Clean-Ex Project – On-Line Cleaning of Crude Heat Exchangers = FP7 European Funding
To develop a method for ‘on-line’ cleaning of heat exchangers to significantly increase energy efficiency in the oil, gas, power and chemical process sectors.
- The 750 refineries worldwide refine on average 87 million barrels of crude oil per day.
- Each refinery operates 10-60 crude oil pre-heat train heat exchangers.
- Energy demand on a typical refinery accounts for around 6-7% of oil throughput, mainly consumed in the crude oil pre-heat train.
- Crude oil fouling accounts for around 10% of energy demand.
- A conservative estimate indicates that 186 million barrels of crude are used worldwide per annum to offset the impact of fouling refineries.
- Existing projectiles are unsuitable for high temperatures (300°C) or for use in aggressive fluids.
- Existing projectiles have slightly larger diameter than the heat exchangers’ tubes diameter to ensure generating sufficient shear forces. This in turn requires higher tube-side velocities for propulsion which in industry may not always be possible due to operational barriers.
- Existing projectiles rely on random distribution which results in different fouling patterns depending on the physical location of individual tubes. Due to mal-distribution of flow in the heat exchanger headers some tubes are more likely to block due to excessive fouling.
The Clean-Ex project will develop a fully integrated, highly efficient, on-line and continuous heat exchanger fouling mitigation system providing a significant increase in heat exchangers efficiency by maintaining optimum heat transfer conditions.
Clean-Ex Project Partners
Intelligent Systems Research Institute, Tube Tech International Ltd, University of Stuttgart, Biprotech Sp.z.o.o., Shell Global Solutions.
- Projectile Technology – Development and demonstration of a corrosion and wear resistant cleaning projectile for use in aggressive fluids and elevated temperatures of up to 300°C.
- Projectile Tracking Technology – Development of a projectile detection and tracking system to monitor cleaning of individual tubes and identify potential blockages.
- Projectile Propulsion Technology – To ensure sufficient line pressure behind the cleaning projectile a propulsion system is required.
- Projectile Introduction and Recovery System – A system to ensure projectiles are introduced and recovered efficiently.
For more information regarding the Clean-Ex Project please contact us