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Numerical study of the influence of irregular fouling distributions inside the tubes of a power plant condenser

Ines Suarez Ramon
Universidadde Oviedo - Departamento de Energia, Campus de Viesques, 33204 GIJON. ASTURIAS (SPAIN)

M. Manuela Prieto Gonzalez
Universidadde Oviedo - Departamento de Energia, Campus de Viesques, 33204 GIJON. ASTURIAS (SPAIN)

Abstract

A study of the influence of four different distributions of the same fouling total mass inside the tubes of a power plant condenser has been carried out in this work using a three-dimensional numerical model developed by the authors in previous studies. On the one hand, fouling accumulation inside the tubes located at the bottom of the tube bundle has been taken into account, and on the other, fouling accumulation in the places where the circulating water temperature reaches extreme values, i.e. at the inlets and outlets. The resulting condenser pressure, heat transfer rate, condensed steam mass rate and overall heat transfer coefficient were analysed for each fouling distribution, and the associated values of the cleanliness factor were calculated by means of the Heat Exchange Institute Method. The results of the present work show that the cleanliness factor defined in this method reflects not only condenser fouling, but also other factors, mainly the pressure variation inside the shell. Numerical models could be useful for investigating design alternatives to improve condenser thermal efficiency, and to elaborate a future tool for on-line control of condenser fouling in power plants.

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