Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSGs) are undoubtedly the most crucial component of a high-functioning turbine system. The best HRSG cleaning method is the one that gets your system back up and running as soon as possible. Whether you’re simply looking to keep your equipment in good shape, or you are trying to hit some specific performance metrics, there’s no doubt that a well-maintained HRSG can help you save money and time. Here we’ll look at several different cleaning methods for HRSGs so you know what will be best for your plant.
Why Is HRSG Cleaning Important?
Cleaning your HRSG unit is important because it helps to prevent internal clogging. If a HRSG gets clogged, it can cause damage to the turbine, slow production, and increase operating costs. Cleaning your HRSG also prevents corrosion which will extend its lifespan.
There are several methods for cleaning an HRSG, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution for cleaning all heat recovery steam generators. You should consider which method of cleaning will work best for your particular needs when deciding how to maintain your system’s efficiency levels at an optimal level.
What Is The Best HRSG Cleaning Method?
The four factors to consider when deciding on your cleaning method should be:
- How large is the area being cleaned?
- What style of HRSG are you working with? (Horizontal, Packaged, Variated, etc)
- How much time is your team able to commit to your planned shutdown?
- What is your cleaning budget?
For example, if you need to clean an entire HRSG unit or two, dry ice blasting may be your best option since it can reach every part of a large piece of equipment like that. If you only need to clean small parts such as valves or tubes though, sponge blasting may be preferable because it takes less time and is less expensive than dry ice blasting (though not as fast or inexpensive as water blasting).
If neither of these options seem right for what you have in mind don’t worry! Waterblasting offers a middle ground between dry ice and sponge methods. Let’s dig in deeper.
Dry Ice Blasting
Dry ice blasting is a relatively new method of cleaning that uses dry ice pellets to remove dirt and buildup from surfaces. This process is non-toxic, non-abrasive and does not contain any chemicals. The tiny dry ice pellets are sprayed through a compressor onto the surface to be cleaned, removing the contamination with minimal damage to sensitive or delicate objects.
Dry ice blasting has been used in many industries including aerospace manufacturing, medical equipment manufacturing and automotive assembly plants since it was first developed in 2000 by NASA researchers at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
Water blasting (known as Hydro Blasting) is a great way to clean an HRSG. The water blasting system injects high-pressure water (around 20,000 PSI) into the exhaust ducts and then uses the force of that water to blast away dirt and grime. This method is effective at removing oil residue from boiler tubes and small spaces, but it also has many other benefits.
There are no toxic fumes or chemicals involved in this process; so you can use it safely in any environment without worrying about polluting your workplace or damaging equipment with harmful substances during cleaning sessions.
Furthermore – because no harsh chemicals are necessary for this cleaning method to work effectively— hydro blasting is safe for anyone who might be working near the technicians during their operation (including yourself!).
Sponge blasting is a non-abrasive, non-toxic cleaning method that propels small pellets of sponge media at the surface of the HRSG. Upon contact with the machinery, the sponge particles expand and chip off dirt and grime on the surface. Magically, the sponge media leaves little mess or dust. Sponge blasting has many benefits:
- It’s less aggressive—sponge blasting uses much less pressure than abrasive blasting techniques and spreads out over a larger area, so there’s less chance of damage to sensitive components like fuel nozzles or valves
- It’s more environmentally friendly—as mentioned above, sponge blasting does not use any chemicals or other potentially harmful substances in its process. New Age Cryo also uses a sponge media that can be recycled multiple times!
HRSG Pinch Points
Pinch points are areas where the HRSG is in contact with other equipment. These are often difficult to clean and may require special procedures to ensure that they do not become damaged during the cleaning process.
When cleaning pinch points, it’s important to use a method that is tough enough to remove grime, but gentle enough to not damage the steam plant generator unit. Skilled technicians can factor in the size and scope of complex jobs, as well as the substrate material and make an informed decision about which cleaning method is most appropriate.
Pick the cleaning method that’s right for your needs.
Cleaning a HRSG with any method can be time-consuming and expensive. Your best option is to pick the cleaning method that is right for your needs and budget. If you need to clean a small area, dry ice blasting may be a good choice because it can get into tight spots that are difficult to reach with other methods. Hydro blasting and sponge blasting are good options for cleaning large areas, but hydro blasting uses more water than the other two methods do, so it may not be as economical in terms of operating costs.
If you want to clean hard-to-reach areas like corners or crevices where dust accumulates on walls inside an HRSG, dry ice blasting can be helpful because it covers surfaces quickly without leaving residue behind like water does when sprayed at high pressure against walls inside an HRSG (this is why sponge blasters use compressed air instead).
HRSG cleaning is a crucial part of keeping your facility running smoothly and efficiently. It can also help cut down on maintenance costs, which means more money for you in the long run! If you’re looking for an effective way to clean your plant, our expert technicians can guide you towards the best solution! Contact us today to learn more.