Starting Your Gas Booster Under Load: Boosting Gas Pressure Efficiently

starting gas booster under load

Whether your booster or compressor is run continuously or intermittently, all equipment is taken offline at some point. Restarting the compressor can be frustrating because most compression equipment, such as piston and diaphragm designs, can run under load but are not designed to start under load. So, if you have a high pressure source, which is the best way of transporting large volumes of gas, this pressure must be reduced during the startup phase. This can be very costly if the installation or process requires frequent starting and stopping. Not only is the energy wasted, the gas is also wasted because it has to be vented to atmosphere.

As more manufacturers and operators look for cleaner, more cost-efficient technology that can support greater ROI, electric gas boosting designs may see increased demand over traditional designs. Electric-driven gas boosters are designed to start in a loaded condition, helping you transfer gases with maximum efficiency.

The Problem with Piston and Diaphragm Compressors

Traditional compressors are designed to operate under a certain load and inlet pressure, and when used in industrial or gas fill operations with costly gasses such as helium, gas is wasted as it must be vented off every time the machine is cycled on. A system built with compressors that are designed to operate under necessary high-pressure loads may need to cycle through frequent start/stop cycles, requiring the release of expensive gas into the atmosphere. This process not only wears down the equipment, but it adds up to significant cost and waste.

In a past case, we were working with a customer who was using a compressor that could operate under load but it couldn’t start under load. Every time the equipment was started the customer had to remove all the gas to get the compressor turning and get cycling. Once it was running it could take the higher pressure inlet and do its job, so then they could turn the gas on.

The customer was losing as much as 40 standard cubic feet of gas every time the compressor had to vent off, just for their expensive gas to go into the atmosphere. They were doing upwards of half a dozen starts an hour, 24 hours a day – repeating this process every time. The amount of gas they were running through became substantial, to the point where it became more cost effective for them to redo the complete system.

Improving Efficiency in Gas Transfer

To improve the efficiency of the gas transfer process and increase the lifespan of your equipment, consider hydraulic-driven and electric-driven gas boosters that more effectively start under load. Because hydraulic boosters are able to start and operate with high inlet pressures, they don’t require the gas pressure to be reduced. This means they can move more molecules of gas per stroke than traditional piston or diaphragm compressors, which may require reducing the inlet pressure leading to a decrease in the flow through the compressor.

While bypass loops can help to eliminate shut-off and hydraulic boosters like the H-Drive can idle, there is still energy consumption occurring during idle moments. When an electric-driven gas booster like Q-Drive is idling, the energy consumption drops to almost zero. Being designed to run continuously, electric boosters reduce or eliminate frequent start/stop cycles for more efficiencies and reduced waste. Both hydraulic and electric gas boosters can easily start up whether there is pressure on the inlet or not.

Selecting a Gas Transfer and Pressurization System

When selecting a gas transfer and pressurization system for your facility, careful selection is essential. Haskel offers the widest range of gas boosters with three distinct drive technologies: When selecting a gas transfer and pressurization system for your facility, careful selection is essential. Haskel offers the widest range of gas boosters with three distinct drive technologies: pneumatic, hydraulic, and electric. With so many options, it can be difficult to choose the right-fit gas pressurization system that will deliver the maximum ROI.

Download our white paper to learn the core differences between gas booster technologies and how the environment, materials, location, and output will impact your selection.

Download the White Paper: 

Choosing A Gas Booster:
Considerations for choosing the right technology for your system.