Demaco is renowned for its expertise in cryogenic technology. Expertise that we bring into play daily within various industries to make cryogenic systems function optimally.
But what exactly are cryogenic systems, and which parties contribute to them? In this blog, we look at the components of the cryogenic system and the various parties involved.
The components of a cryogenic system
What is a cryogenic system? A cryogenic system consists of all the components required for a cryogenic application to function effectively. It depends on the specific situation what precisely the specifications of these components will be. This is due to the fact that not every application has the same set-up, neither is it located at the same distance from a storage tank or uses the same type of gas. On top of that, not every end-user has the same requirements, budgets, and operating procedures.
However, nearly all cryogenic systems at least include the following four components
- The cryogenic application (in most cases) in a building.
- A storage tank containing a liquid gas.
- The piping with additional couplings and shut-off valves, with which liquid gas is optimally insulated from the storage tank to the application.
- Quality enhancing products with which the quality and pressure of the liquid gas even be better managed.
A factor that makes cryogenic technology extra fascinating is that it is never a single party that supplies all of the above features. For a complete system, at least three different parties work together by delivering their part in good cooperation. These parties are highly dependent on each other in this process and cannot put their respective deliverables into operation before the entire system is completed.
Four involved parties
When building a new cryogenic system, in most cases, the following parties are involved:
The gas supplier provides the liquid gas required for the application. Many applications use liquid nitrogen, but gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide (CO2), argon, helium, hydrogen, and LNG are also regularly supplied by gas suppliers.
The application supplier and manufacturer produce the application that the end user ordered. In our recent blog, we listed 11 typical cryogenic applications. Some examples of applications from this list include the freezing tunnel in the food industry, the refrigerated dewar in both the food and automotive industries, and cryogenic dewars for cryopreservation in the medical industry.
While the gas and the application often come from different parties, this is not necessarily the case. It is common for the gas supplier to also supply an application.
The supplier of piping and accessory products
Obviously, the system is not complete with just a gas tank and a cryogenic application. Before the gas from the tank reaches an application, it travels a considerable distance via a perfectly vacuum insulated pipe system.
In most cases, the end-user determines the routing. For example, the liquid gas flows into a building through several corridors from the tank towards the room where the application is located. This route may easily cover a distance of tens or even hundreds of meters.
Ensuring that the liquid gas does not heat up and lose its liquid form along the way requires both perfectly vacuum insulated piping and careful calculation and monitoring. A cryogenic engineer calculates the pressure and flow conditions of the gas throughout the route, and if necessary, applies techniques to improve them. This involves not only using the best-insulated transfer lines but also accessory products such as quality enhancement products.
The end-user does not directly supply a product, but they do have an essential role in creating a cryogenic system. As the initiator of the project, the end-user is in charge. This party specifies what the application must be capable of, where it must be located, and the project’s budget.
Together in an advanced process
The nature of the collaboration between the above parties varies considerably from project to project, but the sequence is usually roughly the same.
As briefly stated earlier, the process is often started by the end-user. This party decides to purchase a cryogenic application and contacts a manufacturer. This may be a gas supplier who also supplies applications or another party who then engages a gas supplier. Finally, a piping supplier is also involved, after which the team is complete.
The next step involves meetings, a first sketch, drawing up specifications and, if desired, one or more on-site meetings, furthering design, budgeting, engineering, a quotation, follow-up meetings, final agreements, and specifying the final design. Is it a large-scale project involving, for example, hydrogen or helium? Then this often implies multiple on-site visits, multiple meetings, and long-term collaboration.
Demaco is an expert in transfer lines
Demaco has been active as an expert in cryogenic technology for over 60 years. We work well together with various gas suppliers who gladly involve us in their projects. Also, end-users frequently choose to engage us directly, after which we enter into a collaboration with the other parties involved in the project.
Nearly all of our piping is vacuum insulated. We specialize in vacuum insulation because this insulating technique provides as much as 8 to 25 times better insulation than most other insulation materials (such as PIR/PUR, Foamglas, Armaflex, Perlite, and Misselon). In addition to piping, we also manufacture auxiliary products that complete the cryogenic system. These additional products include couplings, quality-enhancing products, and some cryogenic applications.
During the development of a cryogenic system, Demaco has a vital advisory role in addition to that of the supplier. For example, during the start of a project, we go through all technical requirements and offer advice. In case an application would function perfectly on a gas of a slightly lower quality, the piping system can also be simplified. However, when 100% pure liquid gas is needed, with a flow of exactly 50 liters per hour, it is advisable to use additional products, such as a phase separator or subcooler and highly insulated piping.
The more complex a project is, the more critical Demaco’s advisory role becomes. And since we have built up a good relationship with our partners in the cryogenic world over the past decades, we are called upon for the most complex, exciting, and interesting challenges.