LA Turbine's second ARES magnetic bearing turboexpander commissioned at Texas facility

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L.A. Turbine (LAT) has commissioned its second ARES Active Magnetic Bearing (AMB) Turboexpander-Compressor within a newly established cryogenic natural gas processing plant located along the Panola pipeline in Texas. The L3000 ARES AMB Turboexpander Compressor is designed to handle a plant flow rate of 200MMSCFD and features the industry’s first skid-mounted AMB controller and PLC design. Reports from the field indicate the cryo plant is running near 100% of its capacity and the ARES turboexpander is responding well to the gas flow demands.

Until now, AMB controllers had to be installed in a building away from the skid installation site which required additional time, materials and labor expenses. With the new ARES AMB turboexpander technology, the Zephyr controller and PLC is Class 1/Division 2 certified thus allowing for hazardous area installation. In addition, unlike oil bearing systems which require an auxiliary lubrication system and ongoing oil maintenance, the active magnetic bearing system can be remotely monitored and maintained thus decreasing the need for ongoing on-site service/maintenance personnel.


Meanwhile, L.A. Turbine recently hosted a multi-day turbomachinery training session for a South American gas processing client at LAT’s headquarters. The client currently operates turboexpanders with active magnetic bearings thus more advanced content related to the turboexpander-compressor design, operation, performance and troubleshooting topics were discussed.

In addition, attendees stepped out of the classroom and into LAT’s manufacturing and assembly shop for a hands-on demonstration of a mechanical center section (MCS) assembly/disassembly. A LAT assembler gave participants an up-close-and-personal look at the inner workings of the MCS while allowing them to ask questions, handle components, and learn operations and troubleshooting techniques.