Improving Condenser Performance and Reducing Dissolved Gases By Tackling Their Common Root Causes

Harpster, T.J. & Harpster, J.W.

“Improving Condenser Performance and Reducing Dissolved Gases By Tackling Their Common Root Causes” The 27th Annual Electric Utility Chemistry Workshop, May 15-17, 2007, Champaign, IL.


Although increases in measured air in-leakage, for a given condenser, will generally cause higher values of condensate dissolved oxygen, it will be shown that condenser configuration can cause significant elevation in the absolute level of this burdensome condensate contaminant even at low values of air ingress. Additionally, deleterious effects of air in-leakage for a particular condenser will result in decreased average heat transfer, elevated condenser pressure and low cleanliness factors. These effects, examined by the authors and generally recognized by others specializing in condenser performance issues, will be reviewed. More recently, new measurements in the air off-take lines, when coupled with understanding of steam/non-condensable gas mixture behavior around the tube bundle, have allowed common root cause identification for most condenser performance issues. The presence of the vent line water mist, as detected by modern air in-leakage measurement equipment, and its impact on chemistry issues through reduced venting capacity for air removal, particularly where steam jet ejectors are used, will be presented. A cost effective remedial action program that removes related chemistry upsets and the above performance losses, both resulting from the identified configuration root causes, will be described. Example data and condenser inspection findings will be presented.

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