Tube Tech Cleans Apex Air Cooled Condenser During Hot UK Temperatures at Lincolnshire Plant

Tube Tech has completed a project to clean an Apex Air Cooled Condenser at a power plant based in Lincolnshire, UK. The company’s other sites use Tube Tech’s cleaning services and have seen fantastic results, so the plant contacted our team based on recommendations. 

The Challenge

An increase in ambient temperatures during a record-breaking summer for the UK, coupled with poor existing cleaning systems, resulted in heavily fouled fins and an under-performing Apex Air Cooled Condenser at the power plant. 

The plant had been using an online system which is fixed to the top of the condenser and is controlled by an operator. However, this process proved to be time-consuming, and in hot temperatures extremely uncomfortable for the operator who is subjected to heat exiting the finned surfaces of the condenser whilst controlling the system. 

The plant needed a solution that was quick, effective, and safe to implement.  

The Solution

Tube Tech has developed a system over many years which cleans Apex Air Cooled Condensers from the plenum area using an extended lance and a bespoke engineered head which controls the pressure on the tubes preventing damage.  

As deposits accumulate on the first few rows of tubes, cleaning from below and accessing these areas directly is critical for removing fouling and restoring the asset’s functionality. Furthermore, the operator is not in a direct line of hot air and steam escaping the condenser. 

Tube Tech’s expertise and speed of cleaning were critical to the success of this project. 

Tube Tech Comment

An under-performing Apex Air Cooled Condenser can cost facilities £300k per year if even 1mw/h is lost. This is a significant loss in revenue and output. With the recent hot weather, power plants will be noticing drops in performance caused by fouling. To mitigate these losses, we always advise our clients to make sure that condensers are cleaned during the first few months of the year in preparation for summertime.  

The client comments that Tube Tech’s more effective and faster cleaning methods has been eye-opening and is impressed with the results achieved. The success of this project has led to subsequent cleaning of other assets on the site.  

We look forward to working with this plant again in the future.

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