Energetic, exergetic, environmental and economic assessment of a novel control system for indirect heaters in natural gas city gate stations


The energy consumption and greenhouse gases emissions in natural gas city gate stations are important issues in the natural gas industry. In order to improve efficiency, have a cleaner environment and achieve economic benefits, the present study aims to propose an optimal system for the indirect water bath heaters in natural gas city gate stations. The optimization procedure is carried out by designing a control system to gain an eligible discharge temperature for the heater based on the gas entry conditions to the city gate station. The controller calculates the temperature of hydrate formation in terms of passing gas pressure and gives this information to the torch of the heater for regulating fuel consumption. A comprehensive study is accomplished based on energy, exergy, environment and economic analysis for different pressure reduction stations. The results indicate that employing the proposed system decreases the amount of fuel consumption and greenhouse gases emissions along with increasing system efficiency. Analyzing the results reveals that using the proposed system leads to a maximum of 28.54% relative increment in the heater efficiency compared to the conventional system (at this condition, the heater efficiency of the conventional and proposed system is η = 36.12% to η = 46.43%, respectively). Furthermore, with choosing a heater with a capacity of 100,000 SCMH, it is possible to reduce the pollutants emissions and total costs down to 142.6 tons per year and 3,671,000 $ per year, respectively.

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  1. 1.

    \(\left[ {\frac{{{^{\eta}}{\text{Proposed system}}\,-\,{^{\eta}}{\text{Conventional system}}}}{{{^{\eta}}{\text{Conventional system}}}}} \right] \times 100\).


\(E\) :

Exergy (J)

\(\dot{E}\) :

Exergy rate (W)

\(\bar{e}\) :

Specific exergy (kJ kmol−1)

\(g\) :

Gravitational acceleration (m s−2)

\(h\) :

Specific enthalpy (J kg−1)

\(\dot{m}\) :

Mass flow rate (kg s−1)

\(P\) :

Pressure (MPa)

\(\dot{Q}\) :

Heat rate (W)

\(\bar{R}\) :

Universal gas constant (J K−1 mol−1)

\(s\) :

Specific entropy (J kg−1 K−1)

\(T\) :

Temperature (°C)

\(t\) :

Time (s)

\(\dot{\forall }\) :

Volume flow rate (m3 s−1)

\(v\) :

Velocity (m s−1)

\(\dot{W}\) :

Power (W)

\(y\) :

Molar mass (–)

\(z\) :

Height (m)

\(\eta\) :

Efficiency (%)






Pollutants emission


Chimney exhaust




Natural gas


Heater’s inlet gas


Heater’s outlet gas








Water bath heater


City gate station


Cost saving


Greenhouse gas


Lower heating value


Gauge psi


Standard cubic meter per hour


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Correspondence to Amir Ebrahimi-Moghadam.

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Ebrahimi-Moghadam, A., Deymi-Dashtebayaz, M., Jafari, H. et al. Energetic, exergetic, environmental and economic assessment of a novel control system for indirect heaters in natural gas city gate stations. J Therm Anal Calorim 141, 2573–2588 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10973-020-09413-4

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  • City gate station
  • Water bath heater
  • Fuel consumption
  • Greenhouse gases emission
  • Techno-economic analysis