Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Prevent Corrosion in Power Plant Boiler Tube

Boiler tubes used in power generating plants and the heating and ventilating industry are part of the  tubing components of utility and industrial boilers. The boiler tubes are generally constructed of steel, are heated and exposed to water within the boiler to generate steam.  In the case of a power generating plant, this steam plays a vital role in the production of electricity.

Due to the construction and use of power plant boiler tubes, these integral pieces of equipment are susceptible to corrosion resulting in poor performance, costly repairs, and, ultimately, failure.

Why Are Power Plant Boiler Tubes Affected By Corrosion?

The combination of steel, water, and dissolved oxygen in the boiler water initiates the corrosion, or oxidation, of the boiler tubes.  This corrosion leads to grooving in the tubes and eventually cracking that causes the failure.

Although the boiler is a closed vessel, it has been found that oxygen is introduced during the addition of water (make-up water) after a drain down for interior projects or repairs.  This water treatment method aerates the boiler water and actually promotes boiler tube corrosion.

How To Prevent Boiler Tube Corrosion

The elimination of one of the above elements - steel, water, or oxygen - can help prevent this type of corrosion and damage to the power plant boiler tubes.  

Since steel is the optimal material for boiler tube construction because of its ability to handle heat and water is of course necessary to the power generating process, it would be ideal to eliminate oxygen from this equation.

One solution for eliminating oxygen is to inert the atmosphere in the boiler using nitrogen.  Nitrogen inerting works to displace the presence of oxygen in the vessel with nitrogen gas.  Nitrogen is a clean, dry, safe gas often used for the purpose of eliminating oxygen where the presence of oxygen can cause either combustion or corrosion.

Nitrogen Generator for Boiler Tube Corrosion Prevention


South-Tek Systems designs and manufactures Nitrogen Generators for the purpose of purging and inerting for a wide variety of industries and applications.  Nitrogen is a safe, reliable, cost effective solution for maintaining power plants to keep them running smoothly and efficiently for maximum performance.

Nitrogen Generators provide an easier and more ideal alternative to high pressure nitrogen cylinders.  A generator can safely and reliably produce high purity N2 gas on-site and on-demand for a fraction of the cost of the managing high pressure cylinders.

Contact South-Tek Systems today to learn more about our solution to prevent boiler tube corrosion: 888-526-6284.

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