20MW/ph power generation increase while carbon footprint reduced
Keeping operating costs low is a vital factor in electricity generation. Turbine condensers need to be working at maximum efficiency to benefit not only the electricity producer but also the consumer. This was the case at an EON UK's power station where optimum performance needed to be maintained.
The largest gas-fired power station in the UK - was suffering from poor performance on one of its four main condensers. The problem was traced to fouling by silt and scale within its 10,544 titanium tubes, each measuring nine metres.
Tube Tech recommended the use of condenser polishing system used in conjunction with their newly patented DarTT de-scaling system for speed. The work was required within a short window of opportunity. It is particularly effective on light-to-medium deposits such as the fouling found at this EON site and in excess of 5,000 tubes can be cleaned by one operative per day using the DarTT system.
The speed and safety of the combined DarTT & condenser cleaning method meant that the Tube Tech operatives could minimise downtime at the site. The fouling factors in the condenser were reduced significantly within this short two-day operation from 0.16m2K/kW to 0.01m2K/kW, boosting electricity generation performance by a massive 20 mega-watts (MW) per hour. This new level of performance equates to a cost saving in the region of £4 million over a year's operation from this one condensers.
Scott Donson of Tube Tech said: "The combined approach of using DarTT and condenser cleaning method is a unique procedure created by Tube Tech which is extremely fast, safe and reliable. The cleaner a condenser is, the better it performs and the more benefit to the environment as less fuel is needed to achieve its output target. Dirty, underperforming condensers require a station to burn more fuel to achieve the same megawatt output, making their operation expensive and producing more pollution which contradicts the Kyoto Agreement. The customer was emphatic in his praise for the Tube Tech team as the results of the condenser cleaning came in. We were also asked to carry out further operations at this power station and improve efficiencies even further."
The Cooling Water Systems Engineer at the power station said: "I was very pleased with the work carried out by Tube Tech. All of the work was completed within an extremely short time scale and the condenser performance results were just what we wanted. Tube Tech's ability to improve our vacuum and performance by 20MW achieved by the significant reduction in the condenser tube-fouling has reaffirmed our wish to book Tube Tech to carry out an even more thorough clean of the condensers during the forthcoming summer overhauls."