Product News: HVAC

Integrated Compressor meets gas pipeline application challenges.

Press Release Summary:

Feb 05, 2013 - Featuring one impeller, 2 magnetic bearings, and no split parts, single-stage Integrated Compressor Line (ICL) is designed for low-pressure ratio (1.1–1.4) applications. Design minimizes electric power consumption and offers full access to critical components. Utilizing centrifugal compression, electric motors, and variable speed drive, integrated system offers power range of 2–15 MW, design inlet pressure of 20–80 bar, discharge pressure up to 120 bar, and max speed of 18,000 rpm.

Original Press Release

GE Oil & Gas Expands Its Innovative Integrated Compressor Line for the Challenges of Pipeline Applications

Press release date: Jan 28, 2013

• First Single-Stage ICL Designed for Low Pressure Ratio Applications
• Target Markets Include Pipeline Compression and Dry Clean Gas Boosting
• Offers Same Benefits–Energy Savings, Low Emissions, Easy Remote Control and Monitoring–as the Multi-Stage ICL Units

FLORENCE, ITALY–Expanding its innovative Integrated Compressor Line (ICL), GE Oil & Gas (NYSE: GE) introduces its first single-stage ICL, designed for low-pressure ratio applications such as pipeline compression. Featuring 20 percent more operating range flexibility and greater efficiency, the new product was unveiled today at the GE Oil & Gas 2013 Annual Meeting in Florence.

The single-stage ICL has a simplified design with only two magnetic bearings and no split parts and offers full access to critical components. With its very simple and robust architecture, the product costs about the same as a conventional BCL/PCL compressor, but has lower operating costs.

While the previously introduced ICL products are primarily designed for gas storage applications and feature multi-stages and multi-impellers, the new product is the first in the industry with only one impeller. This design enables high performance in applications where the requested design pressure ratio is very low (1.1-1.4), such as pipeline gas compression stations.

The high-performance impeller used in the single-stage ICL is from GE’s well-proven impeller family. Thanks to its customized shape, the impeller transmits the power from the motor to the gas by accelerating it. Then the static part at the outlet of the impeller transforms the speed of the gas into pressure. For a pressure ratio below 1.4, the optimized design of the single stage ICL enables very high efficiency and reduces the electrical power consumption compared to a multi-stage ICL or conventional centrifugal compressor.

The single-stage ICL is designed for gas boosting in a pipeline application (Due to the length of the pipe, the gas pressure drops. In order to keep the gas transportation effective, after a certain distance the gas needs to be recompressed until the next station or its final destination). The single-stage ICL has been optimized for this operation by minimizing the electric power consumption. The use of state-of-the-art technology enables a very simple design using only one impeller, removing half of the bearings compared to a multi-stage ICL and improving both reliability and accessibility for maintenance.

The single-stage ICL offers all of the benefits of the other members of the ecomagination-qualified ICL family. Introduced in 2007, the ICL is an integrated system with a single casing for the compressor and the motor. Its technology saves energy and avoids at least 60 percent of associated CO2 emissions.

Designed to meet growing operational and environmental challenges faced by compression plant operators, ICL technology combines GE Oil & Gas compressor technology and GE Power Conversion motors and drive systems. It is an integrated system that utilizes four proven technologies: centrifugal compression, active magnetic bearings, high-speed electric motors and high frequency variable speed drive. These units do not require a gear box, lube oil system, shaft seals or external cooling system, which enables higher reliability and reduced maintenance time.

Using an average 8-megawatt ICL rather than a comparable sized gas turbine-driven compressor can reduce CO2 emissions. Since the use of oil for the lubrication of bearings or other parts is not required, 30,000 liters of oil are saved over the lifetime of an ICL compressor. The ICL’s electric motor also is much quieter than a conventional compressor and gas turbine drive.

“Since its introduction, our ICL technology has been well received by our customers. To date, we have sold over 23 units and one Blue-C subsea unit,” said Riccardo Procacci, general manager—Gas Turbines & Compressors for GE Oil & Gas. “Adding the single-stage ICL to the product line gives our customers an even broader range of technology options for their compressor applications. It reflects GE’s ongoing commitment to reliable innovation and advanced technology solutions that tackle our customers’ toughest challenges.”

The single-stage ICL offers a power range of 2-15 megawatts, design inlet pressure of 20-80 bar, discharge pressure up to 120 bar and maximum speed of 18,000 rpm. The new product is available globally, with the first commercial applications expected in the 2014-2015 time frame. Today, 16 ICL units are running and have accumulated more than 33.000 running hours and 1,000 starts and stops for gas storage and pipeline operation in Europe.

GE’s Blue-C™, compressor, which is the first technology to take gas compression below the surface of the ocean, is currently in the finalizing phase of the qualification tests and has accumulated more than 2,300 running hours while installed in a pool. Leveraging GE’s rich heritage in compression technology for the harshest environments, Blue-C™ was built in a fully marinized version for the Ormen Lange Subsea Compression Station Project, executed by Aker Subsea for Statoil and Norske Shell, for deployment of the natural gas field, it’s designed for unattended operation at over 2,950 feet below sea level with power up to 12.5 megawatts. Installation on the seabed is expected in 2019.