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Condenser Tube Cleaning

Jun. 17, 2024

Condenser Tube Cleaning

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Projectile Tube Cleaning has over 35 years of experience in the condenser tube cleaning industry.  Our primary focus is our customers and we are able to accommodate a diverse range of situations and problems.  Whether you are experiencing hard mineral deposits, biological fouling, or mud and silt, we have the solution that will best address your problem.  Our crews are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and are able to work in all types of scenarios such as half load or around the clock cleanings.


The quality of our tube cleaning services is unrivaled.  Our field supervisors and technicians are trained to put the customer&#;s needs first and ultimately strive to provide the best quality service for each individual customer.


Projectile Tube Cleaning personnel are directly employed and trained internally.  Our employee training programs mainly focus on quality and safety.  Projectile employees are trained in confined space monitoring and rescue procedures, scaffolding use and erection, CPR, first aid, and OSHA 10 and 30 Hour Industrial Construction Safety.





Condenser Tube Cleaning: The Problem and The Solution

The condenser is a critical part of any power plant&#;s steam cycle.  The cleanliness of the condenser has a huge impact on the overall performance and megawatt output.  During operation the water side of the condenser tubes are susceptible to various fouling mechanisms such as micro and macro biological growth, mineral scaling, various types of debris, etc.  These tube fouling mechanisms impede the flow of cooling water, decrease heat transfer, and damage the tube surfaces.  The ultimate result of tube fouling is lower megawatt output per fuel input and tube degradation both of which create a less profitable power plant.

The solution to this problem is to frequently clean condenser tubes to remove deposits and restore the tubes back to base metal and proper operating efficiency.  Most power plants will perform a cleaning either yearly or twice a year in planned outages.  Proper tube cleaning regiments have significant effects that positively impact overall system efficiency, equipment integrity, and plant profitability.  Some of the direct positive effects of condenser tube cleaning are: increased condenser cleanliness factor, decreased condenser back pressure, and increased flow rates.  All of these metrics have direct effects on system efficiency.  Removing deposits also decreases the probability of tube failure through tube leaks.  Most tube leaks are caused by under deposit corrosion and removing the deposit stops the corrosion mechanism.  Overall the benefits to regularly cleaning condenser tubes are extremely significant and this maintenance activity should be monitored closely by plant engineers.  For more information on the benefits of condenser cleaning please visit this page on our website:  Condenser Cleaning


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Our Condenser Tube Cleaning System:

Projectile&#;s method for cleaning condensers and heat exchangers is called mechanical tube cleaning.  The process is so named because mechanical devices, with names like: Projectiles, Bullets, Darts, Scrapers, Pigs, and Tube Cleaners, are the main mechanism for removing the deposit on the tubes.

The tube cleaning process is very similar to pipeline pigging where large volumes of water are used to force the pig through a pipe.  While moving down the tube or pipe, the deposit is being ripped from the walls metal surface of the tube.  Since the system&#;s primary deposit removal mechanism is the tube cleaner, lower water pressures can be used.

Other methods for cleaning heat exchanger and condenser tubes us high pressure water as the mechanism to create abrasion against the tube and release deposit.  This method has a whole host of disadvantages compared with the Projectile Tube Cleaning method.

Using the low pressure tube cleaning method is much safer because the high water pressure, usually above 10,000 psi, can cause serious bodily harm.  High pressure water blasting is also much slower than the mechanical tube cleaning process.

Typically a crew of 3-4 individuals can clean approximately 500 tubes per hour using the Projectile Method.

Other methods for cleaning tubes include using mechanical devices such as nylon brushes attached to a rotary tube cleaning machine.  This method is also much slower than the Projectile Method because it is accomplished with essentially the same motion of pushing and pulling a lance down a tube.

Overall the benefits of the Projectile Method for cleaning condensers and heat exchangers is clear and this has led to it becoming the leading method for cleaning large tube bundles in the United States.  For more detailed information on how our process works and videos that explain the tube cleaning method please visit this page on our website:

How to Clean Condenser and Heat Exchanger Tubes

Proper Chiller Tube Cleaning Results In Significant Energy ...

It won&#;t be long before spring and summer are here, and the need to keep large commercial and residential facilities cool will be top of mind. The chillers we use to achieve comfortable temperatures during warm weather come at a substantial cost, though, as they are often the largest single energy-using component in facilities. This makes comprehensive chiller maintenance critical to making sure they perform efficiently and effectively.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that chillers use approximately 20 percent of the total electrical power generated in North America, and they expend up to 30 percent in additional energy due to inefficiencies and poor maintenance. As energy prices increase, finding ways to generate significant energy savings through better chiller efficiency will be integral to keeping costs down.

While chiller efficiencies have improved significantly in recent years, new high-tech chillers often have narrower tolerances, making constant maintenance more crucial than ever for keeping them operating at peak performance. Factor in fouled tubes, leaking refrigerant, changes in water temperature and several other variables, and operating costs can escalate quickly.

Maximizing Chiller Efficiency

While there are several factors that can affect chiller efficiency, cleanliness of heat transfer surfaces is often the largest single factor. Given the fact that a chiller typically can have several miles of tubing making up the condenser and evaporator, proper tube cleaning makes sense as way to keep chiller tubes running as efficiently as possible.

Chiller efficiency declines rapidly when tubes become fouled. Contaminants, such as minerals, scale, mud, algae and other impurities, increase thermal resistance and reduce overall performance. These contaminants accumulate on the water side of transfer surfaces in both closed- and open-loop systems. Fouling occurs gradually over time, depending on the quality and temperature of the water used. The more a chiller becomes fouled, the more energy (and cost) it will consume.

It&#;s fouling agents like these that make chiller tube cleaning so imperative to energy efficiency. Condenser tubes should be brush-cleaned at least annually to keep them free of contaminants. Tube cleaning kits for heat exchangers, condensers, and other small diameter vessels can help remove heavy deposits from all sizes and shapes of tubes.

Contact us to discuss your requirements of condenser tube brushes. Our experienced sales team can help you identify the options that best suit your needs.


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