Waste-to-Energy Plant Achieves Increased Performance With ScaleBreak®-MP

Facility Maintenance

Brazed plate heat exchangers perform in many capacities, in this case study they were being utilized to cool flue gas.  Brazed plate heat exchangers transfer energy with high efficiency and minimal thermal loss.  When operating in environments where poor water quality occurs, or with high temperatures, scale deposits from minerals within the water source may fall out of suspension and adhere to the heat transfer surface, creating an insulating barrier.  This may have a detrimental impact on the heat exchanger’s performance and efficiency.  In addition to efficiency loss, continued scale build can act as a breeding ground for particulate fouling which can result in corrosion issues.

The facility realized efficiencies had fallen far below expected levels and recognized a cleaning was needed.  With brazed plate heat exchangers, disassembly is not an option.  A CIP (clean in place) option was introduced to the plant utilizing Goodway Technologies ScaleBreak-MP descaling formula and a GDS-15-pH pumping system.  As depicted in the picture, the descaling solution was pumped into the bottom of the brazed plate exchanger and returned out the top.  This cleaning methodology allows the cooling water side of the brazed plate to become flooded so the descaler can safely dissolve all the deposits into a liquid suspension.  The brazed plate exchangers only needed 5-gallons of ScaleBreak-MP and circulated for a few hours to achieve outstanding results.

“The brazed plate heat exchanger cleaning was exactly what we needed.  We exceeded target power generation for two consecutive 24-hour reporting periods.  That is something that had never been accomplished previously at this facility.”

When well maintained, brazed plate heat exchangers are highly efficient.  As such, it is important to have a preventative maintenance program in place ensuring the efficiencies remain high and operational costs are in check. Goodway Technologies offers innovative maintenance tools to help achieve these maintenance goals.

Job results:

  •  Flue gas stack temperatures were reduced by more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit on average and more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit during peak operation since cleaning. 
    • This is indicative of increased heat transfer to the thermal fluid as opposed to the loss of excess heat to the stack.
  • Power generation, on average, has increased substantially over pre-outage levels at similar plant rates. 
    • This is a function of both more heat transfer to the thermal fluid and increased cooling capacity of the brazed plate heat exchangers.