Ray Hardee is a principal founder of Engineered Software, creators of PIPE-FLO and PUMP-FLO software. At Engineered Software, he helped develop two training courses and teaches these courses internationally. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A reduction in the heat exchanger’s UA value will require a higher flow rate to transfer the same amount of heat.
The Problem’s Cause
Using this knowledge, the plant engineer looked into the problem with the two circuits with excessive flow. While checking the maintenance records of the two heat exchangers in question, he discovered that none of the internal tubes were plugged in, and, as a result, the surface area of the heat exchanger tube sheet was not affected.
The maintenance records also revealed that these heat exchangers had not been cleaned in more than three years. A work order was issued to clean the tube sheets during the next planned outage.
As demonstrated in this example, the piping system model can provide a wealth of accurate data of how the system should operate.
Using that information, the plant engineer was able to troubleshoot the operation of equipment that was not operating as originally designed.