Rand-Air has introduced an innovative and economical steam boiler to local industry. The new Atlas Copco steam boiler is a 20 foot containerised unit capable of delivering an output of 6.2 million BTU per hour (approximately 2 720kg per hour) at a temperature of 100◦C and a working pressure of 10.3 bar.
Steam boilers - large vessels containing water - transfer heat from a fuel source (oil, gas or coal) into steam, which is then piped to a point where it can be used in a variety of applications, including running production equipment, sterilising and steam cleaning.
The steam boilers are very economical and much more cost-efficient to hire, according to Craig Swart, Fleet Manager at Rand-Air.
The new steam boiler, the latest new addition to Rand-Air’s rental stable, is used in well testing in the on- and offshore oil and gas industry (in effluent heating). It also has an application in a number of other industrial processes, including effluent steam injection; mud transfer; chemical heating; steam cleaning; sterilisation (autoclave and hospitals), heating (domestic and industrial); batch cooking for mass production; spirit distillation; tyre and moulding production, and process heating in the refinery industry.
Steam boilers have been used with success at a number of well testing sites in the offshore African oil and gas industry, specifically in the heating of well effluents, according to Swart.
“It is often necessary to raise the temperature of well effluents to prevent hydrate formation, in order to reduce viscosity and to break down emulsions, thereby making separation of oil and water easier. To do this some form of heater is placed downstream of the choke manifold. There are two main types of heaters - an indirect fired heater and a steam exchanger. Indirect fired heaters are fuelled by diesel or gas, and for that reason are often not permitted due to safety concerns in many operating environments, particularly in the offshore oil and gas envirnoment,” he explains.
“The integration of numerous safety features and protection devices in the Atlas Copco boiler has brought new levels of innovation to the steam boiler market, meeting the stringent safety requirements of the international oil and gas industry and offering significant long-term cost-saving benefits,” concludes Craig.