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Air-cooled coolers

Absorption or compression refrigeration? Refrigerant condenser or evaporator? You choose.


Extraction and production of natural gas involves several cycles of condensing and cooling. Cooling reduces the energy required for compression, resulting in an energy efficient process. It also prevents the temperatures of the compressor from soaring and/or avoids condensation of undesirable natural gas components. If the gas is to be shipped, it must be liquified in order to allow transport at a reduced volume and under low pressure. This also requires cooling.

An air-cooled cooler is able to cool gas to temperatures that are only a few degrees above the ambient temperature. If the gas has to be colder than the ambient temperature, a refrigerator is needed. This may be an absorption refrigerator, although most gas producers will use compression refrigerators. Two heat exchangers are needed for this type of refrigerator: an air-cooled refrigerant condenser and a refrigerant evaporator to extract heat from the gas. The difference in temperature between evaporating and condensing refrigerant is a result of the compression and reduction in pressure from the refrigerant.

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