Optimized Unloading of Crude Oil in Cold Conditions
A well-known phenomenon at oil terminals in cold regions is that crude oil transported in railway cars can be too stiff to unload. To help solve this problem, Neste Jacobs has developed an unloading device called Ecoarm. It is a ready to use system that can be used as is or configured by combining top-unloading, bottom-unloading or top-warming technologies to meet clients’ needs.
Traditionally, oil transported by train is unloaded through valves underneath the tank. The tool used for this is a base unloading arm with a built-in heating system.
“But if bottom unloading is not possible, which quite often is the case in the Baltic region, the car must be unloaded from the manhole on top of the tank,” says Staffan Lindberg, Account Manager at Neste Jacobs. “But it is very time consuming and inefficient in the winter to warm the tank from the outside with, for example, hot steam.”
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The good thing about Ecoarm is that the system heats the oil via the top manhole and from the inside out. Roughly speaking, the system consists of a pump nozzle equipped with a heating coil that has two extendable hot oil spray nozzles on both sides of it.
As the oil thins, beginning from the midsection of the tank, the nozzles begin to move sideways and upwards and gradually rise to the top of the tank. This way, all the oil will be efficiently warmed up and can be unloaded.
Fast and safe
The key benefit of Ecoarm is that unloading can be done with high volume flows in cold weather. The equipment is hydraulically operated and steered remotely, which makes it safe to operate.
“Ecoarm is the market´s most efficient and versatile unloading system for oil products that are difficult to handle,” says Lindberg.
The Ecoarm by Neste Jacobs unloads crude oil from railway cars no matter how cold and stiff the oil is.
Ecoarm is a complete system consisting of hot oil spray nozzles, heat exchangers, pumps, initial heating valve box, controls and hydraulics. © Polarteknik Oy Ab
Edited by Carin Hall
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.