Steam bottoming cycles offshore - Challenges and possibilities

Lars O. Nord, Olav Bolland


This paper addresses the challenges and possibilities related to offshore steam bottoming cycles with a special focus on once-through heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs). The main focus of the paper is to investigate the compromise between weight and efficiency of the HRSG by process simulation. The cost per installed kg of equipment is high offshore. Therefore, any bottoming cycle, applied to the back-end of the gas turbine, needs to be compact, yet sufficiently efficient. Important parameters to make the HRSG compact were the number of steam pressure levels, the HRSG technology, the flue gas pressure drop in the HRSG, and the pinch-point temperature difference. While selecting the parameters as a compromise between weight and efficiency, the combined cycle net plant efficiency was found to be approximately 50% with a power output of 43 MW. The steam turbine gross power output was 11 MW or about 25% of the total combined cycle plant gross power output. These results were compared to an onshore reference plant model which utilized the same type of aeroderivative gas turbine. The weight of the offshore once-through HRSG was about one third of the onshore HRSG. The net plant efficiency was 3%-points lower for the offshore system.


once-through; Rankine cycle; combined cycle; process simulation

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