Energy recovery and production in oil refinery pre-heat trains
are greatly affected by fouling, the progressive build-up of unwanted
material on the heat exchanger surfaces. Even when good
design practices, operation or mitigation measures are in place,
fouling cannot be completely eliminated in most situations. As
a result, heat exchangers have to be periodically taken out of operation
for cleaning. Traditional mechanical cleaning methods
(e.g. hydro-blast) usually remove the whole deposit while chemical
cleaning methods represent a less expensive option whose
effectiveness depends on a number of factors (e.g. choice of
chemicals, deposits composition and ageing, etc.). In this paper a
detailed dynamic distributed model of shell and tube exchangers
undergoing fouling has been used to simulate different cleaning
schedules involving mechanical and chemical operations and assess
their economic impact.
Papers presented to the 12th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Costa de Sol, Spain on 11-13 July 2016.