Heat exchanger efficiency is critical to the success of any industrial operation, yet many plants rely on inadequate data to assess the health of their heat exchanger networks. Solenis developed its heat exchanger performance monitoring program to address this issue. Using advanced predictive monitoring and heat exchanger modeling capabilities, this innovative technology enables decision-makers to identify, with confidence, which heat exchangers pose the greatest threat to reliable operation due to scale, corrosion and/or heat exchanger fouling. As a result, plant personnel can develop appropriate action plans to optimize heat exchanger efficiency.
Once deployed, HexEval helps plants maximize production and time between turnarounds while minimizing operating and capital costs and driving plant sustainability. Key benefits reported include:
A HexEval implementation begins with Solenis experts working directly with plant engineers to assign a critical rating score to each exchanger based upon its impact on production if taken offline for cleaning or repair. The HexEval software then analyzes flow study data of each exchanger, within the context of its design, to calculate a hydrothermal stress coefficient — a discrete value that can be used to assess the reliability of the heat exchanger and to identify factors threatening its performance, such as heat exchanger fouling. The algorithm was developed from millions of hours of study time on thousands of heat exchangers running both in the lab and in actual plant environments, enabling it to explore the complex relationships between data inputs and to identify struggling heat exchangers — “bad actors” that are operating outside of accepted ranges and are therefore a threat to heat exchanger efficiency and production.
With the HexEval performance monitoring program up and running, plant management has access to powerful predictive analytics. Not only do they receive early indication of potential issues that could impact plant performance and profitability, they are also able to predict future heat exchanger performance challenges. These potential “bad actor” heat exchangers are categorized by risk, making it possible to implement the right corrective action on the right equipment at the right time. Overall, operations managers have the system they need to develop appropriate mitigation strategies, optimize use of limited human resources and provide maximum heat exchanger performance at minimum total cost of operation.
The output of the HexEval performance monitoring program is highly dependent on the data input. As a result, it’s important to have a thorough assessment phase that includes an audit of all heat exchanger networks in the plant. Solenis experts, who possess decades of experience working in complex cooling water environments, will collaborate with engineering personnel to conduct this audit and ensure successful implementation. As part of the process, the team will assemble a reference library of heat exchanger specification sheets, making it easy to find the designs of heat exchangers present in the network and reducing administrative bottlenecks.
In addition, HexEval offers an event tracking and archiving database that warehouses information on upsets and other lifecycle events, such as turnaround inspections, heat exchanger maintenance and replacement. These records are complemented with other valuable content, including inspection reports, photos, metallurgical analyses, wall thickness measurements, deposit analyses and much more. Taken together, the HexEval repository becomes a powerful data library that affords historical perspective on the campaigns of heat exchangers.
With the HexEval performance monitoring program, operations personnel have the information they need to safely minimize a cooling system’s water consumption and maximize heat exchanger efficiency across the entire exchanger network. The results can be significant, with plants seeing reduction in the amount of freshwater and energy consumed.