STAVANGER, Norway – SKF company S2M has won a two-year contract to supply SKF magnetic bearings and associated electronics for subsea compression trains to be employed on the Åsgard gas field complex in the Norwegian Sea.
The bearings will be fitted on the motor compressor shaft systems on the compressor units that maintain gas flow pressure level.
According to SKF, they are an oil-free, frictionless, and virtually maintenance-free alternative to mechanical bearings that improve deep sea operations.
The contract was signed with MAN Diesel & Turbo, Aker Solutions Norway and Åsgard operator Statoil. The Åsgard gasfield project involves placing two hermetically sealed compressor units on the seabed at a depth of between 200 and 300 m (656-984 ft). These will operate by maintaining discharge pressure in the pipeline and will compensate for falling suction pressure as the field is depleted, thereby boosting gas flow.
In a magnetic bearing system, SKF explains, the rotating drive shaft is supported and held in position by electromagnetic forces generated in radial and axial directions.
These forces are generated and controlled by advanced electronics and copper-wired electromagnets to provide what is claimed to be contact-less, wear-free operation.