INNOVATED BY AQ
An alternative method of fin fan cleaning for air cooled heat exchanger fins is to use compressed air in conjunction with sodium. This is applied under pressure to air fins using a system similar to that found in shot blasting equipment.
The theory behind this fin dry cleaning system is as follows. Whilst continuous large volumes of compressed air when applied to air fins will clean air fins to a certain degree.
When sodium is combined with compressed air the density of the combined cleaning media increases significantly, which makes the air and sodium bicarbonate media heavier and more forceful. When directed at heat exchanger fins, this combination literally blasts out the accumulated debris and pollution. On impact the characteristics of each particle of sodium is to burst open almost like a miniature explosion, which enhances the cleaning. There is no resultant distortion of the fins, even those of aluminium.
- It requires no water supply, so the process can be carried out during a plant shut down, when there is no water supply, or at a plant which cannot supply sufficient volumes of water for hydro cleaning. Dry cleaning has advantages over the water-hydro form of air fin cleaning.
- It can be done when the plant is still online, so there is no loss of production.
- The chemical used, sodium is an environmentally friendly cleaning material, so there are no concerns regarding hazardous chemical waste products.
- The equipment can be set up and working in around 30 minutes to an hour, depending on where it has to be used in the plant.
- The dry cleaning system’s versatility means that areas can be cleaned almost anywhere and as and when suits the plant operation.
- Whilst especially effective for cleaning most air cooled heat exchanger systems, dry cleaning is also effective in the cleaning of induced heat exchanger banks, as these which are difficult to clean using other methods, can be very effectively cleaned from the underside. The material which is extracted exits through the top of the fan cowl opening.
- Visual results can be seen immediately by the cleaning company and the plant staff. If areas are under cleaned, the operator can repeat the process in that section before moving on to another section.