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Compressor Driver Selection in LNG Liquefaction Process Disclosure Number: IPCOM000182767D
Publication Date: 2009-May-05

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The Prior Art Database

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D. B. Crawford, BSChE

Technology Manager, Process Design Development

C. A. Durr, MSChE

Technology Manager, Gas Processing

M. J. Fischbach, BSME

Senior Principal Rotating Engineer

S. E. Handman, MME

Chief Engineer

(All authors from The M. W. Kellogg Company, Houston, Texas)


Gas turbines and electric motors, as well as steam turbines provide

practical choices when considering compressor drivers for natural gas

liquefaction facilities. The process selection has a significant in- fluence on the choice of compressor driver configuration and on the

cost of the liquefaction plant. This paper examines the use of steam turbines, gas turbines and electric motor drivers for the refrigeration

compressors. The comparative merits of each type of driver is discuss- ed with emphasis on the effects of the process deSign as related to the overall facility economics.


Dans les usines de liquefaction de gaz naturel, le choix des tur- bines a gaz, moteurs electriques~et des turbines a vapeur est tres im- portant lorsqu'il s'agit d'entrainer les compresseurs. La selection du

procede~a une influence importante sur le choix de la configuration de

,'entrainement d'un compresseur et sur le prix de l'usine de liquefac- tion. Ce papier etudie 1 'emploi des turbines a vapeur, turDines a gaz

et les moteurs electriques pour les compres~eurs de refrigeration. Les valeurs comparatives de chaque type d'entraineur est discutee avec

appuit sur les effets du plan du procede en rapport avec le coGt global

du complexe.


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   Many previous papers (Reference 2-6} an compressor drivers for liquefaction plants have emphasized in great detail the various possi- ble driver configurations. Normally, the liquefaction plant capacity is chosen and the costs of the plant with various driver configurations are estimated to determine the optimum solution. As expected, however, the optimum solution will be greatly influenced by the initial design basis assumptions, as well as the selected LNG process. In some cases, the

steam turbine driven axial compressor is clearly the preferred solution, while in other cases, gas turbines may be shown to be the most economi- cal. Steam turbine drivers offer the greatest and most flexible choice of horsepower and speed; however, under special circumstances electric motor drive is advantageious. In most cases, the interactive effect of the process design and driver selection is only superficially evaluated prior to commercial contract negotiations (See driver characteristics Table r).

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the individual factors that

are important in the selection of the compressor driver configuration for major LNG...