Langson Energy Solutions
Langson Energy has developed an exceptional Steam Machine that solves the problems inherent in running wet steam in traditional steam turbines. The helical screw expander is a unique positive displacement machine, which bridges the gap between centrifugal or axial flow type aerodynamic machines and reciprocating positive displacement machines. By utilizing a robust, helical screw expander, total flow generators add efficiencies to countless applications that have, until now, been very challenging. It runs at a slower speed without the high radial loads; tip speeds and balance problems characteristic of turbines. As a saturated steam prime mover, the helical screw expander is a total flow machine, which can expand directly the fluid that is continuously being produced from the hot saturated liquid as it decreases in pressure during its passage through the expander. The effect is that of an infinite series of stages of steam flashers, all within the prime mover. Thus, the mass flow of vapor increases continuously as the pressure drops throughout the expansion process, and the total fluid is carried all the way to the lowest expansion pressure. The process approximates an isentropic expansion from the saturated liquid line for the total flow.
By utilizing helical screws, the Steam Machine can recover waste heat to generate power without the combustion of any fuel beyond what is needed to run the gas turbine. It can be used with saturated or low-quality steam, waste steam, geothermal brine, two-phase fluids, letdown steam PRVs, and also dry, superheated steam, etc. to generate clean electricity. They can handle moisture that would cause serious damage to turbines.
Capital Costs – The installed capital cost of the Steam Machine is significantly less than other energy efficiency solutions. Langson modifies readily available and proven components. This holds the capital investment in a Steam Machine to a fraction of what would be required for a steam turbine installation. Helical screw technology has a proven track record of literally millions of hours of operation and tens of thousands of installations worldwide.
Operating Costs – The operating costs of the Steam Machine are estimated to be significantly less than alternative environmentally friendly systems. Routine maintenance is simply lubricating oil changes twice yearly and generator lubrication. Bearing and seal replacement is done every 50,000 hours (or 5 years of continuous operation) providing the customer with a very favorable value proposition.
Base-Load and Distributed Power – One of the challenges facing the expansion of green energy generation is that methods such as wind and solar provide intermittent power generation and require backup power facilities in order to maintain an adequate base-load power supply. Costly transmission lines normally need to be run from remote sites to be grid connected. Langson’s Steam Machine can operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week providing reliable on-site power or distributed power closer to the existing transmission capabilities.
Blackstart, Stand Alone and Off Grid Capability – The Steam Machine can be effectively used as the prime mover, i.e., without the accompanying steam turbine. For example, in new geothermal fields when a few wells have been drilled but the main power plant is under design or construction, the Steam Machine can be hooked up to a well or a set of wells to begin generating power immediately. This electricity can help power the drilling operations, being of critical importance particularly in remote sites. Moreover, owing to the compact, skid-mounted design of the Steam Machine, it can be readily moved around the field as wells are connected to the main plant and new wells continue to be drilled, or moved new fields.
Emission Reduction – Since the Steam Machine uses waste heat, saturated steam or otherwise under-utilized energy to generate electricity, the necessity to generate the same power by using fossil fuels, coal or nuclear fuel sources is eliminated and improvement in the average emissions per kilowatt is realized. This is revealed as a significant increase in the thermal efficiency of the combined cycle. If only 10% of the electricity generated by these gas-fired plants utilized a Steam Machine to improve its efficiency by 10%, over 90 billion tons of CO2 would be reduced each year in the US alone.
Redundancy Capability – Lower capital investment and the Steam Machine’s modular, compact design allows for the ability to create parallel, serial, expandable and redundant power generation capabilities on a distributed basis. On sites with sufficient flows and pressures to warrant multiple units, a serial or parallel combination can be deployed.
Efficiencies – Typically, expanders have demonstrated overall adiabatic efficiencies well in excess of 60% over a wide operating range and have reached efficiencies as high as 85%.