FIN FAN EXCHANGER AT
 PETROCHEMICAL PLANT

 

Fin-fan coolers are heat exchangers, as their name suggests, and are some times simply referred to as, “ fin fans”.  Some plants refer to them as exchangers with no further description.

For years the maintenance of these devices has been an expensive and an on going problem.  The fins that conduct the heat away from the product are fragile, thin, and usually aluminum.  They bend when people walk on them.  They swell and lose their conductivity when the wrong chemicals are used to clean them.  They become clogged with dirt and debris from surrounding processes, unpaved bases, oil mist lubricators and a number of other environmental situations that might exist near the site. 

In the past owners have attempted to hydro-blast them.  The high pressure water stream collapses the fins, the man running the blast gun collapses the fins walking on them, and if the coils are stacked in enough layers the water stream disperses before it ever does its work on the offending clogs.  If the fins are collapsed, the air can not move over the coils and move the heat.  The objective of the fin fan cooler is diminished or lost completely. 

Others have tried to use foams and soaps to loosen the dirt and oil and wash it away.  These chemicals dry on the fins and become a part of the problem and often attack the aluminum causing it to become brittle and eventually break away, or worse yet, react with the metal and cause it to  swell until the air flow is virtually cut off  and conductivity is lost.  Aluminum does not get along well with caustics and phosphates. As is demonstrated in the thermo-pictures below.  Our process returns the fan cooler to its design capacity.  The chemicals we use are not reactive with the aluminum or admiralty that might be used in the coil tubes themselves.  We use high volume, low pressure wash streams that will not bend the fins and there is no need to get out and walk on the coils.

 In short, we have an efficient cleaning system that enhances the effectiveness of the cooler.

 

NIEDERHOFER ENTERPRISES, INC.