An offshore oil platform functions as an artificial island out at sea, which requires power supply to keep their farm operations and support activities. Who fulfils this role are the generation systems.
“Compared to what we know in our daily life, offshore platforms have a configuration that replicates the architecture of a city, with factories, houses and auxiliary systems,” explains Fernando Martins, GE’s Vice President for oil and gas in Latin America. For example, on platforms, industries are replaced by processing units and the houses by a system of hospitality, all in sub-scale.
“As well as the power plants are the main suppliers of electricity to the Brazilian cities, in the case of platforms, specific systems meet energy demands,” argues Malik. According to him, the most common alternative at “dams” of platforms are gas turbines, aero-derivative models mostly that, as the name betrays, are adaptations of traditional equipment that propel the jet planes. Despite impressive, they share space with other sources of power generation, list that includes steam turbines or alternative engines, burning gas, diesel or crude oil.
In the case of GE, although the company has a range of products that covers 12,000 MW power tracks the 124,000 MW, applicable in plants of natural gas compression stations and refineries and petrochemical units, the turbines used on offshore platforms need to suit the limited space. “And the most common option usually are the equipment that can be activated with different fuels (diesel and natural gas) and that provide greater energy efficiency,” she adds. In Brazil, according to him, the typical application are the turbines of 25 MW, in line with the conditions of temperature and humidity of the platform.