Condenser Tube Cleaning System

Cleaning System for Condenser and Heat Exchanger Protection

The WTR® Condenser Tube Cleaning System (CTCS) is vital for the prevention of micro-fouling from contaminants in cooling water circuits. These systems are used where impurities within the cooling water form scale deposits on inner tube surfaces during the heat transfer process, reducing the heat transfer rate, often requiring a de-rating of the plant output. Applications include power plants, refineries, SAG-D, chemical plants, industrial plants, mills, and numerous other types of plants with shell and tube condensers or heat exchangers.

Micro-fouling (scaling or precipitation fouling) of condenser and heat exchanger tubes is common due to foulants in the water such as calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, salts, and lime. Scale accumulation creates an insulation, thus greatly diminishing the heat exchange process. This can lead to an increase in turbine back pressure or create other detrimental effects, depending on the condenser/heat exchanger service. Unchecked, this typically results in shut downs requiring manual cleaning in a confined space. Manual tube cleaning can be time consuming and commonly uses harsh brushes, chemicals, or other costly and laborious cleaning methods.

The CTCS is designed to maintain a condenser’s peak cleanliness factor. Elastomeric (cleaning) balls, slightly larger than the tube ID, are injected on the inlet side of the condenser / exchanger. Cleaning balls are introduced in such a manner to promote random distribution. The velocity within the circuit will compress the balls as they enter a tube. The system velocity propels the balls through the tubes, thus wiping the ID to prevent build-up of impurities, silt, or filming. Upon discharge, the cleaning balls are positively captured and retained in the condenser discharge line via a custom ball strainer. The cleaning balls are pumped to a collector for either collection or recirculation.

The ball strainer is housed in a shell, flanged to mate with the cooling water discharge lines. Custom lengths, flanges, and arrangements are common. The CTCS utilizes an HMI touch screen control interface, allowing for easy monitoring. Individual or multiple systems may be controlled from a common panel. Other options such as plant DCS control is available. Controls and drives can be supplied for hazardous locations.

WTR Engineering, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of WesTech Engineering, as of April 1, 2017. WTR designs and supplies mechanical water filtration equipment, such as raw water and wastewater screening for large flows, for both the municipal and industrial markets, including the power industry.

Benefits and Features

  • Filter element provides superior filtration area with minimal pressure loss across the element
  • Continuous, online, automatic tube cleaning without interruption to cooling or process water flows
  • Cleaning balls of various sizes, hardness, and surface textures to combat varying contaminants
  • Injection pipes and locations designed to stimulate random distribution through the condenser
  • PBR strainer provides Positive Ball Retention to prevent balls from escaping the system for zero or no ball loss
  • Heavy wall carbon steel ball strainer shell, internally rubber lined or epoxy coated; exterior coating as required
  • Ball strainer internals of 316L SS, Duplex 2205 or Super Duplex 2507; other specialized materials available
  • Strainer shell of standard or customized length for new plant or retrofit into existing plant piping scheme
  • Ball strainer rotor drive is an industrially rated, heavy duty gear unit with reversing capabilities for continuous duty
  • Strainer access manway for removal of unforeseen or oversized debris entering the system
  • Circulating pump is non-contacting of high efficiency to reduce power consumption
  • Easy access ball collector for removal of worn balls and insertion of new cleaning balls
  • Site glasses to confirm cleaning ball recirculation in various locations
  • Advanced controls via HMI touch screen interface with PLC to provide instant change of various control settings (times on/off, cycle time, etc.), viewing of component status, run times, maintenance requirements, and faults
  • Design codes to ASME, nuclear, or petrochemical industry standards
  • Reduces turbine back pressure and improves heat rate
  • Aids in preventing micro-fouling of condensers and heat exchangers
  • Extends condenser / exchanger tube life by reducing fouling that can lead to MIC attack, surface pitting, and under deposit corrosion
  • Reduces operating differential across condenser / exchanger from fouling accumulation
  • Power plants (fossil and nuclear)
  • Industrial plants
  • Petroleum refineries
  • SAG-G
  • Chemical plants
  • Steel and sugar mills
  • Plants with shell and tube condensers / heat exchangers
  • Pipe connection sizes: 24” to 120” (600mm to 3,000mm).
  • Flow rates: 10 to 250 K GPM (0.63 to 15.7 m3/sec) depending on aperture

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