Clean Condenser Tubes = More Efficient Power Plants

Power plants are faced with a harsh, changing environment – they have to operate more efficiently, improve productivity as well as the reliability of their equipment, and save energy.

Cool Cooling TowersThe maintenance of condenser tubes is directly related to the performance and efficiency of power generation. Proper, routine maintenance of condenser tubes will result in more reliable, more efficient plant operation.

The way condensers operate is straightforward, notes Eric Fayard in Power magazine.

“Condenser design specifications define a maximum effective rate of removal of the latent heat in the exhaust vapor entering the condenser, as well as its heat transfer into the circulating water, determined by the condenser backpressure, cooling water flow rate, and inlet temperature,” he says.

“Variations in the latter two parameters will change the backpressure and also affect the heat rate for a given load. In order to minimize condensate subcooling, caused by variations in inlet water temperature, some control over backpressure (and heat rate) may be achieved by varying the cooling water flow rate,” he adds. “However, the reduced tube velocities can cause silt to become deposited on the tube surfaces and, thus, negatively affect heat rate.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for condensers in a power plant to get dirty. Condenser tubes can become caked with organic deposits or scaled with hardened minerals – a process called fouling – that are difficult to remove.

Fouled condensers affect heat transfer and limit generation capacity. “In fossil-fired plants, an increase in heat rate is reflected in higher fuel costs for a given load, and increases of 2% are not uncommon. In both fossil and nuclear plants, if the fouling becomes severe, it will cause the backpressure to rise to its upper limit, forcing a reduction in generated power,” according to Fayard.

The most effective way to ensure condenser tubes have long lifespans and that heat transfer is not affected, is to keep them clean. Each time deposits are removed, the surface is returned to bare metal, which provides the best heat transfer. Successful condenser cleaning requires selecting the proper cleaning technology with the most popular being mechanical cleaning with projectiles or chemical cleaning with descaling chemicals and systems. In some cases, the combination of chemical and mechanical cleaning will produce even better outcomes.

Goodway surface condenser tube cleaners are your answer to cleaning even the dirtiest tubes.

Goodway has spent decades developing the best technologies in condenser tube cleaning. We offer a variety of solutions including advanced tube cleaning projectiles and guns to clean condensers faster, easier and more efficiently, with less down time and less user fatigue.

When you need to clean your facility’s condenser tubes efficiently, choose Goodway’s condenser tube cleaning systems. For more cleaning power to remove tough deposits, choose accessories like our coil brushes and our ScaleBreak Liquid Descaler.

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3 comments


  • John Lim

    How do you know that condenser tube become dirty?what should be done?

    May 16, 2016
  • Tim

    There are a variety of factors that can help identify how dirty your condenser tubes are, but a visual inspection is always needed to identify what type of deposit you have. Annual cleaning of condensers is recommended.

    May 17, 2016
  • mustaqqim

    What kind of methods of inspection that we can do to check the tubes leakage while it on line?

    May 29, 2016

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