Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nitrogen for Power Plant Outages and Layups

Power plant outages occur when one or more power generation units have to shut down for routine maintenance, repairs, or upgrades. It is inevitable in the life-cycle of a power plant to have shutdowns or outages but there are concerns for the preservation of the equipment during these layup stages.

What Happens During A Power Plant Layup?

When a power plant boiler is drained for maintenance or upgrades, residual water will likely remain in the boiler tubes and condensers.  This water will mix with the oxygen from the air it is exposed to during the layup and any worn or scratched parts of the steel tubing that are affected by this mix are immediately susceptible to corrosion, or oxidation, of the tubing.

This corrosion of the wetted parts of a power plant that occurs during outages and layups can cause pinhole leaks, threatening the integrity of the parts, leading to further damage and costly and time consuming repairs.

Once the process of corrosion begins, it spreads rapidly throughout the susceptible parts of the system.  These are the parts that mix unprotected (scratched or worn) steel tubing, moisture, and oxygen.  Galvanic corrosion and microbiologically influenced corrosion can both spread quickly and cause real damage to the inner workings of the power plant.

How to Protect the Power Plant During Outages

Power plants and their susceptible parts can be protected from the development of corrosion during outage and layups.  One solution is to inert the wetted parts (boiler tubing, condensers, etc) using Nitrogen gas.  The process of inerting will displace the oxygen with Nitrogen, eliminating an environment where corrosion can occur.

Nitrogen is a clean, safe, inert gas that can be provided conveniently and reliably by a Nitrogen Generator.  South-Tek Systems is an engineering and manufacturing company dedicated to Nitrogen Generators.  They possess the knowledge and experience to apply the use of Nitrogen Generators with power plant facilities (See: South-Tek Systems Supplies Nitrogen Generators for Power Plant). 

A Nitrogen Generator is a cost effective, safe, and reliable alternative to high pressure N2 cylinders.  Not only are they an environmentally friendly choice, but, once installed, they require minimal maintenance.  They use a simple PSA Generator technology that produces Nitrogen literally from the air around us. 

South-Tek Systems can fit your power plant facility with a properly sized Nitrogen Generator for your needs using the unique Flow Verification Program.

Contact South-Tek Systems about a Nitrogen Generator for your power plant facility and protect your equipment from corrosion during outages and layups: 888-526-6284.

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