Liquid Natural Gas Cold Energy Recovery for Integration of Sustainable District Cooling Systems: A Thermal Performance Analysis

Yang Luo*, Xuesong Lu, Yi Chen, John Andresen, Mercedes Maroto-Valer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates the heat transfer properties of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in a corrugated plate heat exchanger and explores its application in cold energy recovery for enhanced energy efficiency. The study aims to integrate this technology into a 500 MW gas-fired power plant and a district cooling system to contribute to sustainable city development. Using computational fluid dynamics simulations and experimental validation, the heat transfer behaviour of LNG in the corrugated plate heat exchanger is examined, emphasising the significance of the gas film on the channel wall for efficient heat transfer between LNG and water/ethylene glycol. The study analyses heat exchange characteristics below and above the critical point of LNG. Below the critical point, the LNG behaves as an incompressible fluid, whereas above the critical point, the compressible supercritical state enables a substantial energy recovery and temperature rise at the outlet, highlighting the potential for cold energy recovery. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of cold energy recovery above the critical point, leading to significant energy savings and improved efficiency compared to conventional systems. Optimal operational parameters, such as the number of channels and flow rate ratios, are identified for successful cold energy recovery. This research provides valuable insights for sustainable city planning and the transition towards low-carbon energy systems, contributing to the overall goal of creating environmentally friendly and resilient urban environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • cold energy recovery
  • corrugated plate heat exchanger
  • district cooling system (DCS)
  • liquefied natural gas (LNG)
  • numerical simulation
  • sustainable cooling


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