Ro-Flo sliding vane compressors have a MAWP of 200 psig (13.6 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.

Rotary Vanes Can “Boost” Reciprocating Compressors

Interestingly, Ro-Flo’s have been called into service as “boosters” actually facilitating the efficiency of reciprocating machines. In these applications, Ro-Flo’s have been known to eliminate a more expensive stage or two of reciprocating compression enabling the remaining stages to operate at peak efficiency. This “boosting” service has found a fit in front of other compressors as well, saving capital and operational dollars.  Another advantage of boosting the inlet gas stream pressure to a recip is to allow the condensates to be knocked out of the inlet gas stream, thereby, improving operational reliability.

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.


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Reliability of and Simplify Your Reciprocating Compressor Operation.