Ro-Flo sliding vane compressors have a MAWP of 150 psig (10.2 barg). Recips achieve many thousands of pounds of discharge pressure. The Ro-Flo product line can produce flow rates up to 3,500 MSCFD, whereas, recips can achieve flow rates that are orders of magnitude higher. A more appropriate analysis would be to consider these as complementary technologies.
Low Inlet Pressure Capability
Within Ro-Flo’s performance range, the inherent attributes of sliding vane technology present advantages over reciprocating technology in certain applications. Recips struggle with low inlet pressures and deep vacuum applications due to gas dew point concerns and valve losses which can have a significant impact on performance.
Acid and Sour Gas Streams Performance Differs
For recips, acid and sour gas streams have been tough on valves and seals of recip machines. Often costly “sour gas” options, such as Type 2 or 3 distance pieces and stainless steel components are required. Ro-Flo’s standard materials of construction are suitable for sour service applications.
A Helpful Ally
It might be best to conclude that vanes present a helpful ally to recips in certain types of service that can present savings through superior service in niche applications.