Figure 6-47. - Parallel compressors with separate condensers.
level and one below. The double equalizer system must be used on compressors having two equalizer tappings. A single equalizer line on machines having two equalizer tappings should never be used.
The lower oil equalizer line must not rise above the oil level in the crankcase and should be as level as possible. This is important since the oil builds up in one crankcase if the line rises. The upper equalizer line is a gas line intended to prevent any difference in crankcase. pressure that would influence the gravity flow of oil in the lower equalizer line or the level of oil in the crankcase. This upper line must not dip, and care should be taken to eliminate pockets in which oil could accumulate to block the flow of gas. Valves in the crankcase equalizer lines are installed with the stems horizontal, so no false oil levels are created by oil rising over the valve seat and minimize flow resistance.
It is poor practice to skimp on piping when making up these equalizer lines. Oversize piping is preferred to undersize piping. General practice indicates the use of oil equalizer lines equal to the full size of the tapping in the compressor.
The discharge lines from the compressors are also equalized before they enter the condensers. This, in effect, causes the individual condensers to function as a single unit. This is the most critical point in the piping system. It is here that pressure drop is extremely important - a pressure drop of 0.5 psi being equal to a 1.0 foot head of liquid. Excessive pressure drop in the equalizer line may rob one condenser of all liquid by forcing it into the other condenser. One of the results may be the pumping of large quantities of hot refrigerant vapor into the liquid lines from the condenser of the operating compressor. This could reduce the capacity of the system materially. For this reason, the equalizer line should be just as short and level as possible. A long equalizer line introduces an unequal pressure in condensers if one of the compressors is not operating. The refrigerant then accumulates in the condenser of the nonoperating compressor. The equalizer line should also be generously sized and should be equal to or larger than the discharge 1 ine of the largest compressor being used.
If the condensers are more than 10 feet above the compressor, U-traps or oil separators should be installed in the horizontal discharge line where it comes from each compressor.Continue Reading