New turbine technology to regenerate energy from waste cooling water flow on offshore installations
The new submerged turbine technology developed by Framo AS will enable offshore operators to reduce their carbon footprint, cut CO2 taxes, and make way for increased gas exports.
On offshore installations, huge volumes of seawater are lifted from sea level to deck level for use as a cooling medium for on-board operations. The used seawater is then dumped back to sea level from a great height, meaning that substantial quantities of energy is left unexploited.
In order to enable offshore operators to harness this untapped energy source, Framo has designed a new submerged turbine for installation in the overboard water dump water line that can generate electric power as the wastewater flows from deck level to sea level.
The Framo Submerged Turbine is based on the design of the Framo SE pump, a technology known for its robustness and reliability that has served as the preferred seawater lift pump for many offshore operators around the world over the past four decades.
Installed in the same way as the Framo SE pump, the Framo Submerged Turbine can be fitted in dedicated caissons, or a caisson-free version is available for installation in guide funnels. The turbine is suitable for both new projects and for retrofitting on existing facilities regardless of whether Framo Sea water lift pumps or pumps from another supplier are already in use.
Tests demonstrate that the Framo Submerged Turbine can regenerate around 20 to 30 per cent of the energy used to lift the water from sea level to deck level. Generated power from the turbine technology will contribute to the total power supply on the offshore facility and reduce gas fuel consumption for power generation on board. This in turn will cut emissions and reduce CO2 tax burden. It will also contribute to better earnings potential via increased gas exports, since the solution will liberate gas that would usually be utilized for energy production on board to be sold instead.
The technology will deliver the greatest positive effect on offshore installations that require large amounts of cooling water and on offshore installations located in areas with higher water temperatures.
“Stricter global environmental requirements have led to an increasing interest in this technology among offshore operators.” It is an ingeniously simple way to save money and improve their sustainability.” says Sigve Gjerstad, Director Offshore Pumping Systems.
“We have had this solution on the drawing board for ten years, but operators in the offshore market have not been ready to use it until now. However, response to this technology just a few weeks after we have launched the prototype has been huge. Several stakeholders who see opportunities for saving both money and the environment by using the technology are already expressing their interest.” Gjerstad confirms.