Condenser Performance Monitoring, Control and Optimization

Harpster, J.W., Harpster, T.J. & Welch, W.C.

“Condenser Performance Monitoring, Control and Optimization” EPRI Heat Rate Improvement  Conference, St. Petersburg, FL, January 25-January 27, 2011.


During the past sixteen years, understanding of the condensation process within condensers has been advanced through the introduction of new monitoring and control instrumentation. Data gathered from a variety of condenser types employing these instruments have allowed comprehension of the condensation process to be advanced to the point where underperforming regions of tube bundles can be predicted and clean condition performance of various designs can be precisely predicted. Using this understanding, a Comprehensive Condenser Model and Methods, C2M2, program was developed to permit vintage condensers to be retrofitted or newly constructed condenser tube bundle configurations to achieve optimized performance. The optimization criteria between a retrofit or a new design are different and the necessity for this will be presented.

Condenser performance improvement will be described as a lowering of condenser pressure under otherwise identical operating conditions. Also, the hotwell dissolved oxygen (DO) target will be below 7 ppb in a condenser with no air storage nor underwater air in-leakage.

The retrofits for maximizing condenser performance are appropriate for implementation during a retubing operation. A retrofit to improve performance over historical levels however, can be implemented during an outage without retubing the whole condenser. Both approaches will be discussed.

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