Project Synopsis

Evaluate available alternatives for replacing an existing air-cooled ammonia condenser at a cryogenic storage terminal that would allow for future increased cooling demands.

Project Summary


The client owns and operates several cold (cryogenic) storage terminals used for the staging of anhydrous ammonia (NH3).  The terminals utilize a classical NH3 refrigeration cycle for maintaining cryogenic conditions in the storage tanks.  One such terminal had determined that the existing condensing capacity in the refrigeration cycle was not adequate to meet future operating requirements.  Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by the client to evaluate the available alternatives for replacing the existing air-cooled ammonia condenser at the terminal.  Specifically, PROCESS performed a technical screening of potential condensing technologies and executed a preliminary technical and economic evaluation of technically-screened alternatives.  Specific project tasks included:

  • Development of an evaluation basis for the purpose of setting performance parameters and process constraints that the condensing system must meet
  • Identification of potential condensing technologies for replacing the existing air-cooled condenser
  • Technical screening of potential technologies to identify those that met the evaluation basis requirements
  • Development of preliminary vendor bid packages and review of preliminary vendor bids
  • Technical and economic evaluation of the technically-screened alternatives
  • Preparation of a project report summarizing the findings of the project

The technically-screened alternatives included an air-cooled condenser, an evaporative condenser, shell and tube heat exchangers with cooling tower, and plate heat exchangers with cooling tower.  PROCESS rated each alternative relative to capital cost, operating cost, waste generation, operational complexity, operational flexibility, space requirements, and purchase lead time.  The information was passed along to the client in the project report for a decision relative to pursuing more detailed technical and economic evaluations for one or more of the technically-screened alternatives.

Industry Type

  • Cryogenic Storage Terminals

Utilized Skills

  • Cooling/ condensing systems evaluation
  • Terminal facility engineering support

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