A Water/Steam Chemistry Audit Can Be Worth its Weight in Gold
By Brad Buecker
BOILERS COMBINED CYCLE CONSERVATION COOLING TOWERS CORROSION EPRI ION EXCHANGE MICROFILTRATION MONITORING NITROGEN OXYGEN POWER GENERATION PRETREATMENT REGULATIONS REVERSE OSMOSIS SAFETY STEAM ULTRAFILTRATION ZLD
Well established in the power industry is the knowledge that water/steam chemistry monitoring and control are critical for successful unit availability and reliability. Even seemingly minor impurity ingress to steam generators can initiate individual or multiple and repetitive failures costing millions of dollars in lost production and repairs. Most importantly, some failures have caused injury and death, which is the ultimate cost. Yet, at many plants, including industrial facilities with high-pressure steam generation, only partial measures are in place to monitor and control water treatment and chemical feed processes. A plant audit by an independent third party can often be very beneficial in alerting plant personnel to issues that may have been forgotten or were never emphasized to the proper extent. Also, at the many new combined-cycle and combined heat and power (CHP) plants that are sprouting up around the country, the plants are often minimally staffed with few if any chemistry-trained personnel on board. Water treatment technology and steam generation chemistry issues have evolved dramatically over the last three decades, and insufficient knowledge of the details can be quite problematic. The author participated in audits during his many years at two utilities, and now assists in performing such audits.
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