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A Method for On-Line Cleaning of Heat Exchangers to Significantly Increase Energy Efficiency in the Oil, Gas, Power & Chemical Process Sectors

Objective

Fouling of heat exchangers in refining industry crude oil preheat trains is a chronic operating problem that reduces heat transfer and energy recovery in these systems costing the industry $4.5 billion per annum. Eight percent of industrial plant operating costs may be attributed to heat exchanger fouling. Despite enormous costs associated with fouling, the industry relies on off-line cleaning because there are no on-line systems capable of operating under high temperature, low velocity conditions with chemically reactive fluids. The cost of taking plant off-line inevitably means that the heat exchanger operates at significantly less than peak efficiency. Our proposed solution is to develop an innovative projectile based on-line cleaning and injection system that will work under the required operating conditions to mitigate foulant build-up throughout the heat exchanger. Achieving our objectives will require research to formulate accurate correlations of foulant deposition rate as a function of geometry and operating conditions, the development of a composite projectile material to achieve the required mechanical properties and chemical stability as well as a projectile trajectory control system to deliver a uniform distribution of projectiles over the heat exchanger tube-face. Furthermore; ensuring that projectiles are propelled through the heat exchanger tubes in a low velocity regime will require us to devise a means to temporarily increase flow velocity through selected heat exchanger tubes. Research will concentrate on characterizing foulant deposition mechanism, structure and rate, projectile tribology as well as gaining a detailed understanding of heat exchanger fluid flow and its control. The proposed solution will provide the industry with significant energy savings of over 10% and reduce the CO2 foot print across a wide range of industrial sectors.
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Coordinator

THE UK INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS RESEARCH INSTITUTE LIMITED

Address

Pera Business Park Nottingham Road
Le13 0pb Melton Mowbray

United Kingdom

Activity type

Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)

EU Contribution

€ 736 007

Administrative Contact

Andrew Dean (Mr.)

Participants (4)

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TUBE TECH INTERNATIONAL LIMITED

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 669 947

UNIVERSITAET STUTTGART

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 730 191

BIPROTECH SP. Z O.O.

Poland

EU Contribution

€ 62 736

COOLING QUALITY MANAGEMENT LTD

Israel

EU Contribution

€ 797 957

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 227462

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 September 2009

  • End date

    28 February 2013

Funded under:

FP7-ENERGY

  • Overall budget:

    € 3 969 612,83

  • EU contribution

    € 2 996 838

Coordinated by:

THE UK INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS RESEARCH INSTITUTE LIMITED

United Kingdom