Massive Cost Saving by Avoiding Convection Section Replacement After Robotic Clean


The Waste Heat Boiler (WHB) on one of the largest and most complex hydrocarbon refineries in Australia was operating at its design maximum or at times over its design limits.

Cleanliness was essential to reduce the operating limits of the furnace and avoid furnace replacement. The higher the design stack gas temperature, the higher the Induced Draft Fan operates with a higher than intended volumetric flow.

The Challenge
  • 4 convection banks – top 2 rows finned tubes, bottom 3 plain.
  • Light compact deposit on outside surface of all tubes – difficult to remove due to limited space between finned tube rows.
  • Thickness of deposit was unknown – expected that 90% of all tubes would have some level of fouling.
  • Convection banks contained fixed transverse internal baffles/tube bank supports plus fixed end sheets.
  • Access via side entry manholes.
The Solution
  • Tube Tech’s convection section fired heater cleaning robot was modified to easily negotiate fixed transverse internal baffles.
  • Fired heater cleaning robot positioned on top of tubes via small entry manholes.
  • Inspection and process department heads confirmed a high level of fired heater cleaning within the four convection sections.


Tube Tech Comment

Operations Director: “This unit will run much more efficiently and will now provide an increased output of steam with site wide benefits.”

Contact our team for maintenance advice within just 24 hours