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Types of HRSG Cleaning

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In a thermal oxidizer, gas turbines, or other heat generating processes, energy is lost. In order to recover the energy, we produce steam using Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) so it may be used for other purposes.

You will find that HRSG systems are used in a variety of commercial and industrial applications. Most commonly, HRSG systems are used for large energy projects, cycle power plants and even large universities. Recovering energy allows schools to provide power to their campus, can heat spaces or provide hot water to residences.

What is HRSG Cleaning?

Over time, a Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) will accumulate debris and build up deposits on their finned tubes. Because the finned tubes are used to conduct heat, the deposits that gather cause a resistance when trying to transfer heat through the fins and slows the turbine.

The debris and contaminant build up on a Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) can be detrimental to efficiency, cost, and overall performance. This makes HRSG cleaning and maintenance, repairs, servicing and inspections an important strategy to ensure efficiency for fixed facility plant owners and safety for plant personnel.

Case Study - HRSG Cleaning with EPIC

Types of HRSG Cleaning

The most prevalent types of cleaning technology on the market include high-pressure water blasting, grit blasting, carbon dioxide (dry ice) blasting, and pressure wave cleaning. Each has its own set of advantages, so a plant's choice is determined on a case-by-case basis.

  1. Pressure Wave Cleaning
  2. High Pressure Water Blasting
  3. Grit Blasting
  4. Dry Ice Blasting

Pressure Wave Cleaning

Pressure wave cleaning involves feeding a hose into a heat recovery steam generator. As it maneuvers around the inside of the system, the engineer uses a computer to control the ethane-oxygen gas that is released inside. This gas causes pressure waves to rattle the contaminants inside of the HRSG, dislodging the debris. It then settles to the bottom of the HRSG, making it easier for cleaning.

The EPIC™ pressure wave system was designed to improve current HRSG cleaning methods and do so safely and quite effectively without damage or stretching to any combined cycle components.

Although various HRSG cleaning systems exist, none can now reach the same standards and controls set by EPIC. This proprietary technology removes deposits that have built up and are lodged deep into the harp’s finned tube bundles.

High Pressure Water Blasting

High pressure water blasting (also known as hydrojetting or high pressure cleaning) sends high-speed, pulsating water that is generated by a water jet to remove surface material and contaminants.

The energy generated from ultra-high pressure hydroblasting exceeds the bonding of even the most adherent coatings or process contamination. The usage of high pressure hydroblasting equipment is not only highly efficient in a variety of sectors, but it is also environmentally friendly, lowering carbon emissions.

Grit Blasting

Commonly known as sandblasting, abrasive grit blasting forcibly propels an abrasive media (material) using pressurized water, steam or compressed air. The blasting material smooths rough surfaces, can roughen smooth surfaces, shape a surface or remove surface contaminants.

The blasting process can involve using different media; some being highly abrasive and other having a mild effect. A huge number of factors influence the selection of media. Many times it is necessary for sample processing to take place before the final media type, size, and equipment is chosen for the grit blasting process.

Common abrasives used include:

  • Steel grit
  • Crushed glass
  • Aluminum oxide
  • Plastic
  • Baking soda

CO2 (Dry Ice) Blasting

For several reasons, dry ice blasting is commonly recognized as one of the best techniques for cleaning HRSG's. In most cases, sand blasting and high-pressure water blasting result in a secondary waste stream, contributing to the amount of waste.

Having to cleanup more waste increases the overall cost and time of a project. Dry ice blasting does not promote corrosion and abrasion, is FDA approved and is an environmentally safe process. Because CO23 blasting doesn't involve using abrasives or excessive water, no secondary waste is produced. This not only minimizes the cost, but also reduces the process's completion time.

Looking for HRSG Cleaning?

Are you in search of industrial HRSG cleaning, maintenance and services? When your plant’s HRSG unit is effectively cleaned, it will restore performance that was previously lost because insulating deposits.

Thompson Industrial can help maximize your HRSG's efficiency and performance while cutting your operating costs!

Contact us today!

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Types of HRSG Cleaning

In a thermal oxidizer, gas turbines, or other heat generating processes, energy is lost. In order to recover the energy, we produce steam using Heat...