Heat Recovery on Offshore Platforms
The two main sources of waste-heat on offshore platforms are combustion gas turbines and reciprocating engines. These engines provide power for compression, pumping, and/or electrical power. A portion of the fuel consumed by these engines is rejected as heat in their exhaust or cooling system. This waste-heat can be recovered and put to use in a variety of ways to improve the platform’s overall efficiency, such as heating process fluids or glycol regeneration.
These units are required, and must operate whether the waste-heat is recovered or not. From a safety aspect, waste heat recovery units can be used in place of fired heaters to provide platform heating requirements. This eliminates fire hazards associated with fired heaters.
Waste heat recovery systems may need some backup heat source if the main heat source is to be shut down while the users of the heat are still operating. The backup system may be an independent heating system or duplicate heat recovery systems if enough heat sources are present. A detailed study of the platform operations and heat balances under various operating schemes must be made to provide an adequate system.
The heat energy from either a combustion gas turbine or, reciprocating engine is usually recovered by an intermediate heating medium such as water, steam, or heating oil.