Stainless steel structural sections for HVAC on oil rigs

PUBLISHED 4 April 2017

HVAC systems as air conditioning and refrigeration equipment on offshore platforms, ensuring the highest safety standards and granting long operation thanks to the use of high-end materials.

Stainless beams for oil rig hvac

Stainless steel air handling units

HVAC is very important for the health and the well-being of the personnel operating over long periods on drilling rigs. Air conditioning ensures a constant air supply with adequate volumes. The air is additionally treated before reaching the people. For this, huge air conditioning systems are installed. The heart consists of air handling units equipped with heating and cooling coils for temperature and humidity control, with filtration elements and centrifugal fans. Sometimes sound attenuators are installed.
Upon the specific demand, the design may incorporate both supply and exhaust air sections with heat recovery if required.
Distribution of the air is granted by ductwork that brings it in the various rooms.
Due to large size and heavy weight, the air handling units are built on skids. Those installed on oil platforms are made in stainless steel and all the other components too: the panels, coils, pipes and valves.

Stainless steel frames for HVAC units

For the basement structure we use different sizes of IPE beams in stainless steel grade 316L. The section’s length ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 meters for the travers parts up to eleven meters for the lengthways parts.
Smaller beams or square hollow sections generate the vertical structure as well as the internal supports of the various equipment.
For installation ease, the flanges of the beams are fit out with high precision laser-cut holes and slots for the fixing of the components. This happens according to the specifications of the air handling unit producer and does seriously reduce costs and assembly time.

Safety on top

The HVAC units for off-shore installation must comply with extremely stringent safety regulations. Depending on the location of installation, ATEX-conform-components must be used. So the complete assembly can be certified as suitable for potentially explosive atmospheres.
However, in the general control and safety demand, also the quality controls of the beams is stringent. Dimensional protocols as well as visual inspections and dye penetrant controls of all welds are demanded. So qualified operators perform to that effect,

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