How we achieve world class performance in a Lube Oil System manufactured in-house
Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Lube Oil System is designed to provide clean lubricating, and pressurized oil to various types of industrial rotating equipment such as Compressors, Turbines, Expanders, etc. Lube oil systems that meet the API 614 standards operate at an extremely high level of efficiency, which decreases the cost of operations and decreases the downtime of rotating equipment. Therefore, they are extremely important for ensuring a long and trouble-free life for your rotating equipment. API 614 lube systems can be used with various types of equipment such as turbines, high-pressure pumps, centrifugal compressors, steam turbines, gearboxes, electric motors.
The primary components of a lube oil system are the reservoir, oil pumps, relief valves, oil coolers, oil filters, transfer valve, and control valves. These primary components are essential to any well-engineered, reliable oil system. Other frequently used components are accumulators, rundown tanks, overhead seal oil tanks, drainers, oil purifiers, and controls. All or none of these may be utilized, depending on the application and the user's wants. Reservoirs also often have oil temperature controls that provide for preheating during cold start-up conditions and cooling to prevent overheating during peak operating cycles. Even though a centrifugal pump can be used as the lube oil pump as per API 614, screw pumps are preferred to improve the reliability and performance of the Lube Oil System. This is because the performance of the screw pump doesn't change due to a change in viscosity. Also during the long run of a Lube Oil System filter will start getting clogged and back pressure starts building up in the system. This won't affect a screw pump whereas for a centrifugal this can cause a change in its performance. Reservoir capacities, as per API 614, are based on normal oil system flows. Normal flow is defined as the total amount of oil flow that is required at the bearings, seals, couplings, and steady-state controls.
The heat generated by friction in the bearings is transferred to the cooling medium which is the lube oil. The lube oil is then transferred from the compressor to the Oil reservoir. Using a pump, lube oil is transferred from the reservoir to the Oil coolers where it is cooled down. The cooled down lube oil is then sent to the filters. Filters clean the lube oil before it reaches the lubrication points and a differential pressure gauge monitors the degree of fouling (flow restriction) of the filters. The filtered oil is then sent back to the compressor to repeat the process. This closed-loop ensures that temperatures in the bearings are within the limits.