Torquemeters in gas transmission: Condition monitoring for efficiency

Compressor stations are a necessary part of long-distance gas transmission pipeline projects. Efficient use of fuel and monitoring of machinery health are key to minimising costs and preventing unplanned downtime. Standard service intervals and calculated power values are not the complete solution to pipeline asset management.

  • A 1% improvement in fuel use on a 32MW gas turbine can potentially save $130,000 per annum in operating costs
  • An unplanned maintenance outage can cost up to $20,000 per day in lost gas transmission and labour

For a recent pipeline carrying gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe, several compressor stations were required, powered by 30MW Gas Turbines.

The performance of these stations required single point remote monitoring to determine efficient operation and highlight in advance any maintenance issues. The Torquetronic Continuous Duty Torquemeter was installed to provide accurate shaft horsepower data and trending, to maximize gas flowing to paying customers, and minimise gas used to fuel the compressors. The ability of the Torquetronic system to provide values accurate to +/-1%, immediately identifies changes in system performance allowing remote operators to make smart decisions on compressor/turbine maintenance.

Key features of the installations include;

  • No rotating electronics
  • Ability to compensate for changes in environmental conditions
  • High degree of reliability and accuracy
  • Long service intervals and low maintenance requirements
  • Optimisation of turbine/compressor performance during commissioning
  • Long-term condition monitoring