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Subsea cooling

Subsea cooler  

Challenge / question

One of our clients extracts natural gas offshore. He prefers to cool the gas without the use of a cooling installation with pumps. He would like to build the smallest offshore platform possible as the size of the gas field does not allow much for large investments. He considers a space-saving solution by installing an underwater heat exchanger, allowing seawater to immediately cool the natural gas. In order to realise this, a number of new problems will have to be resolved.

Subsea cooler detail  

Our solution

An underwater heat exchanger, how do you calculate its size? Cooling gas efficiently requires speed and movement. How does that work underwater? How does heat spread underwater near a heat exchanger? How about the growth of algae, corrosion, pollution? We extensively calculated and simulated the effect of tidal movement underwater and natural current of heated water. Conclusion: sufficient natural currents and flow are present to be used for cooling. To prevent the growth of algae, corrosion and pollution of the underwater heat exchanger, a construction can be designed with a solid and open frame. Gas passes through the heat exchanger under high pressure. It is therefore necessary to provide protection that will prevent mechanical damage, without limiting the free flow of the cooling water. It took some thinking but we succeeded in resolving the problems and were able to offer the perfect tailor-made solution!



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