Shell Oil was looking for a safe solution to welding new pipes together on old oil rigs while the rig was in operation. The concern was that the heat and flame of the welding tools could cause an explosion. They contracted with several European companies who designed “premium forge welded connection” 40’ casing tubes and an automated welding process that produced near flush, welded tubular connections. However they needed a unique chiller design that would cool the welding process safely and consistently.
Filtrine’s specialty is to build custom chillers to cool all types of medical and industrial processes. So when presented with Shell Oil’s contractors’ chilling challenge, Filtrine stepped up to the plate and custom engineered an explosion proof industrial chiller, Model PCP-1500S-180A-WP-XP-MOD, to the contractors’ specifications.
The requirements for this equipment were rigorous. The chiller had to be built to the standards set by API RP 14F: Recommended Practice for Design and Installation of Electrical Systems for Offshore Production Platforms by the standards body, American Petroleum Institute (API). It also had to fit into a shipping container to be moved from rig to rig but sturdy enough to withstand hurricanes and winter storms. The vent in the chiller had to be positioned in front of the vent in the container for it to operate properly. This is because the ambient temperature within the container could reach as high as 130°F in the hot summer sun or below freezing in the winter. The chiller also had to be impervious to salt and salt water, and be powered by a generator.
After a thorough design review, Filtrine’s engineers decided on Filtrine’s versatile closed loop chiller model (PCP) with an air cooled condenser and high ambient controls to 120°F. They added two critical options: weather resistant (WP), and explosion proof (XP). It was designed for Class 1, Division 1, Group D, Temp T3 area classification. As with all Filtrine products, this chiller went through rigorous factory testing prior to shipment. Shell Oil had the chiller shipped to a rig in the Gulf Coast near Houston, TX.
Filtrine Equipment Used
Filtrine’s closed loop, packaged chiller, Model PCP, recirculates a clean coolant at a constant temperature, pressure and flow. It is ideal for all installations where a dependable source of clean water is not available. Filtrine PCP chillers use a storage-type cooling tank, with an immersion coil evaporator, that has been shown to be the most effective way to cool consistently.
A-WP in the model name means it has a self-contained air cooled condenser, and the complete unit is made weather-resistant for outdoor installation so it runs consistently in a variety of climates. XP means that all motors, wiring and controls are rated for Class 1, Group D, Division 1, explosive environment. Groups B and C are available on some models. MOD is added to note that the chiller has been modified for specific applications. Contact the factory for third party certification.
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