The HRSG Cleaning Process
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The HRSG Cleaning Process

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The HRSG Cleaning Process

By Jessie West | March 31 2023

Your heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) should operate efficiently to boost plant operations. A thorough cleaning can help prevent fouling, optimize performance and increase the longevity of your system. Environmental Alternatives, Inc. (EAI) can help with the HRSG cleaning process, improving your performance levels, decreasing replacement and long-term maintenance costs, and reducing downtime.


How to Clean HRSGs

Cleaning methods for HRSGs can vary. Standard procedures involve:

  • Turning the system off: The HRSG is powered down and the water pump is switched off to ensure safe cleaning.
  • Draining the tower: Most of the tower is drained, leaving just enough water to dissolve detergents. At this stage, choosing the right type of detergent is crucial. You need chemicals that clean without causing corrosion.
  • Adding detergents: The next step is adding the detergent to the tower and powering it up to allow the chemicals to circulate and clean the system.
  • Disassembling components: Parts are disassembled where necessary. Once cleaned, the tubes and components are reattached.
  • Performing basic checks: Once basic cleaning is complete, reviewing the amount of oil in the tower is important. Refill and repeat when necessary.
  • Performing technical checks: A full electric system check is carried out for safety.
  • Carrying out a test run: A final check and test performance is key to evaluating the HRSG operation.


The Effectiveness of CO2 Blasting

EAI uses CO2 blasting, which is an environmentally friendly method that produces no secondary waste while safely and effectively cleaning surfaces.

CO2 pellet blasting is a dry process, preventing the risk of corrosion. High blasting power allows for cleaning between tubes and components. Many parts can stay in place throughout the blasting process, reducing mechanical costs.

Two case studies demonstrate the true effectiveness of CO2 blast cleaning.


Case Study: Restoring Performance

PurEnergy, the operator and asset manager of Maxim Power Corporation’s Pittsfield Plant in Massachusetts, partnered with EAI to clean components of its HRSG system. Post-cleaning, its HRSG performance was boosted and economic savings improved.

The annual savings following the service equated to an estimated $105,000 in avoided expenses that would have accumulated from increased fuel consumption and energy sales. In this case, the cost of cleaning was recovered within a few months.


Case Study: Avoiding Costly Upgrades

A combined cycle cogeneration plant in the United Kingdom considered replacing its entire HRSG economizer to accommodate deterioration, insulation blocks and corrosives clogging fin tubes. The replacement would be expensive and require at least 40 days to procure.

The plant owner sent representatives to the United States, where they were introduced to CO2 pellet blasting. The innovative cleaning solution created by EAI helped the owner cancel the replacement and major outage and saved tremendous costs.


Contact EAI for Effective HRSG Cleaning

EAI has been cleaning and decontaminating tough surfaces since 1989. We offer highly specialized, knowledgeable and experienced turnkey services, helping to increase the power industry’s efficiency while reducing costs.

EAI pioneered dry ice blast cleaning and is committed to creating the most-effective solutions. Contact us today for assistance with HRSG cleaning.