The interruption of electric power is always an extreme inconvenience in every sector of life, as was experienced during the massive Eastern United States blackout of 2003. Power shortages and interruptions in the refining industry are certainly no different, but the industry has responded to the uncertainties by approaching independence from the dominant utility grids through the installation of natural gas fueled co-generation units and/or the addition of flue gas driven expander power generation units, but of course the long term reliability of these systems is a major concern. A large hot gas expander, installed in a refinery, operating at a temperature of 705°C to 760°C, can be used to generate needed electric power [1]. However, these machines are very sensitive to the connected piping loads, and the long term operating reliability is most assuredly determined by the correct detail design of the inlet and outlet piping systems. This paper will only discuss in detail the design of the expander inlet piping system. This system is considered as one of the most complicated piping systems to analyze and design in the entire refinery.

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