InImpact: The Journal of Innovation Impact

Publisher Future Technology Press
Vol. 7 No. 2 KES Transactions on SDM I - Sustainable Design and Manufacturing 2014
Volume Editors KES International
Journal ISSN 2051-6002
Article TitleThe development of a sub-atmospheric two-phase thermosyphon natural gas preheater using a lumped capacitance model
Primary AuthorWill Newton, Swansea University
Other Author(s) Hocine Matallah; David James; Ian Cameron; Nicholas Lavery; Stefan Romocki
Pages 757 - 768
Article ID sdm14-110
Publication Date 01-May-16
AbstractNatural gas (NG) for domestic and industrial use is distributed around the country at high pressure. To counteract the Joule-Thompson effect, pre-heating of natural gas is required prior to pressure reduction. Most preheaters used on national gas networks are in the form of water bath heaters, where a closed tank houses a burner which delivers energy to the fluid in situ, which in turn heats an exchanger through which the NG flows. These systems usually have a low efficiency, and as a result of thermal inertia have a long time lag to accommodate changes in NG mass flow rates.

A new preheating system has been designed utilising sub-atmospheric two-phase type thermosyphon theory. The main advantage of using a sub-atmospheric thermosyphon to preheat NG is the improved response time, due to the reduction in working fluid volume and the thermosyphon operating at lower temperatures resulting from partial vacuum.

A numerical model of the thermosyphon has been developed using a lumped capacitance method. Simulations of the thermosyphon preheater system over a 24 hour load cycle suggest that the thermosyphon system could reach an efficiency of approximately 84% over the period.
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