25/04/2014
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Solutions & Cases

Tri ethylene glycol cooler  

Vibration problems

It is a known fact that vibrations can cause great damage to equipment, even when they occur for a short period of time. In nearly all cases, vibrations could even have been avoided during the design phase. With each design, we perform an analysis to rule out the risk of damage caused by vibrations. We also analyse vibrations caused by external sources if this may potentially form a risk.
 
Case study
Location Middle East: we supply a large air cooler for a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant. Shortly after the start-up, the client informs us that an internal flow deflection plate has been torn off. Fracture surface analysis shows fatigue cracking, due to vibrations, as the cause.
 
Our solution
In cooperation with the client, we start with damage analysis. Using advanced software, we analyse the flow. We model the air cooler and analyse the interaction with connecting piping. This demonstrates that the pipes, installed by a third party, function as an organ pipe. They are causing vibrations that equal the resonance frequency of the flow deflection plate, causing it to tear off and resulting in an immediate plant stop. As it is impossible to modify the connecting piping, we install a new and stronger flow deflection plate that has its own resonance frequency, outside the critical zone. If we had been involved in the design of the connecting piping, this problem could have been avoided.

 
 
 
Radiator to cool a generator set  

Ability to assess

Naturally, we are also faced with unexpected situations. It sometimes happens that a client has made an incorrect assessment with regard to the required cooling capacity. This only emerges after the installation of our coolers. Alternatively, process conditions may have been altered resulting in a changed cooling capacity requirement. In such cases, replacement is the most obvious solution.
 
Case study
Location: a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit in Nigeria: we supply radiators for the cooling of a generator set. The radiators are located on the lower deck. Due to the limited space, the cooling air is recirculated which results in the air being preheated. This leads to insufficient cooling of the radiators so that maximum efficiency cannot be obtained from the generator set.
 
Our solution
We modify the radiators and install them in a different position. Thanks to better heat removal, the generators are now able to perform with maximum efficiency. This case study also shows that we like to be involved in the design of a new plant as early as possible. It allows us to help think of the most efficient processes and to tailor our equipment and services to this.

 
 
 
Example streaming analyses  

Increased pressure

The performance of a production plant is party determined by the resistance of individual items of the equipment. High resistance in one item may lead to a large drop in pressure which nearly always results in the need for increased pump capacity. Consequences: the purchase of the pump or compressor is more expensive, the use of energy increases.
 
Case study
Location UGS station Germany: Bronswerk® Heat Transfer supplies a Tri Ethylene Glycol (TEG) cooler. During the start-up of the installation, a signal from a glycol booster pump indicates that it is unable to sufficiently pump the desired volume of glycol through the TEG coolers. This is caused by a too high a drop in pressure, resulting in a reduced production capacity for the installation.
 
Our solution
Investigation shows that the circumstances for the TEG coolers are far from ideal. The outside temperature is 60°C whilst the operating temperature, for which we have designed the TEG coolers, must be 90°C. The viscosity of glycol at this lower temperature is many times higher than the design conditions required. Our calculations show that the loss in pressure from the TEG coolers at 60°C must be even higher than that which is shown in reality. Using hot air heating, we temporarily alter the working of TEG coolers: from cooling to heating. This greatly reduces the viscosity of the glycol which allows us to start up the installation as normal.
 
More images
Example streaming analyses
 
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