Predicting the “Time to Clean”: Avoid Unscheduled Outages and Extend Asset Life through Operational and Chemistry Modelling , Monitoring and Optimization

August 19, 2019

Author: E. S. Beardwood. Cooling Technology Institute Annual Conference 2016, Houston, Texas, February 7-11, 2016, Paper NO. TP16-20,

ABSTRACT: There has been a shift in industrial economic philosophy to risk-based maintenance, which comes with inherent hazards of pushing plant equipment to unscheduled downtime associated with extensive fouling and/or failure.  Methods have been developed to avoid such pitfalls and increase unit operational equipment reliability and total cooling system availability. Modeling and optimization of heat exchanger operational conditions and cooling water chemistry resulted in findings to improve heat exchanger fouling run rates, eliminate the scheduled need for bundle cleaning, and increase the life of equipment.  Cooling system design compared to actual operational conditions will deteriorate over time and may not approach best practice; hence predictions using modeling to identify potential areas susceptible to failure and then monitoring techniques to predict the health and performance of said cooling system unit operations are outlined to assist in defining the risks and rewards. The operational and chemistry changes can then be validated in the actual cooling water system with heat transfer monitoring equipment that duplicate surface temperature and shear stress of the site heat exchanger of concern. The method processes will be illustrated, as well as laboratory findings and field case studies that document marked improvements.