Photo: Courtesy of SINTEF

SINTEF and ECONNECT develop new modeling for floating pipe

SINTEF Energy Research and ECONNECT Energy have developed a new computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling tool to predict LNG, ammonia and liquid CO2 flow rates in floating pipes.

SINTEF and ECONNECT develop new modeling for floating pipe tech
Courtesy of SINTEF

The companies say there is no previous reliable modeling to predict the flow rates for floating, flexible cryogenic pipes.

This new tool will serve to better understand flow rates in floating pipe technology. It will do so with various pressure and temperature parameters. Thus, it would inform end-users of cost and of how to increase gas value chain efficiency.

This project establishes the optimal configuration of floating pipes by specifically combining:

  • Fluid dynamic modeling by SINTEF;
  • Data from ECONNECT Energy’s operations.

In addition, Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Research Council support it.

The IPN project contributes to a body of fluid dynamics research, addressing the heat and mass transport phenomena required to improve the process configuration and control for floating gas distribution systems.

This modeling tool addresses methods to stabilise the friction factor of LNG to increase the throughput capacity and decrease boil-off effects. Also, this is effectively reducing costs and increasing system efficiency. 

It will have a significant commercial value related to scaling up cargo deliveries and predicting the behavior of large volumes of fluid.

“The competence generated in the project will help to scale jettyless distribution technology and lower the barrier to cleaner energy substantially, by making these energy feedstocks more available,” said Stian Magnusson, ECONNECT CIO. “This will enable industries and other users such as marine transport in Norway and abroad to make a switch from heavier fuels to LNG and ammonia.” 

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Data from LNG operations

The proprietary computational fluid dynamic models have been validated with data from ECONNECT Energy’s cargo deliveries. This is to improve the process configuration and control for technologies using floating, flexible cryogenic pipes. 

Findings using data from a 2021 LNG operation demonstrate a lower-than-anticipated friction factor, further proving system efficiency and capacity for increased liquid volume.

ECONNECT Energy input data allows for benchmarking the operational performance of ECONNECT Energy’s jettyless system against traditional jetty solutions.

The CFD models can also be used to estimate the friction factor for other diameters and pipes for future technologies, hastening jettyless applications for zero carbon fuels and carbon capture.