Dr. Glueck, what should be regarded in the conception of heat transfer plants?
Important is a careful and detailed planning of the plant and the operation of the plant because almost all operating costs are determined in the planning phase already. Errors made here are hardly more to compensate in the operating phase. High consequential costs and a non-economical operation can be the painful consequences.
What is important especially at the planning?
First of all, the complete life time cycle of the plant is to be considered at the planning. The isolated consideration of the pure acquisition expenses does not go far enough regularly here because, for an economical operation, the entire operating expenses – including maintenance, repairs and standstill periods – are decisive. Furthermore, an excellent adjustment of all plant components – that means heat generators, pumps, control fittings and the used heat transfer medium – is of particular importance to guarantee an efficient operation of the plant. To optimize individual components does as a rule not give the desired results but can rather lead to unpleasant surprises.
Can you give any examples for this?
One classical example is certainly the use of inferior heat transfer fluids. When not high-grade thermal oils are used, this could lead to coking in heat exchangers and other plant components. The consequences are failures of the plant, high expenditure for repairs and production loss.
But also an inadequate dimensioning of the pump leads to high inefficiency and consequently to high and avoidable expenses. A too large sized pump works with bad efficiencies that means unnecessary capacity which costs money. A too small sized pump in the end means that the entire planned capacity of the plant will not be attained and, if necessary, will have to be expensively retrofitted.
Finally, what do you advise plant operators?
There is certainly no general recipe but, as with all complexe systems, the basis for a permanent effiicent operation is guaranteed with a careful planning. Plant operators should always count on high-grade advice of qualified experts in the heat transfer and put their plant concepts through their paces.