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The Superiority of K°BOND in Gas Compression
Applications

Roy Niekerk

Due Date: 14.06.2024

Introduction

In the realm of heat exchangers, the K°BOND printed circuit heat exchanger (PCHE) has emerged as a game-changer, particularly in compressor inter and after cooler applications. This innovative heat exchanger, with its unique channel pattern, offers a host of benefits that make it a superior solution compared to traditional shell & tube heat exchangers.

The K°BOND Advantage

The K°BOND’s standout feature is its ability to achieve a temperature approach down to 2°C, a feat unmatched by shell & tube heat exchangers, which can only go down to 5°C. This significant difference in temperature approach translates to higher efficiency and better performance in cooling applications.

Lower operating temperatures are beneficial for gas compression systems for several reasons. The energy required to compress a gas increases with temperature. By keeping the operating temperatures low, the compressor requires less energy to do the same amount of work, thereby improving the overall energy efficiency of the system. Furthermore, high temperatures can cause increased wear and tear on the compressor components, leading to more frequent maintenance and potential system downtime. Lower operating temperatures help to mitigate this issue.

The secret behind this superior performance lies in the K°BOND’s special new channel pattern. The literature hinted at the potential advantages of airfoil shapes and S-shapes. By combining mechanical finite element analysis (FEA) and CFD calculation Kelvion successfully optimized the shape to achieve enhanced heat transfer with reduced pressure losses compared to zig-zag channels. This unique design significantly reduces the pressure drop, a common issue in traditional heat exchangers. By minimizing the pressure drop, the K°BOND ensures smoother, more efficient operation and extends the lifespan of the equipment.

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Lower pressure drops across the heat exchanger also contribute to the overall efficiency of the gas compression system. A high pressure drop requires the compressor to work harder to move the gas through the system, consuming more energy. By reducing the pressure drop, the energy consumption of the compressor can be minimized, leading to improved flow rates and extended equipment lifespan.

Applications in Gas Compression

The benefits of the K°BOND are particularly evident in various gas compression applications, such as natural gas compression, hydrogen compression, and CO2 compression.

Natural Gas Compression

In natural gas compression, the K°BOND’s low temperature approach and reduced pressure drop contribute to more efficient cooling and condensation of the gas. This results in higher-quality natural gas and less energy consumption, making the K°BOND an environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution.

Hydrogen Compression

Hydrogen compression poses unique challenges due to hydrogen’s low molecular weight and high diffusivity. The K°BOND, with its special channel pattern, provides excellent heat transfer performance, ensuring efficient cooling during the compression process. This leads to safer operation and higher-quality hydrogen output.

CO2 Compression

In CO2 compression, the K°BOND’s superior heat transfer capabilities ensure efficient cooling, which is crucial in preventing CO2 from reaching supercritical conditions. This results in safer operation and extends the lifespan of the compression equipment.

Conclusion

The K°BOND printed circuit heat exchanger (PCHE), with its unique channel pattern and superior performance, is revolutionizing the field of gas compression. Whether it’s natural gas, hydrogen, or CO2 compression, the K°BOND offers a more efficient, safer, and cost-effective solution than traditional shell & tube heat exchangers.

See also:

https://www.kts.kelvion.com/channel-pattern

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