Natural gas compression is a crucial process along many points of the refining and distribution process, from aiding wellhead production to facilitating gathering and processing operations. In order to keep these processes running smoothly, the compressors need to function consistently and effectively. Compressor lubrication systems protect compressor components from increased amounts of wear and deposit formation and help the equipment run cooler and more efficiently.
A wide range of engine lubricants formulated with different base oils are available for use in compressors. Lubricants vary by ISO grade, viscosity, flash point, and formulation. Lubricating fluids are typically stored in integral stainless steel and carbon steel tanks and in remote bulk storage tanks that are monitored for level.
This blog post, part of the Magnetrol® series on natural gas processing applications, explores level measurement solutions for compressor lubrication tanks and the ways better instrumentation can protect the entire compression process.
Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations
Level monitoring of lubricant reservoirs will ensure the proper functioning of compressors. Wide temperature shifts in integral reservoirs can affect media density and may exclude some level technologies, such as pressure transmitters. Because ISO cleanliness levels increase lube change frequency, controls should be easy to remove and maintain.
Level Measurement Solutions
MAGNETROL has produced level measurement solutions for compressor lubrication tanks:
- For point level:
Echotel® Model 961 ultrasonic switch; Thermatel® Model TD1/TD2 thermal dispersion switch; or Tuffy® II float-actuated switch
- For continuous level:
Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter; Pulsar® Model R86 non-contact radar transmitter; or Jupiter® JM4 magnetostrictive transmitter
- For visual indication:
Atlas or Aurora® magnetic level indicators
For more information on level measurement solutions for compressor lubrication tanks and other natural gas processing applications, download the natural gas processing brochure.