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Heat Exchanger Fouling- Prediction, Measurement and Mitigation
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The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Industrial Programs (OIP) sponsors the development of innovative heat exchange systems. Fouling is a major and persistent cost associated with most industrial heat exchangers and nationally wastes an estimated 2.9 Quads per year. To predict and control fouling, three OIP projects are currently exploring heat exchanger fouling in specific industrial applications. A fouling probe has been developed to determine empirically the fouling potential of an industrial gas stream and to derive the fouling thermal resistance. The probe is a hollow metal cylinder capable of measuring the average heat flux along the length of the tube. The local heat flux is also measured by a heat flux meter embedded in the probe wall. The fouling probe has been successfully tested in the laboratory at flue gas temperatures up to 2200°F and a local heat flux up to 41,000 BTU/hr-ft2. The probe has been field tested at a coal-fired boiler plant. Future tests at a municipal waste incinerator are planned. Two other projects study enhanced heat exchanger tubes, specifically the effect of enhanced surface geometries on tube bundle performance. Both projects include fouling in a liquid heat transfer fluid. Identifying and quantifying the factors affecting fouling in these enhanced heat transfer tubes will lead to techniques to mitigate fouling.
SubjectHeat Exchanger Fouling
Peterson, G. R. (1989). Heat Exchanger Fouling- Prediction, Measurement and Mitigation. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.eslwin.tamu.edu). Available electronically from