Years back, Bill Spitzer & Associates and Lincoln took a step back to revisit packing lubrication on trailer mounted Frac Pumps. This particular application is tough due to the violent nature the systems are subject to, and the high level of importance of a properly lubricated plunger. We spent several months in the field with different Frac crews to get a better feel of what this market has evolved into. When it came time to design a new system we focused on three key aspects: rugged, reliable, and efficient. The pictures show where we are today with our current design.
1) Lincoln Centro-Matic 60 lb. pump station with 24 VDC hydraulic driven pump
Pump selection was key in this application. We knew in order to withstand the violent nature of a frac job we had to use a pump that had been proven in the harshest environments. Lincoln’s FlowMaster pump has been utilized in the mining industry for over 10 years with great success. There are several different versions of a FlowMaster pump. We chose to use the hydraulic driven version to keep it simple and reliable. Our hydraulic requirements call for 300 psi and 2 gpm. This pump station is sitting on a 60 lb. sealed reservoir, which has increased average refill from once every four hours to once every 5-7 days.
2) Lincoln SLV Injectors
Our pump station is feeding a bank of Lincoln SL-V Injectors (three for a triplex pump or five for a quintuplex pump). These are not to be confused with our Lincoln SSV divider valves, which were traditionally used in this application. The injectors serve as measuring valves that distribute measured amounts of lubricant to the each packing point simultaneously. The output is adjustable, but we have seen great results with setting them at half output (.04 cubic inches per cycle per point). By delivering smaller shots more often we ensure a strong film strength is kept on the plunger and no lubricant is wasted. At a yard where we have outfitted their entire fleet of quintuplex pumps we have not seen an injector fail in the year and half of pump time.
3) Lincoln Orsco 24 VDC Pump Stroke Count Controller
The stand alone control system was also designed based around the rugged requirements. Our programmable controls are sealed tightly in a NEMA 4X box. On the exterior you will find a power on light, system pumping light, system fault light and manual lube button. Feeding this box is a proximity switch that is picking up a signal off of a spilt collar mag pickup and counting pump strokes. If available we like to utilize the rotary union on the power end that turns during pump time (one revolution equals one stroke of the pump.) The controller comes preprogrammed at 120 strokes, but can be adjusted if more or less lubricant is required.
By utilizing Lincoln’s FlowMaster pump and SL-V Injectors we were able to meet the rugged and reliable aspects this application calls for. By counting strokes we have not only increased lube consumption, but packing life as well making this system an efficient solution to packing lubrication problems. By using this system some customers have seen an increase in packing life from an average of 60 hours to an average of 400 hours over the course of a year. They have also seen a dramatic decrease in time spent refilling and maintaining lube systems. Please feel free to contact our office with any questions or to discuss the system in more detail. We look forward to hearing from you.
Written by: Steven Logan