Turboden gas expander to increase energy efficiency of Italgas gas networks
In Italy, Turboden S.p.A, a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) group company, has announced that it has been awarded a contract to supply two 650 kWe gas expanders which will increase the energy efficiency of one of the main gas pressure reduction stations connecting the national gas pipeline network to the City of Rome for Italgas, Italy's leading and Europe's third-largest gas distributor.
The gas expanders produce electricity by taking advantage of the reduction of gas pressure from the mainline transmission pipeline to that required by users, whether residential or industrial. A natural gas expander or turbo-expander consists of an expansion turbine through which the natural gas at high pressure is expanded to produce work, which is converted into electricity by a generator.
We are very excited to offer our customers a further solution to increase their energy efficiency, in addition to our advanced ORC technology and industrial heat pumps which were introduced earlier this year. The project with Italgas confirms once again Turboden’s continued drive to develop solutions that allow energy companies such as Italgas transition into a low-carbon future, commented Paolo Bertuzzi, CEO of Turboden.
Currently, the operating gas expanders range in size from about 50 kW to 15-20 MW, however, Turboden’s offer is positioned in sizes between 150 kW and 2 MW. In classic gas pressure reduction stations that are based on lamination valves that dissipate the potential energy contained in the gas under pressure, gas expanders represent a solution to improve the energy efficiency of natural gas transmission and distribution networks.
For over forty years, Turboden has been designing and developing plants for distributed power generation, based on organic rankine cycle (ORC) technology. Thanks to its experience in organic fluid turbines, Turboden has entered the world of gas expanders, offering an innovative solution in the medium/small size market segment (below 2 MWe) that the company says “had been unattended” to date.