Condition-based health monitoring systems are a very important addition to machinery to monitor the system and assure it is running at the peak efficiency, to schedule maintenance, and prevent catastrophic failure. Recently, these systems have become more common on industrial compression technology. Reciprocating compressor health monitoring systems typically use only indirect measurements, P-V diagrams, to monitor the system’s health.

Specifically, this research focuses on three different valve failure modes that are common in reciprocating compressors: liquid slugging; valve spring fatigue; and valve seat wear. First, a system-level model of a Dresser-Rand industrial reciprocating compressor is derived and validated, experimentally, to better understand how different subsystem dynamics are related through the compressor. Also, a preliminary instrument investigation is conducted to determine what sensor types are the most effective at detecting these faults.

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