Power Plant Descaling: More Important Than You Think

Sometimes when we in the industry think of descaling power plants, we mainly think of the large condenser boxes that create steam and run turbines. And while that is a huge part of the operation, there are dozens of other applications where water is used within a power plant.

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The most common scale ingredient is CaCO3, or calcium carbonate, the main ingredient in hard water. Herein lies the problem: if thousands of gallons of water are flowing through boilers, heat exchangers, condensers, cooling towers and other parts of a power plant, scale is likely to build up.

How Stuff Works shows us how a nuclear power plant works. The Centre for Energy shows us how a thermal power plant works. And the U.S. Geological Survey shows us the inner workings of a hydroelectric power plant. Although the plants vary in operation, function and components, what the illustrations show is that a power plant contains numerous large applications with water circulating through them, requiring descaling.

Scale buildup is present in condensers, chillers, boilers, heat exchangers, cooling towers and compressors. Descaling is important for effective heat transfer, and buildup can affect operations, leading to inefficiencies.

The buildup clogs pipes, making pumps work harder to force water past the scale. Scale buildup may result in increased energy expenses and equipment failure. If any component of a power plant stops working, the whole plant may have to be shut down for repairs. For more about descaling read our post, The 20 Things You Should Know About Descaling.

Goodway descaling systems are effective in dissolving scale in the circulating water side of a power plant’s system, including in heat exchangers and compressors. ScaleBreak and ScaleBreak SS (formulated for stainless steel), our liquid descalers formulated for use in our descaling systems, dissolve scale deposits quickly and safely.

These descalers are safe to use on most surfaces, and their low foaming action combined with corrosion inhibitors make them ideal for using on boilers, chillers, condensers, heat exchangers, cooling towers and water piping systems. ScaleBreak descalers are safe for the environment, and no special permits or licenses are necessary to use them in your power plant.

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