- GE’s ICL solution has a 30 percent lower CAPEX, giving great cost advantage and helping maximise the return on investment
- The ICL solution is applicable to many gas application including clean gas and water-saturated gas
- Big Data can dramatically help improve uptime and operational efficiency in the future
As a result of the shale gas boom in North America, natural gas has become one of the most promising alternatives for constant and plentiful energy supply. As such LNG plants are among the latest efforts made by energy companies to build on this potential. This is leading to a high increase in investment in some of the world’s biggest infrastructure projects destined to bring this gas to market.
Integrated Compressor Line (ICL) is one of GE’s latest technologies that will help secure the future supply of gas. This innovative ‘all-in-one’ package combines GE Oil & Gas’s advanced centrifugal compressor technology on Active Magnetic Bearings (AMBs) with GE Power Conversion’s high-frequency variable speed drive and high-speed motor technology.
“In a world full of energy uncertainties, gas companies are under pressure to deliver substantial returns to their stakeholders. Therefore everyone is looking for a more efficient solution at a lower cost.” said Alfred Permuy, Chief Technology Officer, GE Power Conversion, “GE’s ICL solution has a 30 percent lower CAPEX compared to more traditional offerings. It gives great cost advantage to customers and investors to help maximise the return on investment.”
ICL is designed to achieve balance between productivity and the environment, power demands and space limitations, performance goal and maintenance requirements, reliability and availability. Driven by electricity rather than gas, with an integrated high-speed electric motor instead of a combustion engine, plus oil-free active magnetic bearings and a single sealed casing, ICL technology saves energy and avoids associated CO2 emissions.
“Conventional equipment uses oil bearings which may result in oil leaks, potentially leading to, in the worst case, an explosion. It poses a threat to production security. ICL is an oil-free solution as the AMBs eliminate the need for lubrication auxiliaries, ensuring a much safer working environment. The whole system produces zero emission (no dry gas seal in the compressor), easing the burden to the environment.” said Alfred Permuy, “Also zero friction requires very low maintenance cost. Operators can again enjoy the cost reduction on operating expenses.”
Moreover, by using “Big Data” we dramatically help improve uptime and operational efficiency. “In the future, strong data analytics capability will be added to the ICL solution to enhance its reliability.” added Alfred Permuy, “Software will be able to identify failure before it happens by proposing smart monitoring on the equipment. Human-machine interface (HMI) will enhance the user experience, allowing operators to monitor and control the system through a much simplified interface.”
This ICL solution is applicable to many gas application including clean gas and water-saturated gas. GE is a pioneer in developing high-speed, direct-drive technology and can also deliver customised high-speed solutions in a non-integrated configuration. This technology has several important advantages specifically for offshore applications where weight and footprint optimisation is critical.