Frick screws for air compression?
Frick screws for air compression?
My supervisor has asked me to look around for surplus or refurbished machines that could fill the role of these Worthingtons, with the only caveat being that we do not replace them with another pair of reciprocating compressors. Recips of this power would require a stationary engineer to operate them by law. As the current recips are located in a central heating plant manned round the clock with stationary engineers, this is not an issue presently, but they have stated that they would like to remove themselves from this role to concentrate on the operation and maintenance of the steam system. The compressed air supply from that building is more of a legacy of their being the only building supplying the whole campus from back in the 1940s and 50s.
We are looking at surplus equipment to keep the costs down. We sourced a killer deal on a used Cooper turbocompressor about 13 years ago that saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars. Since these units are run on a cost recovery system, this means the cost of the machine plus running costs gets mixed in with the billing passed on to our clients. This is one reason the Worthingtons have been kept in service so long; the machines themselves were paid for decades ago. The rising repair costs are now erasing that advantage.
Our building is far more concentrated on supplying high pressure air to several facilities (30,000hp worth of centrifugal compressors), so it is only natural that any replacement machines would be installed here, so as to be included under our maintenance and operations regime. As none of us have our stationary engineer tickets, we cannot do this if we went the recip route. We would also prefer the lower maintenance and reliability of a centrifugal or screw compressor. These compressors are used intermittently, though usually at full capacity when running.
I have been looking for surplus equipment, but the 300psi requirements means that the centrifugal pickings are quite slim. I would also like a more packaged unit than the few centrifugals I have seen, which are usually nothing more than bare air ends out in a yard somewhere. I have investigated the possibility of purchasing used/uninstalled oilfield equipment, given the severe downturn in the fortunes of oil and gas out west, and I am finding that for our flow and pressure requirements, other than recips, the Frick brand keeps coming up, the TDSH355 screw in particular. I am wondering if this machine is suitable for compressing ambient air, or if anyone has ever packaged one for air compression. I see that these are permanently attached to the gas source, so I am not sure how modulating the output would be achieved, such as with suction throttling and blow off like smaller plant screws. I see the slide valve in the screw set, and understand how is lowers output pressure, so theoretically I suppose it could just pump continuously and blow off excess air to atmosphere like our centrifugals, but this is all guesswork at the moment. There seems to be little avenue for contacting Frick itself, since it comes under the Johnson Controls umbrella and has no individual website, so I was just seeing if anyone on the board could answer these general questions.
*I do realize a centrifugal compressor is the better machine for this application*