(161e) Silencing Hammering in a Flooded Condenser
- Conference: AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
- Year: 2017
- Proceeding: 2017 Spring Meeting and 13th Global Congress on Process Safety
- Group: Kister Distillation Symposium
- Time: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 10:20am-10:50am
In its first year in operation, a naphtha splitter experienced intermittent hammering in the line from the tower overhead condenser to the reflux drum. The problem occurred at cold condenser outlet temperatures. In some of the hammering episodes the hammering was severe, opening a flange and causing damage to a valve and a thermocouple.
A task force composed of HollyFrontier and Fluor personnel was formed to investigate the hammering incidents. Our task force identified the large open slots at the top of the reflux drum stand pipe as a likely root cause. We also identified total closure of the tower overhead pressure control valve as another potential source of hammering.
Based on this review, we blanked the slots near the top of the stand pipe and added a DCS clamp on the overhead pressure control valve that does not allow the valve to close to less than 20%. HollyFrontier also emphasized in their operator training the importance of keeping tight control of the condenser outlet temperature at 180 F. The column was returned to service in March 2015, with no further hammering to date, and experiencing smoother operation.
This paper describes our investigation and our solution.
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