Robotic Fired Heater Cleaning of Finned Convection Tubes

90%+ fouling removal translated into £1m of energy saving per year.

Chemical cleaning had previously failed at this UK refinery after attempting to clean a severely fouled fired heater. Tube Tech were asked if their Robotic Cleaning System could solve their problem of removing inaccessible fouling from between every finned and bare convection tube bank. If successful, stack temperature and energy consumption would be drastically reduced and avoiding substantial Capex and Opex saving to replace the coils.

  • Cleaning standard specified by client was 80% production standard cleanliness or better.
  • The triangular pitched tubes were a mixture of finned and bare tubes.
  • Client was uncertain how hard or soft the fouling was nor how deep within the fired heater, but was aware that gas flows were severely restricted and heat transfer reduced.
  • It was expected that 90% of all the finned area had compact deposits preventing heat dissipation.
  • Client stressed water was to have restricted contact with the refractory.
  • Access via 800mm x 50mm access doors on separate levels.

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