Melton A. Huey, P.E., and Dennis Leppin*
Lithium Bromide (LiBr) Absorption Chillers have been in use for more than half a century, mainly in the commercial air conditioning industry. The Gas Research Institute and EnMark Natural Gas Company cofounded a field test to determine the viability of this commercial air conditioning technology in the gas industry.
In 1991, a 10 MMCFD natural gas conditioning plant was constructed in Sherman, Texas. The plant was designed to use a standard, off-the-shelf chiller from Trane with a modified control scheme to maintain tight operating temperature parameters. The main objective was to obtain a 40 F dewpoint natural gas stream to meet pipeline sales specifications. Various testing performed over the past three years has proven that the chiller can be operated economically and on a continuous basis in an oilfield environment with minimal operation and maintenance costs.