In recent decades engineers have repeatedly investigated ways of moving the production of LNG out to sea in giant floating LNG (FLNG) production ships. This trend is being driven by a number of factors including the potential to cut sub-sea pipeline costs and eliminate the challenges of difficult onshore site conditions. FLNG production facilities could also be moved close to otherwise remote offshore gas fields and resources
To realise a floating concept, however, our engineers had to overcome a number of technical challenges and ensure that the final process concepts are both energy and cost effective. The main cryogenic heat exchangers used to cool and liquefy the natural gas play a vital role in the process and therefore pose a particular challenge for engineers.
Linde Engineering implemented a series of tests to determine how its coil-wound heat exchangers (CWHEs) perform under continuous tilting and movement at sea. The company has channelled the findings into the thermal, hydraulic and mechanical optimisation of its heat exchangers, enabling them to deliver the same outstanding performance offshore as they do on land.
The test rig shown here is in continuous use to further investigate and improve the performance of the heat exchangers.