JP5241707B2 - Method and apparatus for reliquefying steam - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for reliquefying steam Download PDF

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JP5241707B2
JP5241707B2 JP2009511608A JP2009511608A JP5241707B2 JP 5241707 B2 JP5241707 B2 JP 5241707B2 JP 2009511608 A JP2009511608 A JP 2009511608A JP 2009511608 A JP2009511608 A JP 2009511608A JP 5241707 B2 JP5241707 B2 JP 5241707B2
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working fluid
natural gas
heat exchanger
condenser
vapor
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JP2009538405A (en
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フュク,ヴィンセン
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クライオスター・ソシエテ・パール・アクシオンス・サンプリフィエ
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Priority to EP20060352012 priority Critical patent/EP1860393B1/en
Priority to EP06352012.6 priority
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Priority to PCT/IB2007/002771 priority patent/WO2007144774A2/en
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
    • F25J1/00Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures
    • F25J1/02Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures requiring the use of refrigeration, e.g. of helium or hydrogen Details and kind of the refrigeration system used; Integration with other units or processes; Controlling aspects of the process
    • F25J1/0203Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures requiring the use of refrigeration, e.g. of helium or hydrogen Details and kind of the refrigeration system used; Integration with other units or processes; Controlling aspects of the process using a single-component refrigerant [SCR] fluid in a closed vapor compression cycle
    • F25J1/0204Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures requiring the use of refrigeration, e.g. of helium or hydrogen Details and kind of the refrigeration system used; Integration with other units or processes; Controlling aspects of the process using a single-component refrigerant [SCR] fluid in a closed vapor compression cycle as a single flow SCR cycle
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
    • F25J1/00Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures
    • F25J1/0002Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures characterised by the fluid to be liquefied
    • F25J1/0022Hydrocarbons, e.g. natural gas
    • F25J1/0025Boil-off gases "BOG" from storages
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
    • F25J1/00Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures
    • F25J1/003Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures characterised by the kind of cold generation within the liquefaction unit for compensating heat leaks and liquid production
    • F25J1/0032Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures characterised by the kind of cold generation within the liquefaction unit for compensating heat leaks and liquid production using the feed stream itself or separated fractions from it, i.e. "internal refrigeration"
    • F25J1/0045Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures characterised by the kind of cold generation within the liquefaction unit for compensating heat leaks and liquid production using the feed stream itself or separated fractions from it, i.e. "internal refrigeration" by vaporising a liquid return stream
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
    • F25J1/00Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures
    • F25J1/003Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures characterised by the kind of cold generation within the liquefaction unit for compensating heat leaks and liquid production
    • F25J1/0047Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures characterised by the kind of cold generation within the liquefaction unit for compensating heat leaks and liquid production using an "external" refrigerant stream in a closed vapor compression cycle
    • F25J1/005Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures characterised by the kind of cold generation within the liquefaction unit for compensating heat leaks and liquid production using an "external" refrigerant stream in a closed vapor compression cycle by expansion of a gaseous refrigerant stream with extraction of work
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
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    • F25J1/006Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures characterised by the refrigerant fluid used
    • F25J1/007Primary atmospheric gases, mixtures thereof
    • F25J1/0072Nitrogen
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    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
    • F25J1/00Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures
    • F25J1/02Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures requiring the use of refrigeration, e.g. of helium or hydrogen Details and kind of the refrigeration system used; Integration with other units or processes; Controlling aspects of the process
    • F25J1/0203Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures requiring the use of refrigeration, e.g. of helium or hydrogen Details and kind of the refrigeration system used; Integration with other units or processes; Controlling aspects of the process using a single-component refrigerant [SCR] fluid in a closed vapor compression cycle
    • F25J1/0208Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures requiring the use of refrigeration, e.g. of helium or hydrogen Details and kind of the refrigeration system used; Integration with other units or processes; Controlling aspects of the process using a single-component refrigerant [SCR] fluid in a closed vapor compression cycle in combination with an internal quasi-closed refrigeration loop, e.g. with deep flash recycle loop
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    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
    • F25J1/00Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures
    • F25J1/02Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures requiring the use of refrigeration, e.g. of helium or hydrogen Details and kind of the refrigeration system used; Integration with other units or processes; Controlling aspects of the process
    • F25J1/0243Start-up or control of the process; Details of the apparatus used; Details of the refrigerant compression system used
    • F25J1/0257Construction and layout of liquefaction equipments, e.g. valves, machines
    • F25J1/0275Construction and layout of liquefaction equipments, e.g. valves, machines adapted for special use of the liquefaction unit, e.g. portable or transportable devices
    • F25J1/0277Offshore use, e.g. during shipping
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    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
    • F25J1/00Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures
    • F25J1/02Processes or apparatus for liquefying or solidifying gases or gaseous mixtures requiring the use of refrigeration, e.g. of helium or hydrogen Details and kind of the refrigeration system used; Integration with other units or processes; Controlling aspects of the process
    • F25J1/0243Start-up or control of the process; Details of the apparatus used; Details of the refrigerant compression system used
    • F25J1/0279Compression of refrigerant or internal recycle fluid, e.g. kind of compressor, accumulator, suction drum etc.
    • F25J1/0285Combination of different types of drivers mechanically coupled to the same refrigerant compressor, possibly split on multiple compressor casings
    • F25J1/0288Combination of different types of drivers mechanically coupled to the same refrigerant compressor, possibly split on multiple compressor casings using work extraction by mechanical coupling of compression and expansion of the refrigerant, so-called companders
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F17STORING OR DISTRIBUTING GASES OR LIQUIDS
    • F17CVESSELS FOR CONTAINING OR STORING COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED OR SOLIDIFIED GASES; FIXED-CAPACITY GAS-HOLDERS; FILLING VESSELS WITH, OR DISCHARGING FROM VESSELS, COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED, OR SOLIDIFIED GASES
    • F17C2221/00Handled fluid, in particular type of fluid
    • F17C2221/03Mixtures
    • F17C2221/032Hydrocarbons
    • F17C2221/033Methane, e.g. natural gas, CNG, LNG, GNL, GNC, PLNG
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F17STORING OR DISTRIBUTING GASES OR LIQUIDS
    • F17CVESSELS FOR CONTAINING OR STORING COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED OR SOLIDIFIED GASES; FIXED-CAPACITY GAS-HOLDERS; FILLING VESSELS WITH, OR DISCHARGING FROM VESSELS, COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED, OR SOLIDIFIED GASES
    • F17C2223/00Handled fluid before transfer, i.e. state of fluid when stored in the vessel or before transfer from the vessel
    • F17C2223/01Handled fluid before transfer, i.e. state of fluid when stored in the vessel or before transfer from the vessel characterised by the phase
    • F17C2223/0146Two-phase
    • F17C2223/0153Liquefied gas, e.g. LPG, GPL
    • F17C2223/0161Liquefied gas, e.g. LPG, GPL cryogenic, e.g. LNG, GNL, PLNG
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F17STORING OR DISTRIBUTING GASES OR LIQUIDS
    • F17CVESSELS FOR CONTAINING OR STORING COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED OR SOLIDIFIED GASES; FIXED-CAPACITY GAS-HOLDERS; FILLING VESSELS WITH, OR DISCHARGING FROM VESSELS, COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED, OR SOLIDIFIED GASES
    • F17C2223/00Handled fluid before transfer, i.e. state of fluid when stored in the vessel or before transfer from the vessel
    • F17C2223/03Handled fluid before transfer, i.e. state of fluid when stored in the vessel or before transfer from the vessel characterised by the pressure level
    • F17C2223/033Small pressure, e.g. for liquefied gas
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F17STORING OR DISTRIBUTING GASES OR LIQUIDS
    • F17CVESSELS FOR CONTAINING OR STORING COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED OR SOLIDIFIED GASES; FIXED-CAPACITY GAS-HOLDERS; FILLING VESSELS WITH, OR DISCHARGING FROM VESSELS, COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED, OR SOLIDIFIED GASES
    • F17C2250/00Accessories; Control means; Indicating, measuring or monitoring of parameters
    • F17C2250/04Indicating or measuring of parameters as input values
    • F17C2250/0404Parameters indicated or measured
    • F17C2250/0439Temperature
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F17STORING OR DISTRIBUTING GASES OR LIQUIDS
    • F17CVESSELS FOR CONTAINING OR STORING COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED OR SOLIDIFIED GASES; FIXED-CAPACITY GAS-HOLDERS; FILLING VESSELS WITH, OR DISCHARGING FROM VESSELS, COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED, OR SOLIDIFIED GASES
    • F17C2265/00Effects achieved by gas storage or gas handling
    • F17C2265/03Treating the boil-off
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F17STORING OR DISTRIBUTING GASES OR LIQUIDS
    • F17CVESSELS FOR CONTAINING OR STORING COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED OR SOLIDIFIED GASES; FIXED-CAPACITY GAS-HOLDERS; FILLING VESSELS WITH, OR DISCHARGING FROM VESSELS, COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED, OR SOLIDIFIED GASES
    • F17C2265/00Effects achieved by gas storage or gas handling
    • F17C2265/03Treating the boil-off
    • F17C2265/032Treating the boil-off by recovery
    • F17C2265/033Treating the boil-off by recovery with cooling
    • F17C2265/034Treating the boil-off by recovery with cooling with condensing the gas phase
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F17STORING OR DISTRIBUTING GASES OR LIQUIDS
    • F17CVESSELS FOR CONTAINING OR STORING COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED OR SOLIDIFIED GASES; FIXED-CAPACITY GAS-HOLDERS; FILLING VESSELS WITH, OR DISCHARGING FROM VESSELS, COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED, OR SOLIDIFIED GASES
    • F17C2265/00Effects achieved by gas storage or gas handling
    • F17C2265/03Treating the boil-off
    • F17C2265/032Treating the boil-off by recovery
    • F17C2265/037Treating the boil-off by recovery with pressurising
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F17STORING OR DISTRIBUTING GASES OR LIQUIDS
    • F17CVESSELS FOR CONTAINING OR STORING COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED OR SOLIDIFIED GASES; FIXED-CAPACITY GAS-HOLDERS; FILLING VESSELS WITH, OR DISCHARGING FROM VESSELS, COMPRESSED, LIQUEFIED, OR SOLIDIFIED GASES
    • F17C2270/00Applications
    • F17C2270/01Applications for fluid transport or storage
    • F17C2270/0102Applications for fluid transport or storage on or in the water
    • F17C2270/0105Ships
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F25REFRIGERATION OR COOLING; COMBINED HEATING AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS; HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS; MANUFACTURE OR STORAGE OF ICE; LIQUEFACTION SOLIDIFICATION OF GASES
    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
    • F25J2205/00Processes or apparatus using other separation and/or other processing means
    • F25J2205/30Processes or apparatus using other separation and/or other processing means using a washing, e.g. "scrubbing" or bubble column for purification purposes
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    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
    • F25J2220/00Processes or apparatus involving steps for the removal of impurities
    • F25J2220/60Separating impurities from natural gas, e.g. mercury, cyclic hydrocarbons
    • F25J2220/62Separating low boiling components, e.g. He, H2, N2, Air
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    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
    • F25J2230/00Processes or apparatus involving steps for increasing the pressure of gaseous process streams
    • F25J2230/04Compressor cooling arrangement, e.g. inter- or after-stage cooling or condensate removal
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    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
    • F25J2230/00Processes or apparatus involving steps for increasing the pressure of gaseous process streams
    • F25J2230/08Cold compressor, i.e. suction of the gas at cryogenic temperature and generally without afterstage-cooler
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    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
    • F25J2230/00Processes or apparatus involving steps for increasing the pressure of gaseous process streams
    • F25J2230/60Processes or apparatus involving steps for increasing the pressure of gaseous process streams the fluid being hydrocarbons or a mixture of hydrocarbons
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
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    • F25JLIQUEFACTION, SOLIDIFICATION OR SEPARATION OF GASES OR GASEOUS OR LIQUEFIED GASEOUS MIXTURES BY PRESSURE AND COLD TREATMENT OR BY BRINGING THEM INTO THE SUPERCRITICAL STATE
    • F25J2245/00Processes or apparatus involving steps for recycling of process streams
    • F25J2245/02Recycle of a stream in general, e.g. a by-pass stream

Description

  The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for reliquefying steam, and more particularly to a method and apparatus mounted on a ship and functioning to reliquefy natural gas steam.

  Conventionally, natural gas has been transported over a long distance in a liquefied state. For example, ocean navigation tankers are used to transport liquefied natural gas from a first location where the natural gas is liquefied to a second location where the natural gas is vaporized and sent to a gas distribution system. Because natural gas liquefies at low temperatures, i.e., below -100 <0> C, any practical storage system results in continuous boil-off of liquefied natural gas. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare an apparatus for liquefying the boil-off steam. In such an apparatus, the working fluid is compressed in a plurality of compressors, the compressed working fluid is cooled by indirect heat exchange, the working fluid is expanded, and the expanded working fluid is A refrigeration cycle is performed comprising heating by indirect heat exchange with the compressed working fluid and returning the warmed working fluid to one of the compressors. Natural gas vapor is at least partially condensed by indirect heat exchange with the heated working fluid downstream of the compression stage. An example of an apparatus for performing such a refrigeration method is disclosed in US Pat. No. 3,857,245.

  According to U.S. Pat. No. 3,857,245, the working fluid is derived from the natural gas itself and thus an open refrigeration cycle is activated. The expansion of the working fluid is performed by a valve. Partially condensed natural gas is obtained. The partially condensed natural gas is separated into a liquid phase that is returned to the reservoir and a gas phase that is fed to the burner and mixed with the natural gas that is burned. Since the working fluid is both heated and cooled in the same heat exchanger, only one heat exchanger is required. The heat exchanger is installed on the first slide mounted platform, and the working fluid compressor is installed on the second slide mounted platform.

  Nowadays, it is preferred to use a non-combustible gas as a working fluid. Further, in order to reduce the compression work that needs to be supplied from the outside, it is preferable to employ an expansion turbine rather than a valve to expand the working fluid.

  An example of a device that embodies the above improvements is described in WO-A-98 / 43029. In this device, two heat exchangers are used, one for warming the working fluid with heat exchange with compressed natural gas vapor to partially condense the vapor and another The stage is for cooling the compressed working fluid.

  In WO-A-98 / 43029, it is pointed out that when the condensation of natural gas vapor is incomplete, the power consumed in the refrigeration cycle is reduced (compared to complete condensation), and the nitrogen content is reduced. It has been proposed that relatively high residual vapor should be released into the atmosphere. In fact, the partial condensation disclosed in WO-A-98 / 43029 is a well-known thermodynamic that specifies that the amount of condensate generated is purely a function of the pressure and temperature at which condensation occurs. It follows the principle.

  Normally, liquefied natural gas is stored at a pressure slightly above atmospheric pressure, and boil-off steam is partially condensed at a pressure of 4 bar. The resulting partially condensed mixture is typically flowed into the phase separator via an expansion valve so that the vapor can be released at atmospheric pressure. Even if the liquid phase entering the expansion valve is 4 bar and contains no more than about 10 mole percent nitrogen, the resulting gas phase is 1 bar and still about 50% by volume of methane. Contains. As a result, in normal operation, it is necessary to release methane in an amount several times of 3000 to 5000 kg from the phase separator every day. Since methane is recognized as a greenhouse gas, its practical application is unacceptable from an environmental standpoint.

  Another problem with the operation of the device according to WO-A-98 / 43029 is that the temperature and enthalpy of one compressed natural gas and the temperature and enthalpy of the other working fluid are considerable due to the mismatch between them. Thermodynamic inefficiency occurs.

EP-A-1,132,698 discloses a method for mitigating problems that occur when steam is returned to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tank with condensed natural gas.
In the process according to EP-A-1,132,698, boil-off steam and / or natural gas condensate are mixed with liquefied natural gas taken from a reservoir.

  The mole fraction of nitrogen in the liquefied natural gas is smaller than the mole fraction of nitrogen in the boil-off steam, and further, in the flash gas formed when the condensed boil-off steam is expanded through the valve. If the boil-off vapor is diluted with liquefied natural gas either upstream or downstream of the condenser, or both, the boil-off vapor or natural gas condensate will not be mixed with the liquefied natural gas from the reservoir because it is lower than the fraction. The fluctuations in the composition of the gas phase in the storage tank that would occur in the

Nevertheless, the method according to EP-A-1,132,698 does not significantly improve the overall thermodynamic efficiency.
US Pat. No. 3,857,245 International Publication No. 98/43029 Pamphlet European Patent Application Publication No. 1,132,698

  In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a method for reliquefying boiled off steam from at least an amount of liquefied natural gas held in at least one storage tank, the method comprising: Compressing in the first and second vapor compression stages; condensing the compressed steam in the condenser by heat exchange with the working fluid flowing in the main infinite working fluid cycle; and the resulting condensation Returning at least a portion of the liquid to the storage tank, wherein in the main working fluid cycle, the working fluid is sequentially compressed in at least one working fluid compressor and in the first heat exchanger. Cooled and expanded in an expansion turbine employed in the condenser to condense natural gas vapor, heated in the first heat exchanger by heat exchange with the cooled working fluid, Working fluid pressure In the main working fluid cycle, between the passage of working fluid through the condenser and the passage of passage through the first heat exchanger, the working fluid is second in the second heat exchanger. Used to pre-cool the compressed natural gas vapor downstream of the vapor compression stage and upstream of the condenser, and a portion of the working fluid flow is within the main working fluid cycle. At least one third heat exchanger is bypassed from the region where the fluid flows from the condenser to the second heat exchanger to cool the natural gas vapor between the first vapor compression stage and the second vapor compression stage. The bypassed and diverted working fluid is a method characterized in that it is returned to the main working fluid cycle in the region where the working fluid flows from the second heat exchanger to the first heat exchanger.

  The present invention further provides an apparatus for reliquefying natural gas vapor, the apparatus comprising at least one storage tank for holding at least a quantity of liquefied natural gas; A first and second vapor compression stage in series for compressing boiled off natural gas vapor, a natural gas inlet communicating with the second vapor compression stage, and the storage A condenser for condensing compressed vapor having an outlet in communication with the tank, the condenser being arranged to be cooled by the working fluid during use The condenser, in turn, (a) at least one working fluid compressor for compressing the working fluid flow, and (b) cooling through the first heat exchanger for cooling the working fluid flow. Route, (c) An expansion turbine for expanding the flow of the dynamic fluid; (d) a condenser; (e) a heating path through the first heat exchanger for heating the working fluid; and (f) the working fluid. And an inlet to the compressor, wherein the main working fluid cycle includes a second for cooling the natural gas by heat exchange with the working fluid. A heat exchanger, between the second vapor compression stage and the condenser, to a natural gas vapor path therethrough, to a working fluid outlet from the condenser and to a heating path through the first heat exchanger A second heat exchanger having a working fluid path therethrough intermediate the inlet of the first natural gas vapor compression stage and the second natural gas vapor compression stage In the middle, natural gas vapor is bypassed from the main working fluid cycle. A third heat exchanger for cooling by heat exchange with the fluid, the inlet side being intermediate between the working fluid outlet from the condenser and the working fluid inlet to the second heat exchanger in the working fluid cycle The outlet side communicates with a region in the working fluid cycle that is intermediate the working fluid outlet from the second heat exchanger and the inlet to the heating path through the first heat exchanger, A device characterized in that a third heat exchanger having a working fluid path therethrough is provided.

  The method and apparatus according to the present invention can achieve an improvement in the thermodynamic efficiency of operation compared to the corresponding method and apparatus disclosed in the prior literature referred to above. We believe that this improvement in thermodynamic efficiency is attributed to the integration of the working fluid cycle and natural gas condensation not only in the condenser but also in the second and third heat exchangers. Yes. The improvement in thermodynamic efficiency is sufficiently effective even when using less power.

The ratio of the working fluid diverted from the main working fluid cycle to the third heat exchanger is preferably controlled according to the temperature of the inlet to the second vapor compression stage.
When the storage tank is full of liquefied natural gas, the condenser is preferably operated so that the supercooled liquefied natural gas exits from it. However, sometimes returning the condensate to the storage tank when the storage tank contains a relatively small amount of liquefied natural gas has the effect of increasing the nitrogen content of the boil-off steam. As a result, the vapor provided to the condenser to condense will contain excessive nitrogen, so inevitably the condensate is not only supercooled, but even completely condensed. . In such circumstances, or if the storage tank contains liquefied natural gas having a high nitrogen concentration, for example, a concentration of liquefied natural gas that produces a boil-off gas containing 20 to 40% by volume of nitrogen, Condensate containing uncondensed vapor is poured into a phase separator, the resulting liquid phase is returned to the storage tank, and the resulting gas phase is sent to the ship's engine (the engine is driven by natural gas). In case of being used on board)) or burned and released into the atmosphere.

The first and second vapor compression stages are preferably driven by a single multistage motor.
The steam upstream of the first vapor compression stage is preferably precooled by mixing with a condensed natural gas stream taken from the condenser. The flow rate of the condensed natural gas vapor stream is preferably controlled according to the temperature at the inlet to the first compression stage.

The method and apparatus according to the invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings.
The figure is not drawn to scale.
Referring to the figure, five insulated storage tanks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 are provided on the hull (not shown) of a ship or other ocean-going ship. Two or more of the storage tanks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 are provided with a submerged orifice pipe 12 located in the bottom region, through which LNG is introduced. For ease of illustration, the orifice tubes of tanks 2, 4, 6 are not shown in the figure. If only a few of the storage tanks are provided with a submerged orifice pipe, the redistribution of LNG returned to the tank not provided is performed by operating a liquid pump (not shown). The orifice tube 12 is submerged in a certain amount of LNG 16 during normal operation. In each of the tanks 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10, a steam space 18 exists above the above-mentioned amount of LNG 16.

  Although the storage tanks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 are insulated, LNG has a boiling point substantially lower than the atmospheric temperature at normal pressure, so each of the storage tanks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 Then, the continuous evaporation of LNG occurs. Each of the tanks has a top outlet 22 for steam that communicates with a boil-off gas header 24. A main pipeline 26 for boil-off gas extends from the header 24. Pipeline 26 is provided with a mixer 28 where, during operation, steam is mixed with condensed LNG from the downstream portion of the facility. During operation, the condensed LNG evaporates as a boil-off gas, thereby lowering the temperature of this gas. A sensor 27 is provided downstream of the mixer and generates a signal indicating the temperature of the inlet to the first compression stage 40, and this signal is relayed to the valve control unit 30, and the control unit causes the mixer 28 to be mixed. The setting of the flow control valve 32 of the LNG condensate pipeline 34 ending with the inner spray nozzle 36 is controlled. The mixer 28 is operated in this manner and provides natural gas to the first compression stage 40 at a selected essentially constant low temperature, eg, below minus 100 ° C.

  Boil-off gas flows from the mixer 28 into the first compression stage. The outlet of the first compression stage 40 communicates indirectly with the inlet of the second compression stage 42. The compression stages 40 and 42 are typically driven by a single electric motor 44 through an integral gear box 45 as needed.

The motor 44 can typically be operated at two different speeds.
The resulting compressed gas is fed from the second compression stage 42 to a condenser 46, typically in the form of a plate fin or spiral heat exchanger, where it is condensed and once condensed. Later it undergoes supercooling. The resulting supercooled condensate flows from the condenser 46 along the pipeline 48 to the condensate return header 50, from which it is fed to the orifice pipe 12 in the bottom region of the tanks 8 and 10; Or when each tank is equipped with an orifice pipe 12, it is fed to the tanks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10.

The condenser 46 is cooled by a working fluid such as nitrogen or a heat exchange fluid flowing at a first pressure in a basically closed refrigeration cycle 60 such as a Brayton cycle.
In the Brayton cycle 60, nitrogen exiting through the condenser 46 is added by heat exchange with the returned compressed nitrogen in the gas-to-gas heat exchanger 62 at a second pressure higher than the first pressure. Be warmed. The resulting warmed nitrogen flows to the compressor 64, which typically includes three compression stages 66, 68, 70, all of which are connected to the gearbox 75. And an integrated gear box (not shown) driven by a motor 74 via a rotor (not shown) mounted on the same shaft 72. A first intercooler 78 is installed downstream of the outlet from the first compression stage 66 and upstream of the inlet to the second compression stage 68. A second intermediate cooler 80 is installed downstream of the outlet from the second compression stage 68 and upstream of the inlet to the third compression stage 70. A downstream cooler 82 is installed downstream of the outlet from the third compression stage 70. The intercoolers 78 and 80 and the post-cooler 82 are typically all cooled by water and serve to remove compression heat from the circulating nitrogen during Brayton cycle operation. The obtained post-cooled flow of compressed nitrogen flows through the heat exchanger 63 as the return cold nitrogen flow described above. The compressed nitrogen stream is thus cooled to a lower temperature in the heat exchanger 62. The compressed and cooled nitrogen stream is passed to an expansion turbine 84 where it expands and performs additional work. The expansion turbine 84 is typically mounted on the same integral gearbox (not shown) or the same shaft as the compression stages 66, 68, 70. The expansion turbine 84 thus supports the driving of the compression stages 66, 68, 70. The expansion of nitrogen in the turbine 84 creates the refrigeration action necessary for the condensation of natural gas vapor in the condenser 46. Nitrogen thus continues through an infinite circuit.

  A special feature of the Brayton cycle 60 shown in the figure is that nitrogen is not sent directly from the condenser 46 to the heat exchanger 62. Rather, the nitrogen passes through a second gas-to-gas backflow heat exchanger 86. The purpose of this heat exchanger is to precool the natural gas upstream to the condenser 46 to a temperature close to its condensation temperature. Under normal operating conditions, if the tanks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 are full of LNG, the natural gas is inevitably supercooled as well as liquefied in the condenser 46. The supercooling of the liquefied natural gas suppresses the formation of flash gas when LNG is returned to each tank.

  A further feature of the particular form of Brayton cycle 6 shown is that some of the nitrogen is downstream of the outlet from the condenser 46 and upstream of the inlet to the second heat exchanger 86 in the Brayton cycle. , And is installed downstream of the first natural gas compression stage 40 and upstream of the second natural gas compression stage 42, and thus generated in the natural gas by the action of the first compression stage 40. That is, it flows through the third heat exchanger 88 that serves to take away heat. As a result, the nitrogen passing through the third heat exchanger 88 is heated. The warmed nitrogen stream is returned to the Brayton cycle 60 in the region downstream of the outlet from the second heat exchanger 86 and upstream of the inlet to the warming passage through the first heat exchanger 62. . Typically, a control valve 90 controls the flow rate of nitrogen working fluid through the third heat exchanger in response to a temperature sensor (not shown) at the inlet to the second natural gas compression stage 42. In a typical arrangement, the control valve 90 serves to maintain a constant temperature at the inlet to the second natural gas compression stage 42.

  Not all of the natural gas liquefied in the condenser 46 is returned to the tanks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 via the pipeline 50. A part of the condensate is sent to the mixer 28 via the pipeline 34 to precool the natural gas upstream of the first compression stage 40.

  During operation, there are various operation methods for operating the apparatus shown in the figure depending on how much LNG is loaded in the tanks 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. When these tanks are full, the temperature of the inlet to the first natural gas compression stage 40 is usually about minus 100 ° C. or lower. The inlet pressure is usually slightly higher than 1 bar. Natural gas usually leaves the first compression stage at a temperature of about minus 65 ° C. and a pressure of about 2 bar. The gas is usually cooled to about minus 130 ° C. in the heat exchanger, and enters the second natural gas compression stage at this temperature. Natural gas typically exits the second compression stage 42 at a pressure of about 5 bar and a temperature of about minus 75 ° C. The natural gas is cooled in the second heat exchanger to a temperature at which condensation starts. The exact value of this temperature depends on the natural gas composition. The greater the mole fraction of nitrogen in natural gas, the lower the temperature at which condensation begins. Since the condenser 46 does not need to reheat the natural gas during normal operation, it is more efficient than in previous known cycles where the corresponding condenser needs to both reheat and condense the natural gas. Heat exchange is possible. As a result of intercooling, overheating return, and separation and condensation by supercooling, the power consumption of the refrigeration cycle is reduced.

  As explained above, the natural gas exits the condenser 46 as a supercooled liquid. Usually, the outlet temperature is about minus 165 ° C. although it depends on the composition of natural gas. One advantage of such a low outlet temperature is that relatively little if any flash gas is formed when LNG is reintroduced through the orifice tube 12 into the tanks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. It is not formed. Furthermore, if each tank is full, even if flash gas is formed, the flash gas is dissolved or condensed in the liquid before reaching the surface.

  During normal operation when each tank is full, the expansion turbine 84 typically has an inlet temperature of about minus 104 ° C., an outlet temperature of about minus 168 ° C., and an outlet pressure of about 10 bar. When the composition of the natural gas is, for example, 8.5% by volume of nitrogen and 91.5% by volume of methane, the temperature is such that the condensate produced in the condenser 46 can have a desired degree of supercooling. Low enough. However, sometimes ships with tanks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 are used as liquid heads in the tanks to prevent flushing of condensate returned through the orifice tube 12, or within that amount of LNG 16. It may be required to transport an amount of LNG substantially less than the maximum amount of LNG, which is insufficient to ensure complete dissolution of the flash gas microbubbles. As a result, the steam flowing from the tanks 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 to the first compression stage 40 has a high nitrogen content. Inevitably, the condensation temperature of the steam at the outlet pressure of the second natural gas vapor compression stage 42 decreases. Indeed, if each tank is loaded with a relatively small amount of LNG, the degree of nitrogen content is so high that the condenser 46 can no longer fully condense the vapor. In this case, instead of being passed through conduit 50, the mixture of condensate and uncondensed vapor is selectively directed through valve 100 to phase separator 102. Liquid is withdrawn from the bottom of the phase separator 102 and sent to the conduit 50. Steam is sent from the phase separator 102 to the discharge line 104, which continues to the gas combustion unit 108 via the heater 106, so that the natural gas component of the steam is combusted and the resulting combustion gas is Released into the atmosphere.

  The minimum and maximum flow of natural gas vapor during operation of the apparatus shown in the figure varies widely. Therefore, it is usually preferable to employ two sets of first and second natural gas compression stages 40 and 42 arranged in parallel with each other. In that case, normally, the two third heat exchangers 88 are arranged in parallel to each other. Whether to use one set or both sets depends on the vaporization rate of the natural gas in the tanks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. Similarly, two or more sets of nitrogen compression stages 66, 68, 70 may be provided in parallel, and two or more expansion turbines 84 may be provided in parallel.

1 is a schematic flow diagram of an onboard facility for storing liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Claims (11)

  1. A method for reliquefying boiled off steam boiled off from at least some amount of liquefied natural gas held in at least one storage tank,
    Compressing the steam in first and second steam compression stages in series;
    Condensing the compressed vapor in a condenser by heat exchange with a working fluid flowing in a main infinite refrigeration cycle;
    Returning at least a portion of the resulting condensate to the storage tank;
    In the main working fluid cycle, the working fluid is in turn compressed in at least one working fluid compressor, cooled in a first heat exchanger, and into the condenser to condense natural gas vapor. In a method, wherein the method is expanded in an expansion turbine employed, heated in the first heat exchanger by heat exchange with a cooled working stream, and returned to the working fluid compressor.
    In the main working fluid cycle, between the passage of the working fluid through the condenser and the passage of the first heat exchanger, the working fluid is in the second heat exchanger and the second vapor compression. Being used to pre-cool the compressed natural gas vapor downstream of the stage and upstream of the condenser, and a portion of the flow of the working fluid is within the main working fluid cycle. The natural fluid vapor is cooled between the first vapor compression stage and the second vapor compression stage, bypassing the region where the working fluid flows from the condenser to the second heat exchanger. At least one third heat exchanger is passed and the diverted working fluid is returned to the main working fluid cycle in the region where the working fluid flows from the second heat exchanger to the first heat exchanger. Is characterized by .
  2.   The method of claim 1, wherein a ratio of the working fluid diverted from the main working fluid cycle to the third heat exchanger is controlled according to a temperature of an inlet to the second vapor compression stage.
  3.   3. A method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein when the storage tank is full of liquefied natural gas, the condenser is operated such that the supercooled liquefied natural gas exits from it.
  4.   4. The steam according to claim 1, wherein the steam upstream of the first steam compression stage is precooled by mixing with a condensed natural gas stream taken from the condenser. Method.
  5.   The method of claim 4, wherein a flow rate of the condensed vapor stream is controlled as a function of an inlet temperature to the first compression stage.
  6. An apparatus for re-liquefying natural gas vapor,
    At least one storage tank for holding at least a quantity of liquefied natural gas;
    First and second steam compression stages in series in communication with at least one steam space in the storage tank and for compressing boiled off natural gas steam;
    A condenser for condensing the compressed steam, having a natural gas inlet in communication with the second vapor compression stage and an outlet in communication with the storage tank;
    The condenser is arranged to be cooled by the working fluid during use, the condenser in turn comprising: (a) at least one working fluid compressor for compressing the working fluid flow; (B) a cooling path through the first heat exchanger for cooling the working fluid flow; (c) an expansion turbine for expanding the working fluid flow; and (d) the condenser. An endless main working fluid cycle comprising: (e) a heating path through the first heat exchanger for heating the working fluid; and (f) an inlet to the working fluid compressor. In the apparatus forming part of
    The main working fluid cycle is a second heat exchanger for cooling the natural gas by heat exchange with the working fluid, and passes through the middle between the second vapor compression stage and the condenser. A natural gas vapor path, and a working fluid path passing therethrough intermediate between a working fluid outlet from the condenser and an inlet to the warming path through the first heat exchanger. Having a second heat exchanger;
    Third heat exchange for cooling the natural gas vapor by heat exchange with the working fluid diverted from the main working fluid cycle between the first natural gas vapor compression stage and the second natural gas vapor compression stage. The inlet side communicates with a region in the working fluid cycle between the working fluid outlet from the condenser and the working fluid inlet to the second heat exchanger, and the outlet side is the working fluid A working fluid path therethrough in communication with an intermediate region of the working fluid outlet from the second heat exchanger and the inlet to the heating path through the first heat exchanger in the fluid cycle A third heat exchanger is provided, comprising:
  7.   A valve is provided for controlling the ratio of the working fluid diverted from the main working fluid cycle to the third heat exchanger according to the temperature of the inlet to the second vapor compression stage. 6. The apparatus according to 6.
  8.   The apparatus according to claim 6 or 7, wherein the first and second vapor compression stages are driven by a single multi-speed motor.
  9.   Upstream of the first vapor compression stage, further comprising a mixer capable of cooling the natural gas vapor, the mixer being in communication with the condenser, for condensed natural gas 9. An apparatus according to any one of claims 6 to 8 having a plurality of inlets.
  10.   10. The apparatus of claim 9, including a valve for controlling the flow of condensate to the mixer, the valve serving to maintain a constant inlet temperature to the first compression stage. .
  11.   The condensate outlet from the condenser is installed via an expansion valve in communication with a phase separator having an outlet for returning liquid to the storage tank and an outlet for sending steam to the combustion unit. 11. The device according to any one of claims 6 to 10, wherein is selectively possible.
JP2009511608A 2006-05-23 2007-05-23 Method and apparatus for reliquefying steam Active JP5241707B2 (en)

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US20100000253A1 (en) 2010-01-07
JP2009538405A (en) 2009-11-05
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KR101419069B1 (en) 2014-07-11
KR20090020574A (en) 2009-02-26
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WO2007144774A3 (en) 2008-10-16
EP1860393B1 (en) 2009-02-18

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