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2006GMC Paper

The Surprising Influence of Bearing (and Compressor Drive) Type on Compressor Station Economics: How Certain New Technologies Provide Significant Life Cycle Cost Advantages & Represent a Strategic (Real) Option

Michael Swann-Waukesha Magnetic Bearings/Ramkumar Wallooppillai-El Paso Corp.

The successful demonstration of new technologies for Active Magnetic Bearings and Electric Motor Drivein recent natural gas pipeline applications with a good reliability and availability record have led theindustry to take a fresh look at the financial case for these technologies. This paper describes a modern day basis for comparing the costs and benefits of electric motor drive with magnetic bearings incentrifugal compressors with the conventional technologies of gas turbine drive and fluid film bearings.Life cycle cost analyses using Monte Carlo simulation of future operating expenses are employed duringthe compressor station planning stages to allow Net Present Value (NPV) comparisons of competing technologies. Case studies are provided for examples typical of the US pipeline industry.

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