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Condenser Tube Cleaning: Essential for Reliable Power Generation


Maintaining clean condenser tubes is of vital importance for reliable, efficient power generation. Two major problems result from fouled tubes: (1) Loss of heat transfer, and (2) Under-deposit corrosion. Internal tube fouling acts as insulation, interfering with heat transfer and reducing the efficiency of steam condensing, resulting in a lower vacuum (higher pressure) and less efficient steam turbine operation. Under-deposit corrosion of tube material can result in through-wall leaks, bringing contaminants into the high purity steam condensate. These contaminants can cause significant damage to boiler tubing and steam turbine materials and can even lead to a forces shutdown.

In order for a plant to maintain peak generation capacity, measures to prevent fouling or remove deposits must be applied. Early identification of fouling characteristics and a fundamental knowledge of cleaning system capabilities are essential in determining the most effective cleaning technology. Unique circumstances may require innovative solutions. The common causes of condenser tube fouling and the practical application and innovation of cleaning technology are discussed. State-of-the-Art methods for off-line mechanical tube cleaning are presented, and their effects on tube condition examined.


Gary E. Fischer
National Sales Manager
Conco Services Corp.

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