Definable Heat Rate Improvement Derived From Condenser Monitoring, Maintenance and Modification

Harpster, J.W.
“Definable Heat Rate Improvement Derived From Condenser Monitoring, Maintenance and Modification” EPRI Heat Rate Improvement Conference, Cedar Rapids, IA, January 25, 2005.


The beginning of suitable condenser monitoring was instituted in 1994 with the introduction of a multisensor probe installed in the vent line between the condenser and its exhausting equipment. This paper will summarize the results since then, showing the impact of this monitoring method on minimizing excess back pressure on LP turbines and lowering unit heat rate. Other benefits such as lower overall condensate dissolved oxygen, lower plant corrosion rates, and reduction in forced outages, will be discussed.

Additional benefits of the measurement method has been the application of quantified vent line vapor and noncondensable mixture properties over a wide range of operating conditions to  understand the dynamics of steam and noncondensables within the shell of the condenser. The result has been the development of a program that predicts the probability for air binding within any particular condenser configuration. To be presented is the impact of air binding on heat rate, along with other recognized performance limiting issues, such as dissolved noncondensables which cause corrosion and affects plant life. A program employing proprietary methods to modify condensers for the purpose of removing or reducing the size of air bound zones with a consequence of lowering condenser pressure, unit heat rate and lowering dissolved gases will be discussed. These proprietary methods do not include the removal of tubes to create lanes.

Return to Technical Library