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Obstacles and Opportunity: Turbine Motorization in Refineries Today
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Steam turbines have been widely used in oil refineries for driving pumps, compressors and other rotary machines. However, in recent years, the authors of this paper have seen substantial turbine motorization projects completed or being planned in the refineries. This paper discusses the key aspects that should be considered in evaluating the feasibility of motorization projects. Based on the literature review and a refinery survey conducted by the authors, the key factors include the critical level of the related equipment, the potential energy savings and capital cost, the steam and power balance in the related area, and the reliability in the refinery's power supply. Based on the authors' experience, the utilities' energy efficiency incentive programs in California also influence the decision-making process for turbine motorization projects. Therefore, this paper includes a description of the utilities' guidelines for fuel substitution projects. In particular, the utilities' three-prong requirements on net source-BTU energy savings, cost effectiveness, and avoidance of adverse impacts to the environment are discussed. Two real life case studies are presented to demonstrate how the above criteria should be applied for determining if a motorization opportunity is economically viable. A discussion on suggested features is also included for prescreening turbine motorization project candidates for better energy and environment economics such as venting of exhaust steam from a back pressure turbine and oversized design of the existing turbine and pump.
Feng, Hua; Liu, Jinghing; Liu, Xiang; Ahmad, Mushtaq; Deng, Alan (2012). Obstacles and Opportunity: Turbine Motorization in Refineries Today. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from