Following imbalance and electrical frequency: chiller compressor in a chemical plant

chiller compressor 1What are the added values of a wireless vibration monitoring system ? Some of them are obvious, such as reduced installation, travel and measurement costs but some are not so obvious.  Imagine that you need to take vibration measurements regularly in an area of your plant that has a safety issue. Wi-care will provide close to continuous online vibration analysis with limited risks, as it can be installed in a minute and then needs no more direct access to the sensor to collect data or configure equipment. Irrespective of the location, the Wi-care system offers you the opportunity to upgrade your current vibration monitoring system. You can install the transmitter in almost all areas to enable readings to be taken as often as necessary even in the most inaccessible or unsafe areas.

The following case study describes and explains a typical remote analysis application of imbalance and electrical frequency monitoring on a chiller compressor in a chemical plant.

pdfRead complete Case Study

The following case study describes and explains a typical remote analysis application of imbalance and electrical frequency monitoring on a chiller compressor in chemical plant. The continuous surveillance was set up in a very effective way for the customer and analyst:

For the Customer: Easy detection, fast diagnosis and monitoring with low risk for data collection and no heavy protocol for continuous monitoring installation

For the analyst: Continuous data, instant trend data and 24/7 protection, higher confidence without any travel or measurement time spent. Comfort of data collection.

Equipment, plant overview, Context

The Chemical site is a huge chemical complex in East Asia operating 24 hours 7 days a week with a constant growing production. The equipment in question is a Chiller compressor. Due to its high criticality, customer wants to monitor the equipment for 1 month before major shutdown. Wi-care was installed on the electrical motor and the compressor close to the bearing location. From the first measurement an imbalance was detected with moderate value and an electrical frequency. The two frequencies may be linked together. I-Care suggested the installation of Wi-care wireless vibration/temperature monitoring system and the analysis/trending by its remote team to ensure no need of action before the shutdown and to evaluate the link between the two frequencies. Loose rotor bar?

chiller compressor 2

Measurement points

                      Reference                                                     Description                          



Motor Inboard Horizontal




Motor Outboard Horizontal




Motor Inboard Horizontal


Analyst diagnosis and spectrum justification

Wi-care data from July 2014.

Measurement Wi-care SN 2000 location Motor MNV




Analyst observations

We detect frequency at 1X and 2X RPM on the electrical drive which indicate unbalance and misalignment. The amplitudes are not negligible and justify more monitoring. We also detect peak at 2425 Hz and sidebands at 30 Hz which indicate electrical frequency. The levels associated to these frequencies are still acceptable. 

We recommend performing a longer vibration monitoring of the motor with vibration measurement also on the chiller. No lubrication issue on the motor.

pdfRead complete Case Study

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Nicolas Bleret, I-care, Belgique
Business Development director