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December 19, 2022 Carbon Steel, Steel Tube 0 Comments

6 Maintenance Tips For Plate Heat Exchanger

Maintenance and inspection schedules for plate heat exchangers depend on a variety of factors, including the environment (time, temperature, and concentrations), frequency of use, and regulatory mandates.

Different industries have different maintenance requirements, and different processes will affect your heat exchanger differently. The best way to maximise uptime is to establish a preventative maintenance schedule. Sa179tubes.com Is Stockist & Supplier Of A179 Tube And SA 179 Tubes.

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Welding of Plate Heat

Online and Offline Cleaning :

Cleaning online prevents fouling and scaling without interrupting operation or shutting down the heat exchanger. Online cleaning can be used as a standalone approach or in conjunction with chemical treatment to prevent any reduction in the heat exchanger performance and to extend the service life of the tube. Online cleaning techniques include the recirculating ball type system and the brush and basket system.

Offline cleaning is another effective cleaning technique for improving heat exchanger efficiency and reducing operating costs. Pigging involves the use of a bullet-like piece of equipment placed inside the tube and pushed down the tube with high air pressure. Other offline cleaning methods include chemical cleaning, hydro-blasting, and hydro-lancing.

As a result of both methods, the heat exchanger is restored to its optimal efficiency before scaling and fouling begin to creep in and negatively impact its efficiency.

Maintaining Heat Exchanger :

Maintaining plate heat exchangers to avoid fouling, blockages, and leaks is the best way to boost efficiency and output. In the absence of periodic maintenance, heat exchanger efficiency is bound to be compromised, resulting in reduced heat transfer, potentially higher energy costs, fluid cross-contamination, and erosion. It can be safely concluded that all heat exchanger performance problems can be avoided by implementing an appropriate maintenance program.

Periodic Cleaning :

It is most effective to flush out all the dirt and debris that degrade heat exchanger efficiency over time with periodic cleaning-in-place. Draining both sides of the PHE and isolating it from the system fluid is required for this technique. The water should be flushed out from both sides until it runs clear. Flushing should be performed in the opposite direction of regular operations. 

As soon as this is done, a cleaning agent is passed using a solution tank and a circular pump, while making sure the agent is compatible with the gaskets and plates of the PHE. Lastly, the system should be flushed with water until the discharge stream is clear.

Cleaning the PHE Manually :

You must follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning manually. Ideally, the plates should be cleaned without being separated from the frame, so when installing a PHE, it is essential that there is enough space for manual cleaning.

In the next step, a cleaning agent is applied to eliminate dirt and debris, followed by a thorough rinsing with a soft bristle and pressurised water. It is not recommended to use metal pads or brushes, as they may irritate or dislodge the plates.

Minimising the Fouling Factor :

Heat exchanger efficiency is highly affected by the velocity of the operating fluid, so it is recommended that the flow rate be increased periodically. Turbulence retards fouling, which otherwise impacts heat exchanger performance and impedes fluid flow. The duration and frequency of preventive maintenance and periodic cleaning will, however, vary depending on the velocity of the fluids being processed and the foundering tendencies of the medium.

Analysing and Addressing Issues in Heat Exchanger Efficiency :

Efficiency issues with heat exchangers may not always appear as leaks, fouling, or blockages. While many problems are minor, if left unchecked, they can cause irreparable damage to expensive equipment, resulting in unplanned downtime and emergency repairs.

 The process data documented around maintaining heat exchangers offers valuable insight into various important factors, such as flow rate, pressure, and channel inlet and outlet temperatures. Using this data, we are alerted to impending issues that may become uncontrollable if not addressed on time.

If you are not using energy optimally, you are losing money every minute. Follow these tips to improve heat exchanger efficiency and save fuel in almost any application.

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