February 2020

Maintenance and Reliability

Effectively clean air fan coolers with water and steam

In many refineries and petrochemical plants, air fan coolers (AFCs) become a major bottleneck to increasing plant capacity. Many plants suffer from lower heat duty than designed, especially during the summer months, which can lead to lower plant capacity.

In many refineries and petrochemical plants, air fan coolers (AFCs) become a major bottleneck to increasing plant capacity. Many plants suffer from lower heat duty than designed, especially during the summer months, which can lead to lower plant capacity. New AFCs should be constructed to solve this problem, but investment costs are high and most plants do not have enough space for new AFC installation. These factors make it difficult to construct a new AFC. In general, efficiency reduction of AFC is due to foreign substances on the surface of the finned tubes. These substances are formed over 3 yr–4 yr of consecutive operation. The foreign substances slowly stick to the tube surface over y

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