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Turboexpanders


Premium Engineering is an official representative of Mafi-Trench Company LLC, an American manufacturer of turboexpanders.


Turboexpanders are used in natural gas processing plants, in the petrochemical industry and in power generation.


By now, over 700 turboexpander units have been supplied all over the world for both onshore and offshore service, from the Arctic to tropics and deserts. Over 400 turboexpanders manufactured by others are covered by our maintenance program. In 2007, Mafi-Trench's share of the world turbomachinery market reached 75 per cent.


Premium Engineering offers its turboexpanders in three embodiments:

  • Expander-Compressor;
  • Expander-Generator;
  • Expander-Brake.

Expander-Compressor is used in cryogenic applications to produce process refrigeration and to boost the process gas pressure using the power recovered by the expander.

Expander-Generator, apart from producing cold, is used to convert the expander power into electric power in the process units and gas distributing plants.

Expander-Brake is designed for very low power cryogenic applications, where it may not be economical to recover the expander power in a compressor or in a generator.


Turboexpanders use traditional oil bearings or active magnetic bearings. As far back as 1989 Mafi-Trench first used magnetic bearings manufactured by S2M. The magnetic bearings have some special features. The choice of the most suitable bearing type comes in the process of a thorough discussion of the operating conditions with the customer.

Optionally, the unit can use a water or air cooling system. The water-cooled oil coolers can come in several configurations, depending on the quality of the cooling water.

All the units are equipped with a PLC based Automatic Process Control System (APCS). The operating information can be transmitted and control can be shifted to the upper level of APCS.

Depending on the process flowsheet, the expander-compressors can be delivered with different connections between the expansion and compression stages of the unit.

To design, calculate, and fabricate the expanders, up-to-date techniques are used.

Apart from fabrication inspection, each expansion unit to be supplied goes through mechanical and hydrodynamical tests according to the relevant international standards.


Specific parameters of Mafi-Trench expander-compressor machines

Above information is for single machines (single stage)

inlet pressure, up to 15 MPa
inlet temperature, range 100K - 320 K
volume flow (expander inlet conditions), up to 180 m3 per minute
liquid phase percentage at expander inlet, up to 30% (mass)
power, up to 18 MW
Expander isentropic efficiency* 0,82 - 0,92

*Efficiency is dependent on several parameters interaction


Expander-compressor unit can include several stages (multistage):

  • with stages connected in series (for high pressure drop);
  • with parallel connection (for high flow rate).

All the supplied expander units are certified in accordance to relevant Russian and CIS standards and rules; they are furnished with all the necessary permits for use in these countries.


Premium Engineering and Mafi-Trench provide a wide variety of services covering either their expanders and expanders manufactured by others:

  • warranty and post-warranty maintenance;
  • repairs;
  • replacement of the liquid end, including replacement by a more efficient one;
  • replacement of the oil bearings by the magnetic rotor suspension system;
  • supply of spare parts.

We can supply hydrocarbon expander equipment tailor-made to the customer’s requirements, for use in any conditions.


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