The improvement that can be obtained from tube inserts in heat exchangers have been the subject of several studies performed by TOTAL.
These studies clearly demonstrated that both Turbotal™ and Spirelf™ improve heat transfer coefficients, mitigate fouling and reduce pressure drop at EOR within their application range.
Fixotal™ technology improves heat transfer coefficients over a wider range of applications that can be addressed by the other two technologies, but has only a limited effect on fouling.
These tube inserts are customized for each exchanger and its operating conditions, to maximize the benefits achieved.
The benefits from using these technologies are manifested in an extended run length between cleaning shutdowns, an increased heat transfer coefficient, a reduced fouling factor and stability of pressure drop. From an economic viewpoint, the payback is generated by three improvements: the energy saved in the preheat train in service (by the increase in the heat transfer), the reduction in maintenance cost (reduced cleaning frequency) and the increased run throughput. Indeed, a very substantial benefit can be obtained if a unit is bottlenecked by a heat transfer limitation.
This presentation will show the improvements achieved by the different Petroval tube inserts technologies (Turbotal™, Spirelf™, Fixotal™), using examples from commercial comparative tests (either side-by-side or consecutive runs) in preheat trains in Crude Distillation units.
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