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Compressor Test Cell

Location: Compressor Test Cell

The RIT Compression Test Cell comprises of an industrial sized reciprocating compressor and accompanying professional data acquisition system. The unit is an 8,000-lb Dresser-Rand ESH-1, single stage, dual acting compressor with a 6” piston diameter and 5” stroke with air as the working fluid. While the operating flow and pressure is low (50 SCFM @ 50psi), the operating life expectance of this unit in service is decades with round the clock use with minimal maintenance using a variety of impure gas. Moreover, the unit is specifically designed to meet API standards required for use in the petrochemical industry. The compressor is presently instrumented with numerous pressure, temperature, flow, and vibration instruments that measure the operating characteristics of the unit. A rack mounted data acquisition system, National Instruments-based (cDAQ & cRIO), is used to capture desired measurements.

The primary goal of this lab is to support machine health monitoring research. Presently two graduate level master’s thesis projects in suction & discharge valve failure and main crank bearing failure are underway and currently funded by Dresser-Rand. Future projects are planned to address other critical wear components in the compressor including prognostic capabilities to predict remaining useful life of the components and in novel sensor development such as wireless sensor transmission from hard to measure locations. The ability to perform maintenance when required, not when scheduled, is a tremendous cost savings to D-Rs customers and provides them with a strong competitive advantage.

In addition to research activities, since the 2011 installation of the compressor five multidisciplinary senior design (MSD) teams have utilized this lab for their capstone design experience. Annual D-R funded projects include instrumentation installation & data acquisition, vibration suppression, a novel cooling system, and a wireless vibration sensor package have been successfully demonstrated, with more projects planned. To date for every MSD team working in this lab a new D-R hiring has resulted. Dr. Jason Kolodziej manages this lab.

Equipment in the Lab

  • Dresser-Rand ESH 5 Reciprocating Compressor
  • Dresser-Rand Envision Health Monitoring System
  • NI cRIO 9012 – Real Time Controller
  • NI 9401 – Digital I/O and Counter
  • NI 9221 – Analog I/O ( +/- 60V)
  • NI 9203 – Analog I/O (+/- 20mA)
  • NI 9211 – Temperature Input
  • NI 9234 – Accelerometer Input
  • RIT Data Acquisition System
  • NI cDAQ 9178
  • NI 9205 – Analog I/O (+/- 10V)
  • NI 9213 – Temperature Input
  • Various Experimental Sensors
  • High and low speed pressure transducers
  • Many thermocouples
  • Coolant and Air Flow transducers
  • Base and subsystem specific vibration measurement
  • And several others


  • Dresser-Rand – Donated Compressor & Funded Graduate research and Senior Design Projects
  • Lord Corp. – Donated items for Senior Design Projects (passive isolation mounts & MR dampers)
  Rochester Institute of Technology
One Lomb Memorial Drive,
Rochester, NY 14623-5603
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