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ISSN: 2090-4541
Journal of Fundamentals of Renewable Energy and Applications
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Application of Solar Energy Heating System in Some Oil Industry Units and its Economy

A.M. Abd El Rahman 1*, A.S. Nafey2 and M.H.M.Hassanien1

1Department of Petroleum Refining and Petrochemicals, Suez University, Egypt

2Department of Engineering Sciences, Suez University, Suez University, Egypt

*Corresponding Author:
A.M. Abd El Rahman
Department of Petroleum Refining and Petrochemicals
Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering
Suez University, Suez, Egypt
Tel: 201126655944
E-mail:
[email protected]

Received Date: June 06, 2017; Accepted Date: July 20, 2017; Published Date: July 28, 2017

Citation: A.M. Abd El Rahman, AS Nafey, M.H.M. Hassanien (2017) Application of Solar Energy Heating System in Some Oil Industry Units and its Economyy. J Fundam Renewable Energy Appl 7: 233. doi:10.4172/20904541.1000233

Copyright: © 2017 A.M. Abd El Rahman, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Abstract

Energy is one of the building blocks of modern society. Once an exporter of oil and gas, Egypt is now struggling to meet its own energy needs. In oil industry there is an energy problem due to fuel and electricity consumption and refinery losses in a way that reduces the net profit of the industry. There are also environmental problems due to carbon dioxide emissions which is a major source of the global warming problem. As Egypt is blessed with geographic location in the Sun Belt area with 325 days of sun in a year, solar energy can be used as a source of energy that reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The current study presents solar energy heating system that can be used for heating applications in some oil industry units. The study has been divided in two parts, the first one concerned with choosing the most appropriate solar system that can be used in such applications. Four different mathematical models for prediction of optical efficiency and thermal losses for the chosen system have been analyzed and then computerized using excel sheet program. Numerical comparison and also practical validation of the selected model have been done. For that paper under title of “Evaluation of Mathematical Models for Solar Thermal System” was published in October, 2016, American Journal of Energy Science. Visual basic program is then done for the validated model for good and friendly user interface. For the second part of the study, this paper concerned with performing an economic evaluation for providing feasibility and reliability conception about using the proposed system in some oil industry applications in number of Egyptian companies as preheating of crude oil for desalting in oil production (Khalda petroleum company), preheating of viscous oil for transportation enhancing and preheating of boiler feed water (Cairo oil refining company). The results shows that payback period for crude preheating before desalting is 20 years and for fuel oil and boiler feed water preheating are 7 years.

Keywords

Solar energy; Parabolic trough solar collector; Crude oil heating; Steam production

Introduction

In Oil Industry there is an energy problem due to energy losses in a way that reduces the net profit of the industry. Energy Losses are due to fuel consumption, refinery losses and electricity consumption. For example Heating viscous oil for transportation enhancing and heating crude oil for preliminary treatment consume a great amount of fuel. In refinery also for 100 kbpd crude needs approximately 120 MW to be preheated up to 350°C [1]. A rule of thumb used by some refiners is that it takes 1 barrel of oil-equivalent energy to process 10 barrels of crude oil [2]. Petroleum refining in the United States is the largest in the world, refineries spend typically 50% of the cash operating costs [3]. Oil refining, petrochemicals, ammonia, paper, cement, and steel production consume about 18% of the primary energy in the European Union (EU).

So there is a great interest towards the technologies for increasing the energy efficiency by reduction of the energy consumption. The most productive energy-conserving measures appear to be in the areas of improved combustion, the recovery of low-grade heat, and the use of process modifications. Concerning these solutions Romulo, Lima S et al. made a comparison between energy efficiency in Brazilian and United States crude oil refinery and concluded that increasing the refinery complexity which means more heat integration inside the plant will lead to reduction of the energy consumption [4]. To meet the energy challenges faced by Chinese petroleum refiners. Liu X et al. indicated that upgrading process heaters is identified as apriority to enable short term energy optimization [5]. Refineries may be also able to use other sources of energy, and otherwise wasted heat, to reduce the combustion of gaseous and liquid fuels. So fuel substitution (such as the use of coal in refineries) is an important goal [6].

In addition to energy problems, there are also environmental problems as in 2008 around 81.3% of the world’s primary energy was supplied from oil, gas, and coal products; resulting in around 29,381 million ton of CO2 which is a major source of the global warming problem [7]. Renewable energies including solar, wind, hydropower and biomass are considered to be attractive alternatives that are highly abundant, sustainable and environmentally friendly resources, most countries have initiated programs to develop energy sources based on renewable resources.

To overcome economical and environment problems, solar energy is introduced in this paper for heating applications in oil industry. For the applications of solar energy in oil industry, researchers studied using solar thermal energy in heating viscous fuel oil to about 50°C and stored at that temperature [8,9], heating crude oil to maintain flow ability during transportation [10-13] and thermal treatment of crude oil by heating water in the collector to 85-90°C then heated water exchanges heat with crude which is heated to 55-60°C [14].

Reference to the first part of the study [15] parabolic trough collector (Figure 1) presents the most appropriate type of collector to be used in the discussed solar thermal system for usage in the oil industry.

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-parabolic-collector

Figure 1: Parabolic trough collector.

For developing an economic study for any process unit, the process designer must be aware of selection of a basic process route, equipment used in the process and also details incorporated into the equipment. From a first draft flow sheet, a preliminary cost estimate can be prepared by the “factoring” or equivalent method. With more comprehensive and better information regarding the process, estimating engineers can prepare detailed estimates, which are often quite accurate, usually ±10% for the best [16].

Methodology

Cost estimation

For preliminary cost estimation of any process unit the following steps to be done:

1. Preparing a flow sheet for the process.

2. Preparing heat and material balances around each piece of equipment.

3. Sizing all of the equipment for cost estimation (the material cost of equipment often represents 20-40% of the total project cost for process plants).

Equipment cost prediction in the present study is done using the following methods:

a) Estimating Charts (Chemical Engineering Economics).

b) Matches (licensed Engineering Company) software.

c) Online cost estimator (McGraw-Hill Education).

d) Equipment cost V.1 software (University of Porto).

e) Actual commercial costs from Egyptian oil sector.

4. Analyzing the process carefully to determine what plant cost factors that should be used for calculation of (Electrical, Instrumentation, Utilities, Foundation, Installation, etc.) costs, and then calculation of total plant cost.

5. Finally investment decisions are taken often based upon several criteria such as payback period that is usually measured as the time from the start of production to recovery of the capital investment.

The above mentioned steps for cost estimation are done for each of the discussed applications (Figure 2).

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-Plant-cost-factor

Figure 2: Plant cost estimating factor.

Proposed solar system

Heat transfer fluid (HTF) is designed to transfer heat from parabolic trough collector (PTC) to the fluid needed to be heated through heat exchanger. HTF must combines heat stability and low viscosity for efficient, dependable and uniform performance in a wide optimum use range of 120°C to 400°C.

Basis of design:

1. Configuration of the solar system is based on Kuraymat Plant (solar power project 100 km south of Cairo).

2. Design solar incident radiation=600 W/m2.

3. Operating temperature range of HTF= (120-400°C).

4. Ambient temperature=20°C.

5. No over design is considered.

Process description: HTF is transferred by a transfer pump to be heated through PTC, and then directed to heat exchanger for heat transfer to the fluid to be heated. HTF is finally directed to surge tank to be pumped again (Figure 3).

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-solar-package

Figure 3: Solar package.

Scope of work: This study scope of work in each application is to perform detailed engineering for the solar package in order to provide cost estimation for each project through the following steps:

a) Hysys simulation for the hot oil system to optimize the design of plant (Figure 4).

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-hysys-simulation

Figure 4: Hysys simulation for the proposed solar package.

b) Hydraulic calculation for pump and piping is to provide piping size, system pressure drop (Figure 5) using HCALC (full pipe flow hydraulic calculator) and then pump required power.

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-hcalc-line-sizing

Figure 5: HCALC line sizing.

Then commercial pump selection based on Tahoe Design Software's Pump Base (Figure 6).

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-q-and-h-kalabsha

Figure 6: Q and H curve for Kalabsha.

c) Heat exchanger thermal design using HTRI (Figure 7) (Heat Transfer Research Institute) the global leader in process heat transfer to calculate heat transfer area and pressure drop across heat exchanger.

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-htri-summary

Figure 7: HTRI output summary.

d) Solar thermal system design using PTC calculation (Figure 8) (software developed in first part) to calculate solar collector required area.

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-ptc-calculations

Figure 8: PTC calculations.

One module area=12 × 5.76=69.12 m2

e) Separator and tank sizing (if any).

f) Cost estimation of the total solar package.

g) Payback period calculation.

Cases process description and study scope of work

Case 1: Preheating of crude oil for desalting in oil production facilities KALABSHA (Khalda Petroleum Company):

Process description: The facility is located at KALABSHA field, Western Desert Egypt. Oil (Figure 9) is distributed to the six trains to separate the emulsion water in the oil to eventually achieve the product specifications through the following equipment for each train:

i. Indirect forced heater.

ii. Production separator.

iii. Heater treater.

iv. Oil feed pump.

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-kalabsha-process

Figure 9: KALABSHA plant process description.

Oil feed is heated in the indirect forced heater to 55°C to separate the emulsion water in the three phase separator. Flashed gases is directed to existing fuel gas system, separated water is directed to the waste water treatment facility and the oil is directed to the heater treater to further separate the emulsion water in oil. The outlet oil is pumped through oil feed pump to two desalter packages.

Scope of work: Produced crude oil is heated from about 49°C to 64°C in heater treater using fuel gas. Our scope of work is to bypass the heater (Figure 10) during day only (6 hours) with the proposed solar system and making a comparison between the existing and the proposed system.

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-kalabsha-plant

Figure 10: KALABSHA plant after introducing proposed solar package.

Case 2: Preheating of viscous oil for transportation enhancing Cairo Oil Refining Company (CORC):

Process description: The Facility is located at CORC (the biggest refinery in Egypt). Its capacity represents about 30% of Egypt’s refining capacity. Fuel oil is produced from atmospheric distillation unit, stored at 50°C in storage tanks, and then heated in fired heater to about 90°C for transportation enhancing through overcoming pour point and viscosity problems (Figure 11).

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-fuel-oil-system

Figure 11: Fuel oil system process description.

Scope of work (fired heater): Produced fuel oil (Figure 12) is heated from about 50°C to 90°C in fired heater using diesel oil as heating fuel. Our scope of work is to bypass the heater during day hours (hours) with the proposed solar system and making a comparison between the existing and the proposed system.

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-corc-fuel-oil

Figure 12: CORC fuel oil heating plant after introducing solar package.

Case 3: Preheating of boiler feed Water Cairo Oil Refining Company (CORC):

Process description: The facility is located at CORC. In boiler (Figure 13), water is preheated firstly in the deaerator by steam. Burner mixes fuel and oxygen together and, with the assistance of an ignition device, provides a platform for combustion in the combustion chamber, and heat generated is then transferred to the water for steam production.

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-boiler-system

Figure 13: Boiler system description.

Scope of work (deaerator): Water is preheated in the deaerator from 25°C to about 110°C. Our scope of work is to preheat water before the deaerator from 25°C to 60°C in a way that the consumed steam in the deaerator is reduced. So for production of the same net amount of steam, the amount of consumed fuel in the boiler is reduced (Figure 14).

fundamentals-renewable-energy-applications-corc-boiler-feed

Figure 14: CORC boiler feed water preheating after introducing solar package.

Results and Discussion

Summary of solar package design for the three cases (Table 1).

  Case 1 Case 2 Case 3
Hydraulic Calculation
Piping size in 3 3 3.5
Line pressure drop bar 1.2 1.5 4.6
Heat exchanger pressure drop bar 0.5 0.5 0.5
Total pressure drop bar 1.7 2 5.1
Pump discharge pressure kg/cm2 8 8 Booster pump 7
Main Pump 9
Heat Exchanger Thermal Design
Heat exchanger surface area m2 15 83 71
PTC Design
Number of required modules module 25 33 79
Total required area m2 1800 2281 5461

Table 1: Solar package design results.

Total Project Cost

HTF system equipment cost

For total project cost calculation firstly HTF system equipment cost is estimated using the above mentioned five methods. Then the total HTF system cost is calculated using plant cost estimating factor.

Case 1: KALBSHA total project cost: In Table 2, it is shown that costs from charts, excel sheet and commercial data are approximately equal. So the HTF system total equipment cost=115000$.

Equipment Chart Cost $ Matches software $ Cost Estimator $ Excel Sheet $ commercial data $
Heat Exchanger 12180 16700 8200 12409 9000
Pump 31000 12900 12500 7488 17000
Surge Tank 1740 1236 10615 1284 12000
Vessel 69700 84872 21229 69749 40000
Total Cost $ 114620 115708 52544 90930 78000

Table 2: Case 1 total HTF system equipment cost.

Case 2: CORC fuel oil preheating: In Table 3, it is shown that costs from charts and also data from actual commercial plant are approximately equal. So the HTF system total equipment cost=112000$.

Equipment Chart Cost $ Matches software $ Cost Estimator $ Excel Sheet $ commercial data $
Heat Exchanger 40020 44200 18000 32000 50000
Pump 70000 44000 13000 30000 50000
Surge Tank 1740 1236 1500 1284 12000
Total Cost $ 111760 89436 32500 63284 112000

Table 3: Case 2 Total HTF system equipment cost.

Case 3: CORC boiler feed water: In Table 4, it is shown that costs from charts and commercial data are approximately equal. So the HTF system total equipment cost=29800$.

Equipment Chart Cost $ Matches software $ Cost Estimator $ Excel Sheet $ commercial data $
Heat Exchanger 34800 41000 16000 29700 42000
Booster Pump 87000 50000 14000 36000 122000
Main Pump 87000 50000 15000 36000 122000
Surge Tank 1740 1236 1500 1284 12000
Total Cost $ 210540 142236 46500 102984 298000

Table 4: Case 3 total HTF system equipment cost.

PTC cost

PTC cost estimation is done (Table 5) according to updates to Solar Advisor Model (SAM) initiated by NREL (National Renewable energy Laboratory) which states that:

  Case 1 Case 2 Case 3
Required Area m2 1800 2281 5461
Cost  $ 666,000 843, 970 2, 020, 570

Table 5: PTC cost estimation for the three cases.

Solar plant Cost per m2=170$

Installation and Site Improvements per m2=200$

Total Cost of Solar Plant per m2=370$

Total project cost summary: After calculation of HTF system cost and PTC solar plant, the total project cost for the three cases is then calculated in Table 6.

  Case 1 Case 2 Case 3
HTF Equipment Cost $ 115, 000 112, 000 298, 000
Plant Estimating Factor 1.95 1.95 1.95
HTF System CPost $ 224, 250 219, 000 581, 100
PTC Cost $ 666, 000 843, 970 2, 020, 570
Total Project Cost with 10 % margin $ 980, 0000 1, 170, 000 2, 862, 000

Table 6: Total project cost for the three cases.

Comparison with the existing fuel consumption and payback period calculation

The purpose of this section is to calculate the payback period for each case and this can be done through the following steps:

1. Calculation of the amount of fuel saved after implementing the new design.

2. Equation (Table 7).

  Case 1 Case 2 Case 3
Heat consumption for the existing heaters 3200 MMBTU/HR 1126 KW 2640 KW
Existing fuel  consumption / day 0.5 MMSCFD 2376 Lit 5520 Lit
Amount of fuel Saved / 6 hrs. 0.125 MMSCF 591 Lit 1385 Lit
Fuel Saved / year* 41.25  MMSCF 194809 456746
$ Saved /year 50, 000 176000 412000
Total Project Cost $ 980, 0000 1, 170, 000 2, 862, 000
Payback Period year 20 7 7

Table 7: Comparison with existing plant and payback period calculation.

For Case 1 exiting heater uses natural gas as a fuel while for Cases 2 and 3 Diesel is used as fuel

Through (Table 7), the payback period for each application is calculated and after this period the annual profit for each case shall be the money saved for fuel consumption reduction. For example for Case 3 the payback period is 7 years and after these years the annual profit due to fuel saving shall be 412000$.

Conclusion

The aim of this paper work is to provide economic study about using solar thermal system in some oil industry applications. For developing such study and through survey of different solar thermal systems, parabolic trough collector presents the most appropriate type to be used. Then evaluation of four available mathematical models for PTC was introduced for choosing the reasonable one that provides simulation of this collector under different operating conditions. For that paper under title of “Evaluation of Mathematical Models for Solar Thermal System” was published in October, 2016, American Journal of Energy Science. Finally steps and results of study using PTC solar heating system in some oil industry units are presented.

The study steps included design of all equipment and overall plant cost estimation for payback period prediction. The results showed that payback period for crude preheating before desalting was 20 years, fuel oil preheating was 7 years, water preheating 7 years. Fuel used in Case 1 was natural gas while for the other two cases was diesel fuel, and this is the most important factor that resulted in higher pay back period for Case 1.

Recommendations

1. Solar field presents about 50% of the total proposed system cost in each application so optimization of solar system design affects greatly the total cost.

2. Selection of PTC type with high efficiency and minor optical and thermal losses is essential for more economic application.

3. Plant location is one of the main factors that affect collector performance so location with high direct radiation intensity is recommended.

4. Heat exchanger optimum design is important as it presents about 25% of the HTF system cost.

5. The oil industry application that the proposed system can replace in day hours is recommended to have fuel oil as a heating medium not fuel gas because of higher costs of fuel oil than fuel gas for generation of the same duty.

6. The utilization of renewable energy in EGYPT should be increased, as there is a global concern that the developing nations could be faced with energy crisis and global warming. It is expected that more damage and pollution of the environment will continue. Parabolic trough solar collector is one of the options for renewable energy and this technology should be adopted in industries that utilize fossil fuel for heating and steam generation.

7. The government has to support further research works in this area financially and allocating large area to test large grids of the parabolic trough system for heating applications and also power production.

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