Magnetics-Based Turboexpander Enables Energy Recovery from Pressure Letdown Stations in Natural Gas Pipelines
October 5, 2020
Magnetic technologies are being employed in a wide range of applications to solve real-world problems involving high-speed machinery, especially in hostile or difficult environments. In this article, we will examine an interesting application: waste energy recovery from pressure reduction in natural gas pipelines.
Natural gas is pressurized to facilitate transportation across long distances through pipelines. The pressure must be stepped down to lower levels for safe delivery through local-distribution networks. Pressure reduction is most commonly accomplished with mechanical regulating valves. These pressure letdown devices (PLD) are generally effective but also waste a significant amount of energy. Ideally, this kinetic energy can be captured and converted into electrical energy using a generator loaded turboexpander.