Global Heat Transfer Condition Monitoring Reduces Expenditure

DSEAR legislation means more stringent testing for all operators and an effective preventative maintenance programme should include regularly scheduled and representative analysis of thermal fluids which benefit users by providing early warnings about process problems, help maintain a safer working environment, increase system efficiency and save money while keeping the operator legal under the ATEX137 portion of the regulation.

Now Global Heat Transfer’s 11 point test process goes further than the legislative requirements to show that flash points and corresponding auto ignition temperatures are being managed to safe levels.

Global Heat Transfer looks at a standard suite of 11 relevant tests and has found that around 80% of customers are carrying out irrelevant checks and incorrect sampling, if any at all. Global’s Technical Business Manager, Andy Burns said, “A thermal fluid will break down through the process of “thermal cracking” over time, this is the process by which petroleum based products are derived from crude oil in a refinery as the bonds of the molecules are broken. This will eventually cause light ends – think of the fuel created at the top of a distillation stack – and heavy ends – think of low volatility viscous products such as tars and bitumen”.

The 3 main checks Global Heat Transfer undertake are checking of the carbon level and amount of insoluble particulates, closed flash point and the acidity level (TAN), which is an indication of any oxidation or acidic contamination that may be present. If the carbon level (heavy ends) is too high it will result in system fouling which means carbon insoluble particles will stick to the system internals and eventually bake on hard if not flagged, cleaned and flushed in time. Carbon is an insulator and a build up will ultimately reduce efficiency at the process end and result in higher running costs. The closed flash point must be managed under DSEAR legislation. Global Heat Transfer take a hot, circulating and “closed” sample as open samples allow light ends to flash off to atmosphere giving inaccurate readings and which are outside DSEAR and insurance industry requirements. Other checks include viscosity, water content, ferrous and particulate quantities as well as open flash and fire point, which are accessed in conjunction with the other sample results.

Global Heat Transfer have been working closely with Abergavenny Fine Foods Company for several years and they discovered an oxidisation issue which was causing considerable carbon fouling of their system. A team of Global engineers drained, flushed and cleaned the system using a unique combined flushing/cleaning product, GlobalTherm C1, which is exclusive to Global Heat Transfer, before replacing the oil.

Paul Sanders, site engineer of Abergavenny Fine Foods comments, “Boiler efficiency has improved significantly and has seen our heat-up time reduced by 50%, it is flowing more efficiently and will show a saving in pump life”.