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Poor vacuum in my Air Cooled Condenser

Tuesday, April 18, 2017   By: Steve [2140] 0 Stars
Hello, I have an ACC that has 8 cells and I can only achieve 26 of vacuum when I sub cool the unit. I checked the system for leaks with helium and I found and repaired two leaks. I also had my air ejectors inspected and cleaned by the OEM and they were within allowable tolerances. Does anyone have any suggestions what could be the issue. In the past I was able to achieve 29 of vacuum.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017   By: Ross [390] 5 Stars
Hi Steve, well you have a puzzle that may need a few approaches based on information not given. You mentioned you had good vacuum to transform through the latent heat of steam to condensate at one time in the air cooled condensers. Okay, so the design is reasonable.

Do you clean the tubing or fins at regular intervals. If you dont then consider washing with water at under 100psi with a stream of say 1.5 inch fire hose. Detergent is not needed when washing the air cooled condenser.

Second, has the area that surrounds the air cooled condensers changed. Undesirable changes are structures that are now too tall or too close than before.

Are the cooling fans functioning as needed at revolutions specified and required?

Finally, consider an aggressive method for an air leak test by considering a decay test with the steam turbine generator operating. The decay test will revel to you the rate of decay of vacuum, which you will measure, for this must be compared to manufacturers specification. If the rate of vacuum decay is greater and you have already found all the tube leakers in the air cooled condenser then look at or examine your steam turbine gland seal steam system for the culprit.

Good luck

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017   By: steve [2140] 0 Stars
Hello Ross,

thanks your for your reply.

The ACC were washed two months ago by setting up a power washer jig that sprays water at the same angle as the tubes to wash the fins out.

No new structures were installed in the vicinity.

I have my gland sealing steam psi at the highest PSI {10} recommended by the OEM.

again thank you for your assistance.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017   By: Ross [390] 5 Stars
I meant the gland seal system and not just the steam pressure to the steam turbine glands. Not knowing what you have, maybe you have an air leak in the gland seal system which is very likely and should be ruled out. Maybe I am missing something and you do not recover and collect drained condensate from your steam turbine gland seals and vent the air from gland seal system.


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Thursday, April 20, 2017   By: Jim Watts [764] 5 Stars
It is possible the condenser is being required to desuperheat the exhaust steam. This uses up surface area.
The problem arises if the turbine blades have lost efficiency due to fouling and the steam exit temperature rises into the superheat region.
Check the exhaust steam temperature and compare it to the condensate temperature and the saturation temperature from steam tables for the absolute pressure you are reaching.
If the condensate temp matches saturation and steam temp is high your blades are fouled or other turbine problem.
if the steam temp matches saturation and condensate is low, you have air in the condenser.

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Published on steamforum.com


High Sulfite Residual
By: Ross. [390]

First, I want to say that large amounts of Sodium Sulfite NaSO3 becomes a contaminate because it will produce foaming and other problems, but foaming is the primary problem.

Your 500-psi Water Tube Boiler is seems to have reasonable level of residual Sodium Sulfite NaSO3 remaining in the boiler water. Nice pH too.

Your 300-psi Waste Heat Recovery Boiler has twice what I would expect for Sodium Sulfite NaSO3 at ranging 80-ppm to 100-ppm. pH is good so you are getting a good yield.

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