Sweden’s Alfa Laval, a world leader in heat transfer, separation and fluid handling, is set to unveil a compact version of its top-selling gas combustion unit (GCU), that ended last year as the preferred choice in managing boil-off gas for larger LNG carriers and the majority of newbuilds, the company said in a release.
“The smaller GCU will be an excellent fit for small LNG carriers, floating storage and regasification units, LNG bunker vessels and ships using LNG as fuel,” explained the company’s manager for exhaust and combustion systems, Pieter Borg. “They also need an option for burning boil-off gas.” Mr Borg sees significant market potential for further developments in GCUs such as the more compact version after a stellar year when Alfa Laval brought the number of units sold to “well over 100”.
According to one of the world’s largest LNG fleet managers GasLog’s innovation and technology manager Miltos Zisis, the simplicity and reliability of the GCUs were key selling points when the company bought the 100th unit in late 2018.
Since buying the fledgling technology from French aerospace manufacturer Snecma in 2013, Alfa Laval has taken the GCU concept up several levels. In the last five years it has developed and proven the technology as a relatively simple unit for handling boil-off gas, with few components and the smallest possible number of interfaces and moving parts.
In that time the GCU has become an important element of the company’s portfolio of systems, the company said. Much of the development work takes place at the company’s test and training centre in Aalborg, Denmark, featuring a full-sized GCU that occupies pride of place in the building.
As Mr Borg explained “Numerous advances have been made at the centre, such as full free-flow application that enables full-capacity burning at low inlet pressures without the need for gas compressors.”
Alfa Laval has not yet announced a firm 2019 date for the release of the smaller version.
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