Refinery Centrifugal Gas Compressor Varnish Removal & HVOF

In addition to a high level of wear metal contamination the refinery’s centrifugal compressors lubricant was showing MPC values >40 which put it in a critical level for varnish potential.

RIG’s reliability division, PetrolinkUSA, was contracted to provide services on the compressor lube oil system during the turnaround. The services performed included:

  • Varnish mitigation flush with Step One Cleaner
  • Purge / particle contamination flush with virgin oil
  • Side stream filtration of final fill oil

Our team successfully removed varnish from a refinery’s centrifugal compressor lube oil system, achieving changing the MPC from >40 to 1. High velocity flushing combined with side streaming filtration an chemical cleaning.

Water Ingression Cleanup After Improper Valve Installation

A plastic petrochemical facility compressor’s temperature control valve was installed improperly. During cooler ambient temperatures the site found oil temperatures reduced but not outside of required range. As environmental temperatures rose the thermostat activated and opened. This directed the lubricant around the heat exchangers and caused lubricant temperatures to increase significantly.

Onsite plant maintenance personnel installed a second TCV in the same alignment. Compressor ran for 24 hours before temperatures started to spike a second time. In order to reduce the temperature the plant team sprayed the reservoir with a fire hose. The top of the reservoir had points that allowed the water to ingress into the circulating system. Within 12 hours the reservoir had filled with approximately 750 gallons (Approx
25%) of water forcing the site to bring the unit off-line.

RIG’s reliability team, PetrolinkUSA, received a call at 8pm to discuss how we could support the site and get the unit back to production.

The Dangers of A Missed Inspection Screen

PetrolinkUSA was contracted to provide services after a different flushing provider left a flange slip screen in place in front of turbine’s HP T5 Bearing.

Flushing procedures did not list the inspection point or verification of removal. The screen, plugged with contamination, starved the bearing of oil and caused $1.2M in damage and downtime.

To prevent unnecessary damage and lost time, it is recommended to use easy-to-identify PLI-Screens and include reinstatement steps in procedures.

Varnish Mitigation: Solar Taurus 60 Gas Turbine Cogeneration Facility

PetrolinkUSA was contracted to facilitate varnish mitigation on a Taurus 60 gas turbine. The Membrane Patch Colorimetry (MPC) analysis revealed a level of 27. The lubricant that was used in the system had an estimated nine years of service.

The Varnish Absorption System (VAS) was installed to perform side stream filtration on the Solar Taurus 60 gas turbine, and executed continuously throughout the month. Within 2 weeks, MPC was at 14. After three weeks, it was even lower at 5.

High Velocity Hot Oil Flush: Following Major Turnaround on Westinghouse 501AA

PetrolinkUSA was contracted by the DR/Siemens Turbine Repair team to perform a high velocity hot oil flush on the Unit #1 Westinghouse 501AA located in West Phoenix. A previous contractor was unsuccessful in achieving adequate flows to flush the turbine.

A Variable Frequency Drive was utilized on the 2000 GPM flushing skid, with technicians checking for leaks as they started the circulation system slowly. Target temperature for the 36-hour course flush was between 120-160 degrees Fahrenheit. The process successfully removed any foreign materials from the system.

PowerGen Indianapolis, IN GE Turbine High Velocity Hot Oil Flush

PetrolinkUSA was contracted to perform a high velocity hot oil flush of the General Electric turbine at a Power Plant in Indianapolis, IN. PetrolinkUSA technicians arrived onsite on 12/12/17, completed site specific safety training, and conducted a safety walk down of the work area.

A Job Safety Analysis (JSA) was completed prior to starting. Equipment was offloaded and staging was started. All PetrolinkUSA high flow filtration skids, filter carts, and hoses arrived to the job site hydrotested, checked for functionality, and free of contamination.

Extrusion Plant 3000-Ton Press Reservoir Clean and Oil Reconditioning

PetrolinkUSA was contracted to perform oil reconditioning and tank cleaning on a 3000-Ton Press located at an extrusion plant. The work included supplying temporary storage to hold the AW 100, Confined Space Entry Reservoir Cleaning and Vacuum Dehydration/Filtration. The 48-hour cleaning process removed debris and returned ISO contamination to acceptable levels on a tight timeline.

The reservoir contained heavy contamination including carbon, wear metals and a sludge/water mix. While some staining remained on the floor and walls  PetrolinkUSA was able to manually remove the loose materials using scrapers, squeegees and a wet vac. Final system cleanliness levels were verified with a 40 GPM Filter Unit and 1-micron microglass filter.

Chemical Cleaning & HVOF of Refinery Gas Turbine

A lube oil system for a gas compressor at a major refinery had not been cleaned in over 30 years. The unit was down for major maintenance program, which created the perfect opportunity to address the ISO cleanliness of the oil system.

PetrolinkUSA custom engineered and performed a successful reservoir and chemical cleaning coupled with a high velocity hot oil flush (HVOF) to return the system to acceptable ISO and API cleanliness specifications.

Chlorine Chemical Plant Steam Turbine and Power Pack Cleaning

A major chlorine manufacturer reached out to PetrolinkUSA after a failed attempt to perform an onboard cleaning of the piping powerhouse on a steam turbine and power pack. The equipment dates back to the 1940’s and is an arrangement that lends to carbonization buildup and makes contamination cleanup extremely difficult.

Nearly 25 feet of suction head was required to carry out debris. Maintaining high velocity throughout the duration of the flush was another challenge with this project. PetrolinkUSA was able to successfully clean the system and the fluid achieved a final ISO particle count of 16/14/11.

Power Plant Electro-Hydraulic Control (EHC) Fluid Swap

Switching from a vegetable-based ester to a polyalkylene glycol EHC lubricant was proving challenging for a power plant because of the incompatibility of the two fluids. The replacement fluid (polyalkylene glycol) needed to contain less than 3% total volume of the existing fluid at the end of the project.

A previous attempt to switch the two fluids had resulted in issues with critical equipment that were causing downtime and ongoing problems. PetrolinkUSA completed a very thorough removal of the existing fluid, exceeding the expectations of the power plants by fixing the existing equipment reliability problems, and meeting the project budget.

New Install Siemens and MHI Compressor Train

A new ammonia unit with lubrication system capacities ranging from 100 to 5,200 gallons came with a multitude of contamination opportunities during the installation and fabrication process. PetrolinkUSA was contracted to perform 11 high velocity oil flushes to remove metal shavings, welding slag, and airborne contaminants such as dust, dirt and sand.

All systems receiving HVOF were brand new and “pre-cleaned” before shipment. Despite the manufacturer’s cleaning process, PetrolinkUSA’s flushing proved both necessary and vital; contaminants were discovered and removed that would have caused premature wear or possible catastrophic failure of internal components.

Mid-Stream Natural Gas Compressor Flushing

A new Solar Mars 100 turbine required a lube oil flush for a new cooler at a mid-stream natural gas compressor station. Pickling was not required and screens were periodically inspected until API 614 pipe cleanliness standards were successfully met.

On this project the piping diameter was:

  • 4” 150# ANSI to and from the cooler
  • 8” 150# ANSI vent pipe to the demister
  • 4” 150# ANSI short runs of piping

The high velocity hot oil flush performed by PetrolinkUSA resulted in the oil meeting an ISO 4406 code of 16/14/12 as per Solar specification 2184, Rev D.

Tire Manufacturer Oil Analysis & Side Stream Filtration

PetrolinkUSA developed and implemented a turnkey ISO cleanliness program that increased the reliability of critical hydraulic systems for a global tire manufacturer. The program managed 63 recirculation hydraulic systems located in a single department of the manufacturing plant. These systems actuated sensitive valves and cylinders with critical proportional directional valves.

PetrolinkUSA’s ISO cleanliness program reduced maintenance, oil and filter costs, as well as, prolonged the life of critical hydraulic equipment by exceeding the target cleanliness level on all 63 hydraulic systems. Operating pressures of the valves were below 3000 psi. The target ISO 4406:99 cleanliness code for these systems was 17/15/11.

Plastic Injection Molding Manufacturer Managed Reliability Program

Machinery rebuilding costs were rising every year for a plastic molding injection company, with many rebuilds sourcing back to sticking electrical valve issues. Twenty-eight separate systems in a single department relied heavily on hydraulic equipment with sensitive, actuating valves. Through an oil analysis and turnkey ISO cleanliness program, PetrolinkUSA helped the client increase the reliability of all critical hydraulic systems, eliminating the sticking valve issues.

Before PetrolinkUSA’s program was implemented, 71% of the systems were rated marginal or critical. After the program was in-place, only one system was in the marginal category and the particle count was reduced from 20/18/15 to 14/13/9, which doubled the life of each component within the department.

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