(137c) Dynamic Data Analysis of Large Scale Data to Monitor Fouling in Heat Exchanger Networks

Coletti, F. - Presenter, Hexxcell Ltd
Coletti, F. - Presenter, Hexxcell Ltd
Diaz-Bejarano, E., Hexxcell Ltd
Diaz-Bejarano, E., Hexxcell Ltd
Macchietto, S., Imperial College London
Macchietto, S., Imperial College London
With the reduction in cost of sensors technology and IT infrastructure, the process industry is experiencing an unprecedented explosion in the amount of information being collected from each piece of equipment in each unit operation on every site. However, these data are often not exploited, particularly in the analysis of fouling in heat exchanger networks.

This paper presents an in-depth methodology that exploits existing measurements and data to monitor fouling in heat exchanger networks. The methodology, powered by Hexxcell Studioâ„¢, consists of a detailed dynamic analysis (Dynamic Data Analysisâ„¢), that uses historical plant data in conjunction with advanced mathematical models [1,2,3] and to provide deeper insight into the thermo-hydraulic and fouling behaviour of heat exchangers than previously possible. It is shown how this allows unveiling key correlations between operating parameters, crude slates and fouling behaviour.

By using this systematic analysis, it is possible to assess the quality of the measurement used, the thermo-hydraulic performance of individual heat exchangers and the entire network, the economic impact of fouling and the efficiency of cleaning actions. The analysis also allows to identify opportunities for improvement in the network (e.g. different flow split operation, cleaning strategy etc), diagnose causes of fouling and detect changes in behaviour (e.g. inorganic breakthrough) and assess the effectiveness of mitigation strategies implemented such as antifoulants, revamps etc.

An industrial case study illustrating the above benefits is presented.


[1] Coletti, F. and S. Macchietto (2011). A dynamic, distributed model of shell–and–tube heat exchangers undergoing crude oil fouling. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 50 (8): 4515–4533.

[2] Diaz-Bejarano E, Coletti F, Macchietto S, (2016). A New Dynamic Model of Crude Oil Fouling Deposits and Its Application to the Simulation of Fouling-Cleaning Cycles, AIChE J., 62(1):90-107.

[3] Diaz-Bejarano E., F. Coletti, S. Macchietto (2016). Impact of complex layering structures of organic and inorganic foulants on the thermo-hydraulic performance of a single heat exchanger tube – a simulation study. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 55 (40), pp 10718–10734.


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