Performance Assessment of A Two-Stage Reciprocating Air Compressor


  •   Ikpobari Amuele Nwakpang

  •   Barinaadaa Thaddeus Lebele-Alawa

  •   Barinyima Nkoi


This paper presents the performance assessment of a two-stage reciprocating air compressor operating at an Oil and Gas Terminal in Rivers State, Nigeria. The main focus was to investigate the effects of control parameters and clogging on the performance of the compressor. Data were obtained from the manufacturer’s manual, field reports and the field operator’s log sheets. Relevant thermodynamic equations were used to determine and analyse appropriate control parameters of the compressor. Data were also analysed using various appropriate compressor equations and a thermodynamic analysis of the compressor was done to evaluate its performance. The outcome of all the analyses showed that the compressor experienced 26% loss or reduction in the volumetric efficiency, 8% loss in the isothermal efficiency, 11.1% loss in volume flow rate and 21% decrease or reduction in the mass flow rate due to clogging when compared with the design specifications. The analysis also showed that the performance of the compressor was affected by several other factors including the climatic and environmental conditions such as the high operating ambient temperature of the inlet air to the compressor. It revealed that the effects of clogging caused a continuous rise in temperature which reduced the discharge pressure, mass and volume flow rates, isothermal and volumetric efficiencies; thereby reducing its performance in comparison with the design specifications. The results further revealed that clogging was a major factor that affected the performance effectiveness of the reciprocating compressor.

Keywords: Isothermal Efficiency, Compressor Clogging, Discharge Temperature, Two-Stage Compression, Compression, Discharge Pressure, Volumetric Efficiency, Intercooler Pressure


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How to Cite
Nwakpang, I.A., Lebele-Alawa, B.T. and Nkoi, B. 2019. Performance Assessment of A Two-Stage Reciprocating Air Compressor. European Journal of Engineering and Technology Research. 4, 4 (Apr. 2019), 74–82. DOI:

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