The Importance of HRSG Cleaning
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The Importance of HRSG Cleaning

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The Importance of HRSG Cleaning

By Jessie West | April 3 2023

The heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) is an integral component in power plants, acting as an exchanger that recovers heat from the exhaust gases of turbines and powering steam turbines. The importance of HRSG cleaning is great. Cleaning your HRSG with dry ice blasting helps improve operation efficiency, increase system longevity and reduce long-term costs.

Environmental Alternatives, Inc. (EAI) uses innovative cleaning solutions like CO2 blasting to safely and quickly clean HRSGs with minimal downtime.


What Is an HRSG?

An HRSG is an exchanger that recovers heat from gas turbine exhausts and acts as a power source for power-generating steam turbines. HRSGs consist of an evaporator, super-heater, economizer and drum.

An HRSG is a flanking component between gas and steam turbines at power plants. The two HRSG modes are:

  • Cogeneration mode: In this mode, HRSGs generate steam for plant processing and drive steam turbines for power generation or district heating. This mode uses steam for process applications.
  • Combined-cycle mode: The steam produced is used for the power generation of a steam turbine.


What Contamination Can Occur in HRSGs?

Corrosion and deposit buildup can occur in HRSGs, so effective maintenance through cleaning is crucial. A range of causes can lead to fouling:

  • Fuel sulfur content
  • Tube leaks
  • Ammonia injections for nitrogen oxide control
  • Condensation
  • High humidity levels
  • Rust
  • Finned tubing


Can Underperformance Occur Due to Fouling?

HRSG fouling issues can cause underperformance at your plant. Tube deposits or corrosion leads to reduced steam outputs and decreased temperatures, which degrade the combustion turbine and combined cycle performance. This underperformance can result in:

  • Increased fuel consumption, impacting operating economics and costs.
  • Decreased electricity sale margins and revenue.
  • Other economic losses from extended downtime.

Underperformance is often caused by gas-side fouling, a gas bypass around heated surfaces, or degradation from routine wear and tear. These problems have cost and performance implications. Innovative cleaning methods, like CO2 blasting, can help address these issues.


What Is the Importance of CO2 Cleaning to Help Your HRSG?

The benefits of cleaning your HRSG by using CO2 blasting include:

  • Boosted performance: Routine cleaning clears debris, regains back pressure and increases system efficiency.
  • Increased revenue: Reduced back pressure from HRSG cleaning increases generating capacity immensely. With EAI’s methods, power plants see an excellent return on investment — quick paybacks of up to $60,000.
  • Improved system longevity: Routine cleaning removes debris and corrosive materials, preventing buildup and increasing efficiency. Proactively dealing with everyday issues through cleaning can significantly extend the working life of HRSG components. This reduces long-term maintenance, replacement and repair costs.
  • Environmental friendliness: EAI’s dry ice blasting has no secondary waste, offering power plants sustainable cleaning solutions.


Contact EAI to Help Clean Your HRSG

EAI has been in the tough surface and industrial cleaning business since 1989. Since then, we have introduced innovative dry ice blasting cleaning technology. We offer turnkey solutions, increasing efficiency and lowering operating costs within the power industry. Contact us today for superior cleaning solutions for your HRSG.