The site had a 1340 HP engine, 1400 rpm engine with a two stage reciprocating gas compressor, in a sweet gas gathering service. The right bank, cylinder #4 pyrometer temperature exceeded the maximum allowable high temp deviation setting. As a result, Productivity Optimizer showed a red flag in Unit Review and a notation in the Bad Actor Report ensured that it received attention.
What Was the Underlying Cause?
The red flagged #4 cylinder pyrometer reading graph revealed an increase in temperature over time. The technician compared cylinder #4 to the rest of the right bank pyrometer temperatures and confirmed it was lower. Since the potential for an unplanned shutdown existed, the tech inspected the #4 cylinder head and found the seating area of the exhaust valve had been compromised.
What Was the Value to the Customer?
The prognosis for torched exhaust valves is progressive engine damage. A dropped valve can cause cylinder head, piston liner, and turbo damage. Engine back firing events compromise the integrity of the exhaust system, intake system and contribute to crankcase explosions. In addition, engine back firing events are a personnel safety issue and as such many organizations consider backfiring a reportable even under the heading of near miss. By reading the reports generated by Productivity Optimizer, the technician was able to eliminate an unplanned shutdown.