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Heat Conservation & Glycol tracing in SAGD projects

Author: 
Srikanth Nagarajan and Vishnu Thattil
Subject Area: 
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Abstract: 

In today’s world of cut throat competition for attaining maximum profits with minimum damage to the environment, imagine what would be the scenario if one is able to discover a methodology which uses the otherwise wasted energy for constructive purposes in the energy usage cycle primarily defining the functional process of that particular industry. Energy management thus becomes the inevitable aspect in any functional society. This paper identifies such a robust methodology of recovery of heat energy and its further use in the energy cycle. The recovered Heat energy from the hot crude product in a SAGD project can be reused effectively without being wasted by changing the medium of exchange. In SAGD projects usually glycol and BFW (boiler feed water) is used for cooling the hot crude product. The heated up glycol is used for heat tracing of lines instead of the electric tracing which is more common in Canada or polar countries where steam tracing becomes uneconomical. And the recovered glycol can be reused for cooling of the hot crude. The same glycol is also being used for heating up of the Working Areas with heat addition from heaters during winters. This is made possible because of glycol heat bearing capacity without change in state. Thus heat produced inside a facility is not wasted and is utilized effectively. Glycol (Ethylene Glycol) has been used as a heat transfer agent in automobile and air conditioning system for years now. Ethylene glycol is produce from Ethylene which oxidizes and reacts with water to form Ethylene glycol. It has a melting point of ‐12.9oC and a Boiling Point of 197.3oC. But Glycol when mixed in water, the Melting point and Boiling Point varies significantly depending on the concentration of the glycol, typically with a proportion of 70% glycol the freezing point reduced to ‐51oC. Hence by varying the proportion of the glycol in the mixture the heat carrying capacity can be changed according to the requirement. Thus, with this paper we intend to compare the various heat tracing methods, the energy consumption comparison in each method, the tracing system installation cost, the tracing system performance, the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) project philosophies, the modifications in the system while using glycol medium, glycol properties, the advantages and the challenges faced during the utilization of the heat conserved.

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