any helical spring. This increases the lifetime of the valve and makes it more reliable. These valves are made from materials that have the highest tolerance to liquids in the gas streams.
Zahroof Valves Inc. is the company which has brought the innovative technology of StraightFlo valves. The design has been patented by the company. To know more about the valves, you can visit the company’s website Zahroofvalves.com.