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Category: Plant Basics
Question: What are some good methods of avoiding condensation in a compressor suction line?
Keywords: v1i2,compressor,moisture,liquid,suction,line,condensation,avoiding
Answer: BACKGROUNDA twin lobe compressor is suffering repeated failure due to moisture in the suction line. The vapor is coming from a vertical two-phase separatorANSWERThe liquid may be forming as the result of either:1. Condensation in the line between the separator and the compressor.2. Liquid carry over from the separator.If the suction line is well insulated and/or heat traced (it probably should be), then begin with the separator. From generally accepted rules, be sure that the separator is properly sized. If the separator does not include a mesh pad, consider installing one to see if this helps. You also may want to install a mist eliminator in the line leading to the compressor (and change it at least twice a year).If your connection into the separator is a straight connection (versus tangential), you may want to install a straight pipe that runs from the inlet to the vessel all of the way to the opposite vessel wall. This pipe should have the bottom 40% cut out. The downward entry motion will help give additional separation of the vapor from the liquid. You can see such a pipe in the graphic below.