Plate Heat Exchanger Performance Audits

Thorough Testing and Analysis to Keep Your Unit Running Optimally

Valutech offers several testing services that function to detect and diagnose fouling issues within your plate heat exchanger unit. By performing these thorough analyses, fouling issues can be dealt with promptly, and maintenance can be performed only when it is required.

Heat Exchanger Performance Audits | Valutech Inc

Servicing heat exchanger units when maintenance is truly required ensures maximum uptime and avoids unnecessary expenses related to excessive servicing, such as cleaning fluid and maintenance costs. On the other hand, allowing scale and other deposits to build up within your unit will reduce its energy efficiency, decrease productivity, and increase operating costs.

Service your plate heat exchangers only when needed:

Fouling of heat exchangers in processing industries is a chronic operating problem, contributing to an estimated 0.25% of the GDP of industrialized nations.

Source: Heat Exchanger Fouling and Cleaning Conference VIII

AlfaCheck Testing

AlfaCheck testing provides an accurate estimate of gradual fouling and deterioration without the need for a disassembly of the unit or an inspection of its individual parts. Specialized equipment is set up in conjunction with the unit’s media flow path to collect data on both temperature fluctuations and flow patterns.

The testing process is performed with a portable logger and the recovered data is then analyzed with thermal analysis software to determine the internal condition of the unit. The findings are summarized into a comprehensive report informing the client whether reconditioning of certain parts is necessary immediately, or if it can be performed at a later date.

The results are compared against a benchmark to generate a result on a simple colour-code scale, as explained below:

Colour ResultPerformance LevelSuggested Action
(Green)HighNo Action Required.
(Yellow)IntermediatePlan for servicing in the near future.
(Red)LowSchedule immediate servicing.

Based on these results, you can make an informed decision regarding servicing intervals and maintenance budgets; cleaning your unit at the right time has the following benefits:

  • Performance Optimization
  • Increased Uptime
  • Increased Heat Recovery and Energy Efficiency
  • Increased Production Capacity
  • Superior Product Quality
  • Reduced Environmental
    Footprint

Consider the following sample calculation using a large plate heat exchanger* to see a tangible financial representation of the effects of on-time servicing:

System Parameters:

  • Average Daily Flow Rate at 1000 gallons/minute: 1.44 x 106 gallons/day
  • Average Daily Heat Transfer at 14.5 million BTU/hour: 3.48 x 108 BTU/day
  • Level of Fouling Corresponding to 15% Energy Transfer Losses

Daily Losses:

3.48 x 108 BTU/day x 15%
= 5.22 x 107 BTU/day
= 522 thm/day

Assuming Energy Costs of $1/thm:

522 thm/day x $1/thm
= $522/day

For a single, large-sized plate heat exchanger unit, the savings compared with 2 months of operating under fouling conditions can amount to upwards of $31,000.

*Based on an Alfa Laval M30 Heat Exchanger (300 mm/11.8” inlet diameter)

Visual Condition Assessment

Using thermal imaging technology, thermal performance of gasketed plate heat exchangers can be assessed within minutes, while operating under normal conditions within your process. Based on this analysis, recommendations regarding upgrades, short and long-term maintenance, spare parts, and performance optimization are made.

The subsequent report will provide information regarding the mechanical condition of the unit, remaining gasket lifetime predictions, pictures and descriptions of problematic sections of the unit, a thermal imaging analysis, and a summary of findings.

A visual con