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Maintenance Tips for Heat Exchanger

Maintenance Tips for Heat Exchanger

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Published by johnnybe51
Heat Exchanger Info
Heat Exchanger Info

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Published by: johnnybe51 on Jun 02, 2013
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06/02/2013

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1
Preventive Maintenance Tips
Heat Exchangers - Shell and Tube; Plate
Both the primary side water loop and the secondary side recirculation systems are treatedsystems. Under normal operation, these units do not require frequent inspection andcleaning. If a unit experiences continuous leakage, however, it will be necessary to openthe unit and do a thorough cleaning job as recommended by the equipment manufacturer.Each heat exchanger manufacturer recommends a time schedule for cleaning the units.Based on our observation of plate heat exchangers used on District Energy’s districtheating system,
the
 
cleaning frequency should be on an as-needed basis
. The need toopen the heat exchanger can be detected by any of the following:1.
 
A leak can’t be stopped by tightening the bolts according to the manufacturer’sspecifications.
 
2.
 
An increase in pressure drop across the heat exchanger.
 
3.
 
Lack of heat transfer causing inadequate heat to the building.The heat exchanger shop drawing records will provide the information needed for the proper pressure drop through the unit. Any pressure drop higher than the shop drawingsindicate means excess fouling, and the unit will need to be cleaned.Any inspection or cleaning process should be done during the summer months when thesystem is down and the units are cold. It is essential that the cleaning instructionsincluded with each manufacturer’s service manual be carefully followed.
Plate Heat Exchangers - Gasket
Different plate heat exchanger manufacturers supply their heat exchangers with differenttypes of sealing materials between the plates. The most common types of gasketmaterials we have seen on our district heating system are Nitrile and Ethylene PropyleneRubber (EPR or EPDM).
 
2Based on published data for different types of elastomers for seals, the gasket materialshave the following temperature ranges: Nitrile:-40
°
F to 225
°
F for the low temperature Nitrile:-40
°
F to 250
°
F for the high temperatureEPR or EPDM:-80
°
F to 300
°
FIn published material from the heat exchanger manufacturers, it is stated that EPR or EPDM rubber has superior resistance to hot water temperatures and steam and has goodresistance to compression set or volume swell.Two major suppliers of plate heat exchangers have recommended the followingspecifications for gasket materials which are used on District Energy’s system:
·
 
All plate heat exchangers shall have a gasket material made of Ethylene PropyleneRubber (EPR or EPDM), peroxide cured, with a maximum design temperature of 350
°
F.
 
·
 
The gaskets should not have more than a 50 percent change in hardness whenexposed to liquid at 212
°
F, or more than a 10 percent change in volume.
 
·
 
Gaskets should be crush-proof at all temperatures within their operational rangewhen tested in accordance with the T-13-0375 code procedure.
DISTRICT ENERGY DOES NOT RECOMMEND THE USE OF NITRILEGASKET MATERIALPlate Heat Exchangers - Shroud
All plate heat exchangers should have a metal shroud over the plate area to reduce the potential for hot water spraying into the equipment room and damaging other equipmentif a gasket leaks. The cover is required by code under OSHA standards.
Suggested Procedure for the Shutdownof Heat Exchangers in Customer Buildings
If it becomes necessary to shut down the building’s heating plate heat exchangers, thefollowing suggested steps should be taken:
 
·
 
If the building is served by two plate heat exchangers, one unit can be isolatedcompletely without affecting the operation of the heating system.
 
3
 
·
 
Each of the plate heat exchangers is sized for 100 percent standby and/or 66 percent of the total heating load of the building. Therefore, one unit can serve the building temporarily until repair or maintenance is completed on the other unitwithout lack of adequate heat in the building.
 
·
 
As soon as maintenance work is completed, the unit can be put back in service asneeded.
 
·
 
It is essential that plate heat exchangers be started up and shut down according tothe recommendations in the manufacturer’s instruction manual.
 
·
 
If the plate heat exchangers must be shut down during the heating season, thefollowing requirements should be observed:
 
a.
 
Ventilation equipment should be put into the “off” position.
 
 b.
 
Hot water heating pumps should be put into the “off” position. No equipmentshould be calling for heat at this time.
 
c.
 
The primary supply and return water valves on the heat exchangers can be shutoff. The isolation valves on the secondary side of the heat exchangers can beshut off.Plate heat exchangers should not be heated and cooled quickly. The units should be leftalone for 24 hours to cool naturally and allow the stainless steel plate to contractnormally. Quick cooling of the units will start leaks at the gaskets and will force scaling,dirt, and debris to lodge between the plates and the gaskets. If the ventilation system andheating pumps remain running, the heat exchangers will be forced to cool quickly, themetal will contract, and the secondary side treated hot water will leak to the floor.To bring the plate heat exchangers back on the system, the secondary hot water heatingisolation valves on the heat exchangers should be opened; the hot water heating pumpsshould be started; and the primary side isolation valves should be opened slowly. Theunits should not be heated and cooled quickly. Some plate manufacturers recommendthat the units be heated up to operating temperature over a 24-hour period. When thesecondary hot water heating system is stabilized, the ventilation equipment can be started.Under normal conditions, do not isolate the unit completely. Keep one hand valve in the“open” position on both sides of the heat exchanger.
Primary Side Control Valves

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