Proven Solutions to Common Condenser Problems
Intek has established itself as a leader in solving condenser-related problems and improving condenser performance. Since 1994, Intek has been the leading source of new information on condenser dynamics, which has been made possible with the RheoVac instrument. The RheoVac instrument measures the mixture of water vapor and noncondensable gases in the vent line. With this information and other plant measurables, Intek developed a Comprehensive Condenser Model and Methods (C2M2) based on physical principles. The C2M2 has been validated under a variety of different operating conditions, and has been used to identify deficiencies in condenser design and problems with condenser operations and maintenance.
If you want your condenser to work better, Contact Us or read more about our Condenser Design and Engineering Services and our RheoVac instrumentation. For some examples of how we have helped other power plants, read our Case Studies
COMMON CONDENSER PROBLEMS:
High Condenser Pressure
High condenser back pressure is the most obvious plant measurable that results in lost revenue or excess operating costs. Simply, back pressure is directly related to the power output from the turbines and excess back pressure means reduced efficiency and dollars wasted. Contact Us to solve your back pressure problem.
How excess back pressure affects the bottom line:
Revenue and profit loss can be significant. As shown in the charts below, even a small excess back pressure will have a dramatic impact. These results are based on a PEPSE analysis of a 525MW generating unit which shows that each 0.1HgA rise in back pressure results in an increase of 0.17% in heat rate. In summary, a 0.3 HgA of excess back pressure, on a base loaded plant condenser, correlates to a loss of 2.68MW of power and nearly $770,000/year lost revenue.
Corrosion/Dissolved Gases (Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, Ammonia, etc.)
Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and other gases are a major cause of corrosion in the steam cycle. Corrosion leads to forced outages and increased maintenance costs. A common misconception is that high DO is concurrent with high air in-leak; this is not always the case. High DO and condensate ammonia concurrent with low air in-leakage is an indication that the condenser configuration may be inadequate. Contact Us to solve your problem with corrosion or dissolved gases.
Inteks condenser services group reduces DO by >70% at Entergys Little Gypsy. Read More (PDF)
Low Cleanliness Factor/Low Heat Transfer Coefficient
Cleanliness Factor (CF) is calculated by measuring the actual heat transfer coefficient as a percent of the associated HEI specified design heat transfer coefficient. Low CF measurement could be the result of one or many problems occurring in a plant, and indicates a lower than desired power generation efficiency; thus, dollars wasted. Contact Us to solve your problem with low cleanliness factor or low heat transfer coefficient.
Multiple pathways for air to leak into the steam path are inherent to the sub-atmospheric side of steam turbine power plants. Air in the steam path, along with deficiencies in condenser configuration, are major causes for a number of plant related problems such as excess back pressure, dissolved oxygen, corrosion, and low cleanliness factor. Quantifying this air in-leakage is essential for maintaining plant operations. RheoVac instruments are the solution to measuring air in-leakage. The RheoVac instrument succeeds where all other air flow monitors fail, because it is the only instrument that is based on the direct measurement of vent line gas parameters to accurately calculate air in-leakage. Additionally, RheoVac instruments provide plant operators with other essential data to respond to common plant maintenance issues, such as monitoring exhaust pump capacity, real-time verification of leak repairs, vacuum quality, and tube fouling. Contact Us to solve your air in-leakage problem.
Tube fouling occurs when biologic growth or material deposits obstruct the cooling circulating water flow through condenser tubes. Tube fouling manifests itself in many plant measurables. Without direct measurement of individual tube flow rates, however, other problems such as poor condenser configuration can lead to false presumption of tube fouling. Intek offers instrumentation for monitoring individual tube fouling. Contact Us for help with your tube fouling problem.
Low Pump/Exhaust Capacity
Exhaust pump capacity must be maintained to ensure proper air removal from the condenser. Insufficient air removal can lead to increased back pressure, high dissolved oxygen, and low cleanliness factor. RheoVac instruments provide an accurate and real time measurement of pump capacity. Contact Us to solve your low pump/exhaust capacity problem.
Other Efficiency/Maintenance/Design Concerns
For decades, Intek has solved flow and engineering problems for many customers. Inteks success is based on a fundamental understanding of physics and engineering backed by a team of knowledgeable and experienced science and engineering professionals. Contact Us for all your power plant condenser related concerns.
Condenser Performance Solutions (PDF)