Voices: Energy Saver

Don’t Foul Up Heat Exchanger Care

Inadequate cleaning can impact heat recovery as well as energy and operations efficiency

By Alan Rossiter, Energy Columnist
Dec 4, 2019

Something had changed in the crude unit. The performance of heat exchanger E-126 had declined rapidly once again — heat recovery was down by 60%. It had already been cleaned three times in the past twelve months. I extracted data from the plant historian, calculated heat transfer coefficients, made a flashy plot to show the time-dependence, then presented it to the managers; they were impressed and agreed that something had changed in the past year. What could it be? Feed contamination? Additives? Water quality to the desalter?

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