Think you can reduce costs by not having coalescing filters in your gas pipeline? Think again.
Many organisations fall into the trap of trying to save money by not paying for coalescing filter cartridges and instead relying on scrubber filters alone. But any short-term savings are outweighed by the costs that you will incur from additional downtime.
We often see companies design their processes without coalescing filters upstream of the compressors. They believe it's possible to save costs on filter cartridges by just using scrubber filters.
But this is a false economy.
Yes, technically, you can operate without a coalescing filter. However, this greatly increases the risk of having to repair your compressor more frequently. A coalescing filter can mean the difference between having to shut down every 10 days and not shutting down for 18 months. And for every moment of downtime, your business haemorrhages costs.
Here’s what this might look like in practice.
If downtime causes one day's worth of lost sales of natural gas at $2.5/MMBtu, that's $250k. Plus you have the cost of replacing valves, crankshafts, pistons, and other equipment.
A coalescing filter protects you from these risks. It costs you just $2.5k per year in replacement cartridges and $2.5k in labour costs. That’s a yearly investment of $5k to prevent potential losses of over $250k per day of downtime.
Coalescing cartridge filters play an important role in protecting your processes.
Gas moving through the pipeline collects liquid particles, such as oil and water, that can damage your compressor stations. Scrubber filters capture larger liquid particles from the gas, but you’ll need coalescing filters to remove the finer particles.
They capture these tiny droplets and high-efficiency filter media encourages the small droplets to join or 'coalesce' together so they're large enough to be removed through gravity. Solutions such as the SupaSep coalescer also incorporate a unique drainage layer that maximises drainage of bulk liquid, guaranteeing high efficiency through its operational lifetime.
It’s easy to fixate on reducing the capital cost of your compressor. And the short-term savings of not paying for cartridge filters might seem like an easy win.
However, cutting corners by not using coalescing filters isn’t worth it in the long run. You greatly increase the risk of damaging your compressor, causing downtime, and losing hundreds of thousands in sales.
These filters are crucial for protecting your process and your profits.