Nathan Brunell and Alessandro Bernardi, Baker Hughes, explore the latest trends and developments in the cryogenic valve sector.
LNG trade has increased more than 300% since the beginning of the century, and continues to expand at extraordinary rates with major new project developments taking off around the world. This liquefied form of natural gas comes with many advantages for accessing stranded gas without pipelines to market, including its highly dense characteristic that allows for maximum benefit during transportation. Demand continues to increase for this cleaner-burning fuel, resulting in LNG and regasification facilities rapidly being constructed all over the world. LNG growth continues its prominent expansion across all climates ranging from tropical to arctic; from remote to heavily populated areas; from mega-capacities to local terminals. Each of these unique plant locations comes with a wide variation of design requirements, but all follow similar challenges and mega-trends, such as reduced emissions, alternative materials for cryogenic operation, integrated control with compressor equipment, and advanced diagnostics to monitor and predict trends before they occur.
Valve and equipment manufacturers see greater demand today than ever before, and partnerships to co-develop system enhancements are necessary to continue the acceleration of technology and advance performance. This article will explore these mega-trends and the developments around performance enhancement and advanced qualifications that are on the top of end-users’ minds today.
Recent studies have tied valves and pumps to as much as 80% of total emissions from plants and pipelines today. These emissions are now policed around the world, with stiff penalties and consent decrees severely impacting offending customers. When specifying emission requirements for LNG valves, there are additional factors that must be considered to ensure operational results are in-line with specified expectations. This includes validating valve emissions certificates are qualified at not only ambient conditions, but also as low as the -196°C cryogenic test temperatures; and also understanding the valve qualifications should be evaluated at not only the number of mechanical cycles, but also the number of thermal cycles, as cryogenic temperature fluctuations can have a severe impact on performance.
This is an abridged version of an article that was originally published in the November 2019 issue of LNG Industry. The full version can be read here.
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/special-reports/08112019/ahead-of-the-curve/