Troubleshooting Your Rotary Vane Compressor

Troubleshooting Rotary Vane Compressors from RoFlo Compressors

Rotary Vane Compressor Troubleshooting

When you choose a Ro-Flo compressor, you’re choosing a compressor design that stands the test of time. You’re also purchasing from a business that is committed to providing its customers with unparalleled customer support. Part of this is our state-of-the-art rotary testing facility, where we test all rotating equipment utilizing ASME PTC, ISO, and API standards.

Before getting to that point, it’s often possible to troubleshoot a rotary vane compressor yourself. Here’s what you need to know.

Why Temperature Matters

The key to troubleshooting is knowing your baseline, or normal operating parameters. Deviations from normal pressures and temperatures are a sign of process or machinery change; in fact, temperatures that deviate from normal are one of the first signs of machinery malfunction. The locations of these deviations can help pinpoint the location of the problem.

If you’re seeing abnormal temperatures, evaluate your machinery and find where the highest temperatures are measured. Compare this to the temperatures of normal operation.

To evaluate the efficiency of compressing gases from suction pressure to discharge pressure, it’s necessary to know:

  • What is the atmospheric pressure?
  • What is the gas composition entering the compressor suction flange?
  • What is the gas flow rate entering the compressor suction flange?
  • What are the gas pressure and temperature at the suction flange of the compressor?
  • What are the gas pressure and temperature at the discharge flange of the compressor?
  • What is the extent of jacket cooling, such as flow rate of cooling water and its inlet and discharge temperatures?

How to Measure Temperature and Pressure 

When measuring temperature and pressure, it’s important to gather this information from as close to the compressor flanges as possible. 

The actual suction pressure and temperature at the compressor inlet flange is often affected by dirty or clogged filters or mist pads, or faulty process controls. Similarly, actual discharge pressure and temperature at the compressor discharge flange can be caused by clogged gas discharge check valves, after coolers, or separator vessels.

Compressors see absolute suction and discharge pressure, rather than gauge pressures. You can calculate the pressure ratio by dividing the absolute discharge pressure by the absolute inlet pressure. Compressor performance can then be predicted using the Ro-Flo Performance Software, which can be downloaded from our website by registered users.

Get Expert Assistance

If you’ve tried all of the above and you are still having problems with your rotary vane compressor, it’s time to call the professionals. Ro-Flo’s state of the art Testing Facility provides expert diagnostics and repairs for all rotating equipment, including positive displacement compressors, centrifugal compressors, pumps, turbo expanders, gear boxes, and all support components and systems.

The rotary compressor tester uses the latest technology to diagnose issues and pinpoint the exact location of the problem. Engineers with more than 20 years of combined experience will repair the problem and restore your system to proper working order.

Call Ro-Flo’s Rotary Test Center today at (920) 364-0622 to schedule a machinery test or email mduel @