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Lng - Gas Combustion Units

Lng - Gas Combustion Units

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Published by: morgoths on Jul 27, 2012
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Poster PO-09
PO-09.1
GAS COMBUSTION UNITS: HIGH PERFORMANCETECHNOLOGIES FOR SAFE DISPOSAL OF EXCESSBOIL OFF GAS ON THE NEW GENERATION OF LNG CARRIERS
Damien Feger
 
Space Engines DivisionSnecmaForêt de Vernon27208 Vernon France
ABSTRACT
The new generation of LNG carriers use Dual Fuel Diesel Electric or Slow speedDiesel combined with an on board re liquefaction plant. Compared to previous Steamturbines LNG carriers propulsions systems, where excess boil off gas coming from thecargo tanks could be burned in the boiler and the corresponding excess steam dumped inthe condenser, these new types of propulsion systems require either in normal operationor as a back up, a capability to dispose of the excess boil off gas, which cannot be used asfuel or treated by the re liquefaction plant, in a safe and environmentally friendly way.
 
This is provided by specific equipment, the Gas Combustion Unit (GCU).This paper presents a review of the corresponding requirement’s, the main designfeatures and operational performances of the GCUs proposed by Snecma based on NorthAmerican Stordy burner technology and already on order for three other vessels beingbuilt in Far East shipyards, as well as the first operational feed back of the GCU providedfor the “Provalys” LNGC delivered by Aker Yards to Gaz de France.
 
Poster PO-09
PO-09.2
1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 PRESENTATION
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carriers are part of the LNG chain, which is based onthree links:
the liquefaction terminal, in the producing country, which purifies, liquefies andstores (under ambient pressure and cryogenic temperature) the natural gas prior to itsloading into the LNG carrier,
the LNG carriers, which ship the LNG from the loading terminal to the off-loadingone,
the regasification terminal, in the gas consuming country, which stores, pressurisesand regasifies the LNG prior to injecting it into the gas pipe, which distributes it tothe gas consumers.In LNG carriers, the liquefied gas is stored in a boiling state, at cryogenic temperature(- 160°C) slightly above the atmospheric pressure in insulated tanks. Due to the heat leaksgetting though this insulation into the liquefied gas, a part of the cargo is boiling off thetanks (typically 0,1 to 0,3 % per day).To avoid wastage of this boil off vapours, the thermal performance of the insulation isusually optimised so that the boil off vapours flow can be used to provide part of theship's propulsion needs when it is on its way. For this purpose the propulsion system is of a dual type, compatible with the use as fuel of either the heavy oil either, when available,the natural gas boil off vapours coming from the cargo tanks.When the ship propulsion requirements are reduced, during harbour manoeuvres or atanchor for example, the boil off vapours exceeds the propulsion needs, although the cargotank pressure has to be kept within acceptable limits. To dispose of this excess boil off and avoid a pressure rise in the cargo tanks, several strategies can be considered :
implement an on board re liquefaction plant which re liquefies the vapours and sendback to the cargo tanks the boil off vapours in a liquefied state.
dispose of this excess boil off by burning it in an on board thermal oxidisercomplying with safety and environmental regulations which do not allow directrelease of natural gas into the atmosphere for both safety and environmentalconcerns (green house gas effect of methane which is very significantly higher thanthe one of carbon dioxide).
The standard approach : steam turbine propulsion
Up to now, most LNG carriers strategy has been to use for this reason a steam turbinepropulsion system as it allows to use either heavy oil or boil off vapours for fuel, thesteam boiler being equipped with heavy oil and natural gas burners. This propulsionsystem had the further advantage that the excess boil vapours could be disposed of directly in the steam boiler, the corresponding excess steam being sent to the sea watercooled condenser rather than to the propulsion turbine, without requiring any specificequipment, other than a bypass valve towards the condenser to fulfil this additional boiloff disposal function.
 
Poster PO-09
PO-09.3
Although it has been considered attractive for LNG carriers for decades, this steampropulsion approach is very much challenged nowadays as it has the followingdrawbacks :
compared with other propulsion modes, such as Diesel or Gas turbine, it is bulkier,and therefore leads, for the same hull size, to a lower shipping capability,
its fuel efficiency is 30 % instead of 45 %,
although it is very reliable, technological improvements, maintenance and crewrecruitment is getting more and more problematic as these are the last remainingcargo ships using steam propulsion…Two sets of alternative technologies and propulsion system architectures are presentlyproposed by the industry:
- Dual fuel Diesel Electric
- Slow speed Heavy fuel Oil (HFO) Diesel combined with an on board reliquefier.
1.2 TWO NEW PROPULSION SCHEMES, BOTH REQUIRING A GCU1.2 (a) First new approach: Dual Fuel Diesel Electric
This approach uses:
specifically developed dual fuel Diesel engines
electric propulsion system similar to the one developed for cruise ships and oiltankers.Figure 1 gives an example of such Dual Fuel Diesel electric propulsion system. Itsmain features are the following :
the boil off gas is sent to diesel driven power generators which provide power for theship propulsion systems and the "hotel" load;
the fixed pitched propeller is connected to two redundant high speed electricalmotors, though a gear box;
in the case the flow of gas used by the power generators ( ship at anchor or at sslowspeed…) exceeds the ship 's energy needs, a GCU is used to burn and dispose off this excess boil off gas.
GCU
G
 DUAL FUEL DIESEL GENSET
G
 DUAL FUEL DIESEL GENSET
G
 DUAL FUEL DIESEL GENSET
M/G
 
M
 
M
 
FPP
 
BOIL OFF
HOTELLOAD
Figure 1: Dual Fuel Diesel Electric propulsion architecture

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