Reciprocating Compressor Foundation Design with Steel Piles

Thursday August 6th 2020

A sound foundation is a key factor in a successful reciprocating compressor application. Conventional concrete block foundations provide a reliable design, but the cost can be significant. Driven pile and helical or screw pile foundations are good alternatives that have been used successfully, even for very large reciprocating compressor packages. A pile foundation has the advantage of lower costs and shorter installation time compared to concrete block foundations.

The pile foundation design must consider static loads, which is a well-understood requirement. Reciprocating compressors also generate dynamic forces as part of their normal operation, which must be considered in the pile foundation design along with the static loads.

A dynamic analysis of pile foundations requires specific approaches and practices, and the package design must include special considerations when a pile foundation is used. There are also some differences between driven pile and helical pile foundations that must be considered.

This paper outlines the general design practices for driven and helical pile foundations for reciprocating compressors. The advantages and disadvantages of pile foundations and concrete block foundations are discussed. Case studies for reciprocating compressor packages are presented to demonstrate the use of pile foundations and the need for a dynamic foundation analysis.

Read the technical paper here:

Reciprocating compressor foundation design with steel piles – GMC 2019

This paper was written by Kelly Eberle, BSc, PEng, of Wood for the GMRC Gas Machinery Conference 2019.


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