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Using Dynamic Simulation to

Improve a PRICO LNG Liquefaction


Plant Operation
Guofu Chen
GChen@GuofuChen.com

About Guofu
Guofu Chen is a professional Mechanical Engineer and a professional
Chemical Engineer as well.
Mr. Guofu Chen started his career at Air Liquide as a process engineer
right after graduation in 2002, majoring refrigeration and cryogenics.
In 2009 Mr. Chen joined TAS Energy and focused on gas turbine inlet air
chilling. Specifically he designed three (3) turbine inlet chilling plants for
three (3) Australian LNG projects.
About two years ago, Mr. Chen became a team member of Joule
Processing. Over there, he focused on modular gas processing and
condensate stabilization plants.
Mr. Chen has one patent application. He also speaks at different
conferences, such as AspenTech, ASME, GPA and PowerGen conference.

Disclaimer
PRICO is an LNG process to liquefy natural
gas. The patent is owned by Black & Veatch.
The author does not work for Black &
Veatch, nor the paper is sponsored by B&V.
The author is not affiliated with B&V by any
means.
The paper is for academy research purpose
only.

Agenda
Introduction to PRICO LNG Process
Modeling in VMGSim

Process Control of PRICO Process


Refrigerant Flow and LNG Temperature Control
Refrigerant Compressor Suction Control

Optimize PRICO to Liquefy More LNG


The Challenge with Status-Quo
The Problem
The Solution

Key Takeaway

Introduction to PRICO LNG


Process

In the early 70s, Black & Veatch developed the PRICO single-mixed
refrigerant process
Cost-effective design that covers a broad range
Ideal for
Baseload
peak shaving
vehicle fuel supply
gas distribution systems.

Simplified control system.


Rapid startup and shutdown
Proven reliable, reduced personnel requirements.

*Introduction extracted from B&V website

PRICO Process Flow


Diagram

*Diagram extracted from B&V website

Agenda
Introduction to PRICO LNG Process
Modeling in VMGSim

Process Control of PRICO Process


Refrigerant Flow and LNG Temperature Control
Refrigerant Compressor Suction Control

Optimize PRICO to Liquefy More LNG


The Challenge with Status-Quo
The Problem
The Solution

Key Takeaway

Real World Application in


VMGSim

MCHE Configuration

Compressor Curves @ RPMs

1st Section

2nd Section

Agenda
Introduction to PRICO LNG Process
Modeling in VMGSim

Process Control of PRICO Process


Refrigerant Flow and LNG Temperature Control
Refrigerant Compressor Suction Control

Optimize PRICO to Liquefy More LNG


The Challenge with Status-Quo
The Problem
The Solution

Key Takeaway

Complete PRICO Process


Control

LNG Temperature Control


Final LNG outlet temperature is
controlled by the main compressor
speed or guide vanes.

Compressor Suction Control

Misconception:
Control
the
compressor suction pressure via
JT valve.
Problem: Liquid carryover to
compressor

Appropriate:
Control
suction
superheat,
instead of pressure.

Agenda
Introduction to PRICO LNG Process
Modeling in VMGSim

Process Control of PRICO Process


Refrigerant Flow and LNG Temperature Control
Refrigerant Compressor Suction Control

Optimize PRICO to Liquefy More LNG


The Challenge with Status-Quo
The Problem
The Solution

Key Takeaway

The Challenge
The LNG flow was 280,000 lb/hr (~1
MMTPA)
Superheat of compressor suction was
40 F.
Is the plant able to liquefy 20% more
flow?

NO! NO! NO!


20% more flow leads
to higher power
consumption and
higher LNG
Temperature

The Problem
LNG temperature increases to -236 F
from -250 F!
It seems the plant not able to liquefy
20% extra LNG!

Reduce Superheat from 40 F to 20 F

YES! YES! YES!

Lower superheat leads to lower


power consumption and LNG
temperature.

The Solution
With lower superheat temperature,
the LNG temperature is back to -250
F from -236!
Power consumption decreases from
35,200 HP to 32,6000 HP (7%
saving)!
LNG is chilled to lower temperature
with less power, by reducing suction

Agenda
Introduction to PRICO LNG Process
Modeling in VMGSim

Process Control of PRICO Process


Refrigerant Flow and LNG Temperature Control
Refrigerant Compressor Suction Control

Optimize PRICO to Liquefy More LNG


The Challenge with Status-Quo
The Problem
The Solution

Key Takeaway

Key Takeaway
Do not control the 1st stage suction
pressure, instead, control the suction
superheat.
Optimize the superheat to reduce
power consumption, yet make sure
no liquid carryover.

Questions

Guofu Chen
GChen@GuofuChen.com