September 18, 2007

New Hot Gas Expander from GE

GE Oil & Gas has received GE ecomagination certification for hot gas expander technology that works with a waste gas recovery system to help refineries significantly reduce their energy costs while also lowering emissions.

The hot gas expander for GE’s Power Recovery Air Train features GE’s latest technology and meets the rigid standards of ecomagination, the GE corporate initiative to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water.

“Energy accounts for about 50% of the total operating costs for a refinery,” said Jeff Nagel, vice president-global services for GE Oil & Gas. “Wasting flue gas, which is largely air and is a by-product of the refinery processes, means wasting a tremendous opportunity to reduce energy costs and the carbon footprint of the entire refining industry. A Power Recovery Air Train equipped with a GE expander can maximize the use of this waste gas to produce the additional power a refinery needs to operate.”

An average-sized GE expander for power recovery system is designed to recover 18 megawatts of power, thus avoiding the use of the same amount of energy from the grid, which can save a refinery operator nearly $9M electricity costs each year. The technology also avoids the emissions of 244,000 metric tons of CO2 each year – the equivalent of removing 44,000 U.S. passenger cars from the roads for a year.

Compared to a system without the new GE expander, an 18-megawatt Power Recovery Train with the new expander is designed to recover more than 148,000 megawatt-hours of electricity from waste energy every year, or the amount used by 13,900 U.S. households.

Previously, power recovery air trains were equipped with older expander technology that was unable to meet customer requirements for four to five years of uninterrupted run time. Benefiting from improvements in materials and aerodynamics achieved over the past decade, the latest GE expander can withstand heavy crude oil corrosion and erosion to deliver improved reliability and availability and meet the four to five year performance standard. “This capability sets our waste gas recovery solution apart from others available in the industry,” Nagel noted.

“With our ecomagination program, we strive to introduce and modify technologies that will be better for the environment. It's good for nature, for people and for business,” said Claudi Santiago, a GE senior vice president and president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas.

SOURCE: GE Oil & Gas

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