Preliminary Design Review

P09452: Compressor Installation, Interface, and Education

Team Members:

Snehapriya Rao

Ed Budriss

Ed Wolf

Alex Scarangella

Anna Cheung

Faculty Guide:

Dr. Margaret Bailey

Project # / Project Name / Project Track / Project Family
P09452 / Compressor Installation, Interface and Education / Sustainable Products, Systems, and Technologies / Sustainable Technologies for the Global Marketplace
Start Term / Team Guide / Project Sponsor / Doc. Revision
Winter 2008 / Dr. Margaret Bailey / Dresser Rand Company / 0.3

Project Description

Project Background:

This project will be taking a donated compressor from the Dresser Rand Company, and readying it to be used by RIT students and faculty for research and education purposes. The team will be preparing the compressor for the installation at RIT, and setting it up so that tests can be run on the compressor for various Labs. This would include making the compressor and the environment in which it is stored safe for RIT personnel. The team will be building on the P08452 teams work.

Problem Statement:

The primary objective of this project is to install a Dresser Rand compressor so that RIT students and faculty can safely use it for future tests. The project will also focus on the development of laboratory experiments for the Vibrations and Thermal Fluids Lab classes.


1.  Ensure the compressor is safe for lab use by RIT students and faculty.

2.  Prepare installation instruction document

3.  Develop Lab Procedures.

4.  Prepare Data Acquisition Unit


·  Increase the safety and minimizing effects on the surrounding college environment are key goals for the installation and revamp.

·  Provide an interface that should give a head start for future teams to further implement a data acquisition system.

·  Provide robust lab procedure documents

·  Provide documentation for the installation and use of compressor

Expected Project Benefits:

·  RIT and Dresser-Rand will be able to benefit from the research done using the compressor.

·  Students working on the project will apply coursework to fulfill customer’s needs.

·  Students will be exposed to different topics outside of their major, and will be expected to contribute their skill set to the group.

Core Team Members:

·  Ed Budriss – Mechanical Engineer

·  Anna Cheung – Industrial Systems Engineer

·  Snehapriya Rao – Project Manager

·  Alex Scarangella – Mechanical Engineer

·  Ed Wolf – Computer Engineer

Strategy & Approach

Assumptions & Constraints:

1.  It is assumed that Dresser Rand will fabricate and deliver a new compressor at some point in the future.

2.  The compressor will be without a ITAR designation.

3.  We will be able to use the research from P08452 to speed up the delivery of our design.

Issues & Risks:

·  Information on customer needs and expectations are limited at the moment.

·  It is not know when the compressor will be delivered.

·  There are educational concerns in the following areas:

i.  Frequency Response

ii.  Vibration Analysis

iii. Data Acquisition

Organizational Chart

P09452: Compressor Installation, Interface, and Education

Sub Functions


  1. Detailed Instruction Document
  2. Maintenance Needs
  3. Safety Needs
  4. Pre Compressor Installation: Set up Room Lay out
  5. Transportation
  6. Simple Board showing how to operate compressor


  1. Implementation of Interface Developed
  2. Update Interface to meet new compressor needs
  3. Testing interface
  4. Pressure Control
  5. Flow Rate Control


  1. Vibration Kill Switch
  2. Air and Ventilation
  3. Temperature Monitoring


  1. Vibration Lab
  2. Thermal Fluids Lab

Specification (description) / Unit of Measure / Marginal Value / Ideal Value
Outlet Pressure / psi / 20 / 100
Output flow / scfm / 8 / 40
Motor power / HP / 10 / 25
Efficiency / % / 20 / 50
Maintain Room Temperature / °F / 5 / 70
Vibration response / Hz / 1 / 7
Structural response / binary / - / -
Ventilation exhaust / scfm / 50 / 700
Maintain operational safety / list / - / 0 injuries
Adequate spacing around compressor / ft / 1 / 2.5
Maintain safe noise level / dB / 10 / 75
Safety training at Dresser-Rand site / binary / - / -
Safely transporting and installing / list / - / -
Timeline on install / days / 19 / 8
Lifting capability / lbs / 750 / 1500
Modify electrical feed / Volts / - / 208
Storage of tools / list / - / -
Data Acquisition
Temperature sensors / % accuracy / .25 / 100
Pressure sensors / % accuracy / .75 / 100
Crank position / % accuracy / 10 / 100
Accelerometers / % accuracy / 10 / 100
Data base to collect information from DAQ / list / -
USB interface to communicate sensors and compressor / binary / -
Vibration Lab / binary / -
Thermal Fluid Lab / binary / -

Safety Concerns

To successfully complete this project, care must be taken to ensure that all possible precautions have been taken to insure that no member of our team, faculty, staff, contractor, or student is injured as a result of the installation, setup, or operation of the compressor. We also must insure that the operation and maintenance of the compressor is easy and safe for use by those who may follow after us.






Personal Protective Equipment

·  Safety Glasses

·  Ear Plugs

·  Steel Toe Boots

·  Over Shoe Toe Protectors

·  Gloves

·  Long Pants

·  No Loose or Dangling Clothes

·  No Heavy Lifting

In Room Safety

·  Fire Extinguisher

·  Eye Was Station

·  First Aid Kit

·  Adequate Ventilation

·  Mechanical Lift

·  Sturdy Carts

·  Posted Warning and Hazard Signs

·  Clear and Marked Emergency Exits

Operational Safety

·  Lock Out and Tag Out for all Electrical

·  Insulation Heat Wrapping Shields

·  Clearly Marked Hazards

·  Complete Dresser-Rand Safety Training

·  Maintenance

·  Follow Operations Manual Maintenance Instructions

·  Periodic Inspections for Wear and Fatigue

Future Teams and Faculty

·  Develop an Operations and Safety Manual

·  Provide Safety Training to Faculty and Staff

Room Layout


Will the compressor fit in the room?

Find the best orientation of the compressor for:

·  Cooling water/drain hookup

·  Electrical hookup

·  Safety

·  Maintenance

·  Clearance for disassembly

·  Access to control panel

Possible Layouts

With Formula Team Test Equipment Still in Place

With Formula Team Test Equipment Removed

·  Cooling water will be supplied from the floor next to the left side of the formula team’s engine dynamometer.

·  Electrical connection is likely to be supplied from the left side of the room (facing in) near the shelving.

·  Tables and shelving can be repositioned if necessary.

Questions for Dresser-Rand:

·  What is known about the heat supplied by the compressor?

·  Is using a cooling unit possible to reduce the amount of water wasted?

·  What else if anything will affect the need for ventilation in the room?

·  Are there any other clearances necessary for maintenance/disassembly other than those listed on the general arrangement drawing?

Vibration Lab Concept

The Vibration Lab that will be developed by the team will help RIT students taking the Vibration course, which is a taken by both graduate and undergraduate students, to apply the knowledge they have learned in their Introductory Vibration course. The course introduces students to natural frequency, system damping, linear imbalances, rotational imbalances and forced vibrations.

It was decided that we would focus on the Model System and Optimize Parameters Lab, because it would give a very basic understanding of how the compressor works. Also, this lab will allow students to incorporate all three of the other lab concepts if they choose.

Concept A: Model System and Optimize Parameters:

Sensors needed

·  1Crank Position Sensor

The mechanical Engineers on the team will develop a theoretical differential equation model. The students will be asked to take data from a position sensor and compare it to the theoretical data.

Concept B: Compare Vibration on Compressor with Skid:

Sensors needed

·  2 Accelerometers

Students will use two accelerometers to look at deflection on the compressor and look at the deflection on the skid. By comparing this, they will be able to tell how much damping is provided by the skid to the horizontal vibrations felt by the compressor.

Concept C: Measure Rotational Imbalances:

Sensors needed

·  1 Crank Position Sensor

Students will look at the crank motion to observe how much it deviates from a perfect sinusoidal motion. They will be able to tell how well the flywheel and crank are balanced.

Concept D: How much overkill is the skid? :

Sensors needed

·  1 Crank Position Sensor

·  2 Accelerometers

Students will take the model and develop a minimal damping system based on requirements. Then they will look at how much damping is provided by the skid and calculate a factor of safety and judge if the skid is overkill for the application.

Questions for Dresser Rand

  1. What fault sensors does the compressor come with?
  2. Does it have a Vibration kill switch?
  3. What are the capabilities of the control panel?
  4. Do you have any other lab concept suggestions?
  5. Does the manual come with a model equation?

Thermal Fluids Lab Concept

We are developing this compressor as a future educational tool for Mechanical Engineering students. Thermal Fluids Lab students will utilize their previous course work in Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics to quantify the differences between real and ideal systems through rigorous system analysis. Students will work in teams to evaluate various thermo-fluid systems.

After taking our objectives into mind we brainstormed three possible labs: Compressor Efficiency, Vortex Tube Characterization, Real-time P-V diagrams. Using a Pugh Chart we were able to rate and rank each possible lab.

We then decided to begin the development process of each lab as they all showed great potential as learning tools for the Thermal Fluids Lab.

Calculate compressor efficiency:

Sensors required:

·  Motor torque

·  Water temperature

·  Water flow rate

·  Compressed gas flow rate

·  Compressed gas temperature

Utilizing sensors for calculating horsepower, temperature change of water, flow rate of water, and mass flow rate of compressed gas, students will be able to take experimental data and calculate efficiency of the compressor and then compare it with their theoretical calculations.

Real-time PV diagrams:

Sensors required:

·  Inter bore high sample rate pressure transducer

·  Crank position sensor

Using knowledge of crank piston relationship the volume can be found allowing students to view real time Pressure-Volume diagrams and compare with those derived in class/published diagrams.

Vortex tube lab:

Sensors required:

·  Compressor output pressure

·  Compressor output temperature

·  Recycled thermocouples

·  Recycled air flow meters

Using the DR gas compressor students will be able to devise an experiment investigating the operation of a typical vortex tube cooling device. Using a temperature probe and two flow meters, exit air temperatures can be measured at different cold fractions. Changing cold fractions can be achieved by adjusting the valve on the hot side to a desired setting. Using this data collected students would be able to calculate and compare the maximum refrigeration capacities for different sizes of vortex tubes we tested. Additionally calculations could be carried out to compare the isentropic efficiency of a larger vortex tube, at the highest pressure, to typical compressor efficiency.

Questions for Dresser Rand

  1. Can we have inter-bore holes drilled to accept pressure transducers?
  2. Can we have all holes drilled and ready to accept all sensors?
  3. Are there any temperature or pressure kill switches?
  4. What monitoring equipment comes with the compressor?

Here is a proposed list of Sensors that could be used to collect data for the labs being performed

Interface Concept

A major component of the project will revolve around the education and research interface used to collect information from the compressor. As such, a data acquisition unit needs to be developed in order meet the customer’s needs.

Possible Interface Manufacturers

1)  LabView ( – National Instruments program designed specifically for data acquisition and analysis.

  1. Already being taught to RIT Students
  2. Allows for custom signal gathering, analysis and user interface
  3. Runs off of National Instrument products
  4. Software and hardware is sustainable in support and maintenance

2)  Data Acquisition Toolbox ( – Data acquisition software which utilizes MATLAB or Simulink for analysis of data

  1. Works with MATLAB as an additional toolbox
  2. Allows for custom interfaces if the toolbox does not support the hardware
  3. MATLAB already being taught to some RIT students
  4. Software and hardware is sustainable in support and maintenance

3)  Team Designed Interface– Program a basic user interface for a potential acquisition system

  1. Due to scope of project, may only be an interface
  2. Custom design requires no need to purchase program licenses
  3. Data collection device would need to be found or designed so it would support the interface
  4. May require a significant amount of time to debug and document

4)  Omega Instruments ( – A provider of data acquisition sensors and software

  1. Inexpensive sensors
  2. Customizable user interface, but limited in capabilities
  3. Extensive documentation
  4. Software is proprietary, and not in use in RIT classrooms

5)  Allen-Bradley ( - A provider of data acquisition sensors and software as well as user interfaces

  1. Expensive in costs due to need to purchase through dealers
  2. Software and hardware is sustainable in support and maintenance
  3. Already in use by some RIT students who have gone on co-op
  4. A wide arrange and variety of sensors

After researching and comparing all the available options, National Instruments’ LabView was the solution we decided to develop further.

Possible further developments

Aside from the Data Acquisition unit, there may need to be some mechanism in place to control the physical operation of the compressor. Some properties a user might want to be able to control could include pressure, vibration or temperature. To accomplish this there are multiple ways to approach this problem. Until a more comprehensive electrical schematic of the compressor’s control panel is found, the following concepts may or may not be relevant to achieve the customer needs.