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51317--9496-Qualification and Application of Ultrasonic Technology for Power Plant Component Fouling Control

Technical analyses and laboratory testing in advance of a wiped-film evaporator system installation and operation as well as the results of initial cleaning evolutions. The technical evaluations included: 1) finite element (FE) stress analyses, 2) laboratory displacement measurements to confirm FE results, 3) material integrity testing, and 4) laboratory effectiveness testing.

Product Number: 51317--9496-SG
ISBN: 9496 2017 CP
Author: Charles Marks
Publication Date: 2017
Industry: Energy Generation
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Initial operation of a wiped-film evaporator used in a power plant installation for waste processing led to high levels of fouling with calcium-containing particulates on various components inside the evaporator. These fouling deposits cause reductions in evaporator thermal efficiency and availability and an increased risk of personnel contamination with airborne particles during periodic maintenance activities. Initial attempts to remove these deposits using water-jet and manual cleaning were very labor intensive.As an alternative the authors developed two customized complementary cleaning systems based on the use of ultrasonic technology to remotely remove the fouling deposits. The first system consisting of multiple ultrasonic transducers mounted on the exterior of the evaporator shell is designed to operate continuously online during evaporator operation (limiting deposit buildup in a critical location within the evaporator) and also during routine offline maintenance activities (cleaning any remaining deposits from this location). The second system consists of a larger transducer assembly which is installed only during offline maintenance activities and which is capable of efficiently removing essentially all of the deposits from internal surfaces. Operating in concert the two cleaning systems minimize personnel contamination during subsequent evaporator maintenance and inspection activities and also prevent gradual long-term degradation in evaporator efficiency.This paper presents technical analyses and laboratory testing completed by the authors in advance of system installation and operation as well as the results of initial cleaning evolutions. The technical evaluations included: 1) finite element (FE) stress analyses of the external transducers to ensure acceptably low fatigue loading 2) laboratory displacement measurements to confirm the results of the FE model 3) material integrity testing and 4) laboratory effectiveness testing.

Key words: deposit fouling, evaporator, dryer, finite element modeling, ultrasonic cleaning

Initial operation of a wiped-film evaporator used in a power plant installation for waste processing led to high levels of fouling with calcium-containing particulates on various components inside the evaporator. These fouling deposits cause reductions in evaporator thermal efficiency and availability and an increased risk of personnel contamination with airborne particles during periodic maintenance activities. Initial attempts to remove these deposits using water-jet and manual cleaning were very labor intensive.As an alternative the authors developed two customized complementary cleaning systems based on the use of ultrasonic technology to remotely remove the fouling deposits. The first system consisting of multiple ultrasonic transducers mounted on the exterior of the evaporator shell is designed to operate continuously online during evaporator operation (limiting deposit buildup in a critical location within the evaporator) and also during routine offline maintenance activities (cleaning any remaining deposits from this location). The second system consists of a larger transducer assembly which is installed only during offline maintenance activities and which is capable of efficiently removing essentially all of the deposits from internal surfaces. Operating in concert the two cleaning systems minimize personnel contamination during subsequent evaporator maintenance and inspection activities and also prevent gradual long-term degradation in evaporator efficiency.This paper presents technical analyses and laboratory testing completed by the authors in advance of system installation and operation as well as the results of initial cleaning evolutions. The technical evaluations included: 1) finite element (FE) stress analyses of the external transducers to ensure acceptably low fatigue loading 2) laboratory displacement measurements to confirm the results of the FE model 3) material integrity testing and 4) laboratory effectiveness testing.

Key words: deposit fouling, evaporator, dryer, finite element modeling, ultrasonic cleaning

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