Practical Compressor Technology: Selection, Applications, Operation, Troubleshooting, and Maintenance (1.8 CEUs)

Daily Schedule:
8:00am - Registration and coffee (1st day only)
8:30am - Session begins
4:30pm - Adjournment
Breakfast, two refreshment breaks and lunch are provided daily.
Maximum efficiency, reliability, and longevity of compressors, and bearings are of great concern to many industries.  These objectives can only be achieved by understanding the characteristics, selection criteria, sizing calculations, sealing arrangements, common problems, repair techniques, as well as their  preventive and predictive maintenance. This course is a MUST for those who use this equipment. It covers how compressors and bearings operate and provides the guidelines and rules that must be followed for their successful application.  Their basic design, specification and selection criteria, sizing calculations as well as all maintenance issues including vibration analysis, and used oil analysis are discussed in detail.

To provide a comprehensive understanding of the various types of compressors, and bearings so participants can specify, select, size, commission and maintain compressors and bearings for their applications.
To achieve reduced capital, operating and maintenance costs along with increase in efficiency.

Who Should Attend
Process engineers, design engineers, consulting engineers, plant engineers, project managers, piping engineers, maintenance managers, water treatment plant managers, facility managers and technicians and technologists. The course will be of great interest to chemical process industries, oil and gas  industries, manufacturing plants, power generation plants, defence establishment, and others industries and organizations that must use compressors and bearings.

Special Feature
The following is included with your registration:

  • A digital manual (500 pages) authored by the instructor covering the topics listed in the outline.
  • A digital book titled “Electrical Equipment Handbook” (600 pages) published by McGraw-Hill in 2003. This book includes the predictive maintenance required for mechanical and electrical equipment.  The instructor has also authored this book.

Program Outline

After Participating in his Course, You will be Able to:

Size and select out of the various types of dynamic and positive displacement compressors using the performance characteristics and the selection criteria that you learn in the course.

  • Carry out diagnostic testing and inspection of critical components with the knowledge of common failure modes of compressors and bearings by applying advanced fault detection techniques.
  • Select bearings and lubrication, compressor sealing arrangements, meet commissioning requirements, conduct vibration and used oil analyses, troubleshoot, provide predictive and preventive maintenance, enhance reliability, and reduce cost.
  • Determine the maintenance required to minimize compressor downtime and operating cost and maximize its efficiency, reliability, and useful life.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of compressor surge and surge prevention systems.
  • Understand all the causes of failures in compressors.
  • Determine all the design features that improve the efficiency and reliability of all compressors.
  • Design different types of compressor systems.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of the various types of sealing arrangements used in compressors.

Philip Kiameh

Philip Kiameh, M.A.Sc., B.Eng., D.Eng., P.Eng. (Canada) has been a teacher at University of Toronto and Dalhousie University, Canada for more than 24 years. In addition, Prof Kiameh has taught courses and seminars to more than four thousand working engineers and professionals around the world, specifically Europe and North America. Prof Kiameh has been consistently ranked as "Excellent" or "Very Good" by the delegates who attended his seminars and lectures.
Prof Kiameh wrote 5 books for working engineers from which three have been published by McGraw-Hill, New York. Below is a list of the books authored by Prof Kiameh:
  1. Power Generation Handbook: Gas Turbines, Steam Power Plants, Co-generation, and Combined Cycles, second edition, (800 pages), McGraw-Hill, New York, October 2011.
  2. Electrical Equipment Handbook (600 pages), McGraw-Hill, New York, March 2003.
  3. Power Plant Equipment Operation and Maintenance Guide (800 pages), McGraw-Hill, New York, January 2012.
  4. Industrial Instrumentation and Modern Control Systems (400 pages), Custom Publishing, University of Toronto, University of Toronto Custom Publishing (1999).
  5. Industrial Equipment (600 pages), Custom Publishing, University of Toronto, University of Toronto, University of Toronto Custom Publishing (1999).
Prof. Kiameh has received the following awards:
  1. The first "Excellence in Teaching" award offered by the Professional Development Center at University of Toronto (May, 1996).
  2. The "Excellence in Teaching Award" in April 2007 offered by TUV Akademie (TUV Akademie is one of the largest Professional Development centre in world, it is based in Germany and the United Arab Emirates, and provides engineering training to engineers and managers across Europe and the Middle East).
  3. Awarded graduation “With Distinction” from Dalhousie University when completed Bachelor of Engineering degree (1983).
  4. Entrance Scholarship to University of Ottawa (1984).
  5. Natural Science and Engineering Research Counsel (NSERC) scholarship towards graduate studies – Master of Applied Science in Engineering (1984 – 1985).
Prof. Kiameh performed research on power generation equipment with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited at their Chalk River and Whiteshell Nuclear Research Laboratories. He also has more than 30 years of practical engineering experience with Ontario Power Generation (formerly, Ontario Hydro - the largest electric utility in North America).
While working at Ontario Hydro, Prof. Kiameh acted as a Training Manager, Engineering Supervisor, System Responsible Engineer and Design Engineer. During the period of time that Prof Kiameh worked as a Field Engineer and Design Engineer, he was responsible for the operation, maintenance, diagnostics, and testing of gas turbines, steam turbines, generators, motors, transformers, inverters, valves, pumps, compressors, instrumentation and control systems. Further, his responsibilities included designing, engineering, diagnosing equipment problems and recommending solutions to repair deficiencies and improve system performance, supervising engineers, setting up preventive maintenance programs, writing Operating and Design Manuals, and commissioning new equipment.
Later, Prof Kiameh worked as the manager of a section dedicated to providing training for the staff at the power stations. The training provided by Prof Kiameh covered in detail the various equipment and systems used in power stations.
Professor Philip Kiameh was awarded his Bachelor of Engineering Degree "with distinction" from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He also received a Master of Applied Science in Engineering (M.A.Sc.) from the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is also a member of the Association of Professional Engineers in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Day I

Faculty: Philip Kiameh, University of Toronto/Ontario Power Generation


  • Introduction, symbols, compressor operation, first law of thermodynamics, second law of thermodynamics.
  • Ideal or perfect gas laws, Boyle’s law, Charles’ law, Amonton’s law, Dalton’s law, Amagat’s law, Avogrado’s law.
  • Heat and work, property relationships, perfect gases, imperfect gases.
  • Vapor pressure, partial pressures, critical conditions, gas mixtures, the mole.
  • Volume percent of constituents, molecular weight of a mixture, specific gravity and partial pressure, specific heats.
  • Pseudo-critical conditions and compressibility, weight-basis items, compression cycles, compressor polytropic efficiency.
  • Compressor power requirement, compressibility correction, multiple staging.
  • Compressor volumetric flow rate, cylinder clearance and volumetric efficiency, cylinder clearance and compression efficiency, Appendix A.


  • Introduction, positive displacement compressors.
  • Rotary compressors, rotary lobe compressors, rotary vane compressors, rotary screw compressors, rotary liquid ring compressors.
  • Reciprocating compressors.
  • Dynamic compressors, centrifugal compressors, principle of operation of centrifugal compressors, centrifugal single-stage (low ratio) compressors, centrifugal single stage integral gear compressors, centrifugal multi-stage horizontally split compressors, centrifugal multi-stage with side loads compressors, centrifugal multi-stage (barrel) compressors, centrifugal multi-stage integral gear compressors.
  • Axial flow compressors, axial horizontally-split compressors.


  • Compressor types: positive displacement (reciprocating and rotary), and dynamic (centrifugal and rotary), compressor operation, gas laws.
  • Compressor performance measurement, inlet conditions, compressor performance, energy available for recovery.
  • Positive displacement compressors, reciprocating compressors, trunck piston compressors, sliding crosshead piston compressors, diaphragm compressors, bellows compressors.
  • Rotary compressors, rotary screw compressor, lobe type air compressor, sliding vane compressors, liquid ring compressors.
  • Dynamic compressors, centrifugal compressors, axial compressors
  • Air receivers, compressor control, compressor unloading system.
  • Intercoolers and aftercoolers, filters and air intake screens
  • Preventive maintenance and housekeeping


  • Compressor performance, positive displacement compressors.
  • Reciprocating compressor rating, reciprocating compressor sizing.
  • Capacity control, clearance pockets, compressor performance.
  • Reciprocating compressors, compressor valves.
  • Reciprocating compressor leakage, screw compressor leakage.

Day II


  • Introduction, crankshaft design, bearings and lubrication systems.
  • Connecting rods, crossheads, frames and cylinders, compressor cooling.
  • Pistons, piston and rider rings, valves, piston rods, packings.
  • Cylinder lubrication, distance pieces


  • Introduction, location, foundation, air filters and suction lines.
  • Air-receiver location and capacity, starting a new compressor.
  • Lubrication, non-lubricated cylinders, valves, piston rings.
  • Intercoolers and aftercoolers, cleaning, packing.


  • Introduction, theory of operation, compressor design.
  • Materials of construction, accessories, cleaning and testing.
  • Applications, automotive air bag filling, petrochemical industries.
  • Limitations, installation and maintenance.
  • Diaphragm compressor specification.


  • Twin-screw machines, compressor operation, applications of rotary screw compressors.
  • Dry and liquid injected compressors, operating principles, flow calculation.
  • Power calculation, temperature rise, capacity control, mechanical construction.
  • Industry experience, maintenance history, performance summary.
  • Oil-flooded single-screw compressors.
  • Selection of modern reverse-flow filter separators, conventional filter-separators and self cleaning coalescers, removal efficiencies, filter quality.
  • Selection of the most suitable gas filtration equipment, evaluation of the proposed filtration configuration, life-cycle-cost calculations, conclusions.
  • Coke fuel, Introduction, Properties and Usage, Other coking processes.


  • Applications, operating characteristics, operating principle.
  • Pulsating characteristics, noise characteristics, torque characteristics.
  • Construction, rotors, casing, timing gears, bearings.
  • Staging, higher compression ratios, power reduction, installation.


  • Introduction
  • Removal mechanisms
  • Liquid/gas separation technologies
  • Gravity separators
  • Centrifugal separators
  • Mist eliminators
  • Filter vane separators
  • Liquid/gas coalescers.
  • Selection of liquid/gas separation equipment
  • Formation of fine aerosols.
  • Ratings and sizing of separation equipment.



  • Introduction
  • Centrifugal compressors technology
  • Axial compressors overview.


  • Principle of operation of centrifugal and axial flow compressors, characteristics of centrifugal and axial flow compressor.
  • Surging, choking, bleed valves, variable stator vanes, inlet guide vanes.


  • Introduction
  • Casing Configuration
  • Construction features
  • Diaphragms
  • Interstage seals
  • Balance piston seals
  • Impeller Thrust
  • Performance Characteristics
  • Slope of the centrifugal compressor head curve
  • Stonewall
  • Surge
  • Off-design Operation
  • Rotor Dynamics
  • Rotor Balancing
  • Surge Prevention Systems
  • Surge Identification
  • Liquid Entrainment
  • Instrumentation
  • Cleaning Centrifugal Compressors
  • Appendix A (Boundary Layer)
  • Definition
  • Description of the Boundary Layer
  • Separation; Wake


  • Introduction
  • Compressor auxiliaries
  • Compressor off-design performance, low rotational speeds, high rotational speeds.
  • Performance degradation.


  • Description of a centrifugal compressor, centrifugal compressor types.
  • Compressors with horizontally-split casings, centrifugal compressors with vertically-split casings, compressors with bell casings, pipeline compressors.
  • Performance limitations, surge limit, stonewall, prevention of surge.
  • Anti-surge control systems.


  • Introduction, the supply systems, the seal housing system, the atmospheric draining system, the seal leakage system, the drainer, the vent system, the degassing tank, the supply system, the seal housing system.
  • Gas seals, liquid seals, liquid bushing seals, contacts seals, restricted bushing seals, seal supply systems, flow through the gas side contact seal, flow through the atmospheric side bushing seal, flow through the seal chamber, seal liquid leakage system.


  • Introduction, background, dry seals, operating principles, operating experience, problems and solutions, upgrade developments of dry seals, prevention of dry gas seal failures by gas conditioning, need for training, minimizing the risk of sealing problems.
  • Magnetic bearings, operating principles, operating experience and benefits, problems and solutions, development efforts, thrust-reducing seals, integrated designs.


  • Calculations of air leaks from compressed-air systems, annual cost of air leakage.
  • Centrifugal compressor power requirement.
  • Compressor selection, calculations of air system requirements.
  • Characteristics of reciprocating compressors, blowers.
  • Selection of compressor drive.
  • Selection of air distribution system, water cooling requirements for compressors.
  • Sizing of compressor system components, sizing of air receiver.
  • Calculations of receiver pump-up time.


  • Under the guidance of the instructor, perform the following activities:
  • Design and select different compressor systems for the Oil and Gas industry.
  • Design and select different compressor systems for the Power Generation industry.


  • Types of bearings, ball and roller bearings, stresses during rolling contacts.
  • Statistical nature of bearing life, materials and finish, sizes of bearings, types of rolling bearings, thrust bearings.


  • Viscosity of lubricants, viscosity units, significance of viscosity, flow through pipes, variation of viscosity with temperature and pressure, temperature effect, viscosity index, effect of pressure
    on viscosity.
  • Non-Newtonian fluids, greases, VI improved oils, oils at low temperatures, variation of lubricant viscosity with use, oxidation reactions, physical reactions, housing and lubrication, lubrication of antifriction bearings.


  • Proper lube oil sampling technique, test description and significance, visual and sensory inspections, chemical and physical tests, water content, viscosity, emission spectrographic analysis, infrared analysis, total base number (TBN), total acid number (TAN), particle count, summary.


  • Application of sine waves to vibration, multimass systems, resonance, logarithms and decibels (db), use of filtering.
  • Vibration instrumentation, velocity transducer, acceleration transducer, transducer selection, time domain, frequency domain, machinery example, vibration analysis.
  • Vibration causes, forcing frequency causes, unbalance, misalignment, mechanical looseness, bearing defects, gear defects, oil whirl, blade or vane problems, electric motor defects, uneven loading,
    drive-shaft torsion.
  • Resonant frequency, vibration severity, a case history (condensate pump misalignment), vibration in predictive maintenance: diagnostics (identifying the characteristic vibration patterns of common faults; looseness of anti-friction bearings, journal bearings and gears).


  • Introduction, evolution of temperature transmitters, two-wire analog temperature transmitters.
  • Microprocessor-based transmitters (smart transmitters), smart (intelligent) pressure transmitters.


  • Introduction, comparison between intelligent and non-intelligent instrumentation, conclusion


  • General categories of control valves, sliding stem valves, ball valves, eccentric plug valves, butterfly valves, valve selection, material selection, trim parts, rangeability, pressure drop.
  • End connections, shutoff capability, flow capacity, valve sizing, choked flow, viscous flow, piping consideration, gas and steam sizing.
  • Cavitation fundamentals, cavity behavior and negative effects of cavitation, system design consideration, control-valve consideration, control-valve evaluation, sizing, and selection.
  • Noise terminology, sources of valve noise, mechanical noise, hydrodynamic noise, aerodynamic noise, noise control, quiet valves, path treatment.


  • Pneumatic actuators, specification for automated valves (pneumatic and electric actuators), NEMA guidelines, performance characteristics, duty cycle, stalling, speed control of pneumatic actuators, speed control of electric actuators, modulating.
  • Selection of pneumatic actuators for linear-shaft valves, actuator sizing for linear valves, actuator thrust outputs, double acting piston, fail-safe alternative.
  • Accessories for linear pneumatic actuators, actuator designs, control accessories and options for pneumatic actuators, pilot valves, limit switches.
  • Positioners, positioner applications, volume boosters, transducers, instrument signals, split ranging.
  • Electric actuators, limit switches, control circuit, torque protection, potentiometer, position transmitter, proportional controller.
  • Electronic positioner, dead band, electronic speed control circuit, motors and accessories, contactors and relays, components of electric actuators.


  • Live loading, valve maintenance.
  • AOV diagnostic testing, diagnostic system operation, control signal, hysterisis, bench set, I/P transducers, benefits of diagnostic testing, diagnostic system applications.
  • Motor-operated valves diagnostics

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