Tuesday 26 March 2013

Heat exchanger monitoring solution

New integrated application solution detects accelerated fouling and identifies best cleaning time to optimise facility’s energy usage, capacity, maintenance cost, carbon footprint, and safety

Emerson Process Management has announced the release of an integrated Heat Exchanger Monitoring Solution.
Typical heat exchanger monitoring application

The solution is part of Emerson’s new suite of Essential Asset Monitoring applications. The pre-engineered heat exchanger solution embeds process and exchanger best practices into software using existing wired and new wireless instrument applications for cost-effective, automated 24/7 monitoring, enabling operations improvements and reduced energy costs.

Emerson’s Heat Exchanger Monitoring Solution allows maintenance personnel to schedule optimal time to clean to sustain optimal heat transfer. As a result, facilities can reduce energy and capacity loss due to fouling by up to 10 per cent. For a 250,000-barrel-per-day refinery, that could mean savings of as much as 2.7 million Euros or more annually, across all process units.

he environmental footprint is lessened by avoiding additional emissions from heater operation because of improved heat recovery in the process. And safety is improved as wireless data transfer reduces hazardous information-gathering trips to the field amongst exchangers that can be difficult to access, stacked, and filled with hot flammable fluids.

"Typical world-class process facilities use hundreds of heat exchangers which foul over time resulting in missed operating targets," commented Pete Sharpe, Emerson’s Director of Applications Development. "Fouling typically occurs slowly but can be accelerated by inlet stream impurities or incompatible crude blends."

"Energy costs rise when fouling forces downstream process heaters to supply more energy because of heat transfer degradation in pre-heat exchangers," continued Sharpe. "Increased demand on downstream fired heaters can also diminish throughput as operating temperature limits are reached, and can increase emissions and potential fines. Avoiding these issues requires an effective cleaning programme that enhances operations, and eliminates costs and time lost due to unnecessary schedule-driven cleaning or manual exchanger surveys."

The Heat Exchanger Monitoring Solution is scalable. Users simply choose the number and type of monitoring applications and instruments that are needed for their facility. Dynamic temperature and pressure measurements are trended, historised, and analysed, delivering alerts of accelerated fouling and optimal time to clean. Heat transfer, exchanger heat-transfer coefficient, fouling factors and cost of degradation can be calculated. Operations personnel can get valuable insight into operations that can be adversely affected by exchanger fouling.

The monitoring instruments are easily installed and commissioned to form a wireless field network for automatic online measurements. The Heat Exchanger Monitoring Solution uses AMS Suite operator graphics and maintenance screens to communicate continuous online diagnostics and application data to user host systems, control systems, and historians.

"The new automated monitoring solutions reduce costs through pre-engineering savings and wireless efficiency," said Sharpe. "Whereas wired continuous monitoring is traditionally afforded for only the most expensive and critical heat exchangers, the lower costs of Essential Asset Monitoring Solutions enable expanded asset oversight."

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