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SINTEF, ECONNECT model LNG, ammonia and liquid CO2 flow rates in floating cryogenic pipes

SINTEF Energy Research and ECONNECT Energy have developed a novel computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling tool to predict LNG, ammonia and liquid carbon dioxide flow rates in floating, flexible cryogenic pipes. The tool will be used to better understand flow rates in floating pipe technology with various pressure and temperature parameters to inform cost for end users and to increase gas value chain efficiency.

This unique project establishes the optimal configuration of floating pipes by combining fluid dynamic modelling by SINTEF with data from ECONNECT Energy’s operations.


With additional support from Innovation Norway and Norwegian Research Council, the IPN project contributes to a body of fluid dynamics research, addressing the heat and mass transport phenomena required to improve the process configuration and control for floating gas distribution systems.

There is no previous reliable modeling tool available to predict the flow rates for floating, flexible cryogenic pipes accounting for diameter, corrugation profile and insulation level, simulating leading floating pipes on the market.

The new modeling tool addresses methods to stabilize the friction factor of LNG and other non-aqueous fluids to increase the throughput capacity and decrease boil-off effects—effectively reducing costs and increasing system efficiency.

This model will have significant commercial value related to scaling up cargo deliveries and predicting the behaviour of large volumes of fluid, as higher volumes of fluid can affect the velocity, pressure and contribute to a higher friction factor.

The competence generated in the project will help to scale jettyless distribution technology and lower the barrier to cleaner energy substantially, by making these energy feedstocks more available. This will enable industries and other users such as marine transport in Norway and abroad to make a switch from heavier fuels to LNG and ammonia.

—Stian Magnusson, ECONNECT Energy CIO

The proprietary computational fluid dynamic models have been validated with data from ECONNECT Energy’s cargo deliveries to improve the process configuration and control for technologies using floating, flexible cryogenic pipes.

Findings using data from a 2021 LNG operation demonstrate a lower-than-anticipated friction factor, further proving system efficiency and capacity for increased liquid volume. ECONNECT Energy input data allows for benchmarking the operational performance of ECONNECT Energy’s jettyless system against traditional jetty solutions.

The CFD models can also be used to estimate the friction factor for other diameters and pipes for future technologies, hastening jettyless applications for zero carbon fuels and carbon capture.

ECONNECT Energy is an independent Norwegian technology company assisting the midstream, downstream and maritime markets with a jettyless IQuay floating transfer terminal for LNG, ammonia, CO2 and other liquids.


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