It is a major project of the Russian pipeline operator Transneft, and a showcase project for Voith hydrodynamic variable-speed fluid couplings, which Transneft has again chosen for its operations in Russian Siberia.
Transneft is extending the throughput capacity of the Eastern Siberia Pacific Ocean Pipeline (ESPO Pipeline) with the intention of adding four additional pumping stations to the already existing ones. In all four stations, Voith’s variable-speed fluid couplings will control the pipeline pumps. Therefore, the company is to deliver a total of 17 hydrodynamic variable-speed fluid couplings to Transneft, between January and December 2016. Sixteen of them will be installed directly; the operator as reserve will keep one coupling.
For use in mountainous terrain and under severe climatic conditions with hot summers and very cold winters, Transneft opted for the robust, reliable and extremely maintenance-friendly Voith solution. Even under such demanding conditions, Voith guarantees a working life of 50 years for its variable-speed fluid couplings. In addition to an oil change every five to ten years, only consumables such as seals, need to be replaced.
Variable-speed fluid couplings
The 715 SVL variable-speed fluid couplings that have been ordered transmit power of up to 6350 kW at 3000 rpm. Unlike electronic control applications, the couplings can be installed directly into potentially explosive atmospheres. They do not need their own building to be constructed or an additional gearbox with oil station either. For the operator, this means extensive potential savings on investment, as well as maintenance costs.
The ESPO pipeline stretches over a total distance of 4740 km from Taishet to the transition point of the Kozmino oil refinery at the Pacific east coast of the country. In 2009, the first section (Taishet to Skovorodino) was completed; the second, from Skovorodino to Kozmino followed in 2012. While the pumps in the pumping stations of the first section are controlled electronically, Transneft already relies on four Voith fluid couplings in each of nine pumping stations in the second section.
Edited from various sources by Stephanie Roker