Retrofitting Compressors with Dry Gas Seals: Understanding the Environmental and Economic Benefits
Centrifugal compressors have been the workhorse of the oil and gas petrochemical and power generation markets for many years. Before the late 1980s, the primary shaft sealing solution for this equipment was an oil seal technology. In the late 1980s, dry gas seals were introduced to the market, which revolutionized compressor reliability.
Today, about 99% of all new centrifugal compressors are shipped from the original equipment manufacturers with dry gas seal technology. However, thousands of aging legacy oil seal-equipped compressors are still in operation. Legacy oil seal-equipped centrifugal compressors have increasingly significant operational implications and there are increasing environmental implications of using such equipment. What follows is an overview of the process of retrofitting legacy centrifugal compressors with dry gas seals, including a summary of the environmental and economic benefits.