Note on the Fouling of Underground Refrigeration Condensers and its Prevention by Chlorination Treatment

Bosman, D. J.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 2
Publication Date: Unavailable
Rapid fouling of condenser tubes in underground refrigeration plants is a frequent occurrence. It leads to low heat transfer efficiencies, with consequent serious reduction in capacity and increase in the horse-power requirement of the units. High pressures develop in the condensers, and frequent cleaning of the tube bundles is required. The cleaning operation takes up to 8 hours and in some cases results in significant loss of production. One of the possible causes of fouling is deposition of scale, but this can be readily overcome by controlling the concentration of the water. When water evaporates, the dissolved solids remain behind; thus evaporation increases the amount of dissolved solids per unit volume. If half the original volume evaporates, the concentration of the dissolved solids is doubled and the water is said to have a 'concentration' of two. Concentration may be controlled by regulating the amount of water allowed to bleed from the system. The actual concentration value required is a function of the chemical analysis of the circulating cooling water. In one instance, where the problem of scale formation had been eliminated, fouling still persisted, and the possibility of excessive quantities of dust in the re-circulating water was investigated. A dispersing reagent was added to the condenser cooling water as a means of preventing sludge deposition in the condenser tubes. As shown by curve A in Fig. 1 the reagent addition did not decrease the rate of fouling.
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