Search

Browse Subject Areas

For Authors

Submit a Proposal

Join Our Mailing List

Enter your email address:

Enter your first name:

Enter your last name:

Choose subjects that interest you
Hold down the CTRL key for multiple selection



Troubleshooting Vacuum Systems

Steam Turbine Surface Condensers
and Refinery Vacuum Towers

By Norman P. Lieberman
Copyright: 2013   |   Status: Published
ISBN: 9781118290347  |  Hardcover  |  
270 pages
Price: $195 USD
Add To Cart

One Line Description
Vacuum towers and condensing steam turbines require effective vacuum systems for efficient operation, and this text describes in easy to understand language, without reference to complex mathematics, how vacuum systems work, what can go wrong, and how to make field observations to pinpoint the particular malfunction causing poor vacuum.

Audience
Process engineers, chemical engineers, technicians, plant managers, plant operators, plant engineers, petroleum engineers

Description
Vacuum systems are in wide spread use in the petrochemical plants, petroleum refineries and power generation plants. The existing texts on this subject are theoretical in nature and only deal with how the equipment functions when in good mechanical conditions, from the viewpoint of the equipment vendor. Also, the existing texts fail to consider the interaction of the vacuum system with the process equipment it serves and the variability of the motive steam conditions, change in cooling water temperature condenser fouling and erosion of the ejectors.

Here are some of the many questions answered in this groundbreaking volume:

• Why does my first stage jet make a surging sound during hot weather?
• Why does the vacuum suddenly break?
• I’ve seen moisture condensing on the jet’s body! What’s causing that?
• Why do I have to steam-out the drain legs from our condensers?
• Superheated steam is making our vacuum worse. Is this normal?
• How can I locate and measure air leaks?
• Reducing the steam pressure to my jets improves vacuum. But why?
• I can’t pull the pre-condenser bundle. The shell side is fouling. What should I do?
• We’re not getting our normal horsepower from our steam turbine. Could this be a jet problem?
• Raising the seal drum level improves vacuum! Is there an explanation for this?
• Our turbine exhaust steam pressure to our surface condenser has doubled in the last two years. What should we do?
• Restricting cooling water flow from our elevated condensers improves vacuum! Is this possible?
• What’s a converging-diverging ejector all about?
• What’s the difference between a barometric condenser and a surface condenser? Which is better?

Back to Top
Author / Editor Details
Norm Lieberman is one of the most well-known and respected process engineers in history. With over 47 years of experience and eight often-quoted and often-used books to his credit, he has left and continues to leave a lasting impression on the energy industry. His contribution to the industry is considerable, and troubleshooting vacuum systems is the single biggest part of his business. With a writing style that is unique to technical books, he brings a no-nonsense and practical approach to his subjects.

Back to Top

Table of Contents
Preface xiii
Introduction xv
Defi nition of Terms xix
1 How Jets Work 1
1.1 The Converging-Diverging Ejector 1
1.2 Interaction of Steam Nozzle with
Converging-Diverging Diffuser 5
1.3 Compression Ratio 6
1.4 Converging-Diverging Ejector 7
1.5 Velocity Boost 9
1.6 Surging 10
1.7 Critical Discharge Pressure 11
1.8 Observing the Conversion of Heat to Velocity 12
1.9 Jet Discharge Pressure 13
1.10 Reducing Primary-Jet Discharge Pressure 14
1.11 Bypassing First Stage Ejectors 15
2 Making Field Measurements 17
2.1 Getting Started 17
2.2 How to Unscrew Steel Plugs 23
2.3 Effect of Barometric Pressure on Indicated Vacuum 24
2.4 Use of Piccolo 25
2.5 Measuring Deep Vacuums using an Hg Manometer 27
2.6 Measurement of a Deep Vacuum without Mercury 28
2.7 Measuring Condensibles in Feed to First Stage Ejector 30
2.8 Identifying Loss of Sonic Boost by Sound 31
2.9 Identifying Air Leaks 32
vii
viii Contents
2.10 Air Leaks in Flanges 34
2.11 Vacuum Measurement Units 35
3 Tabulation of Vacuum System Malfunctions 39
3.1 Tidal Flop in Delaware 40
3.2 Critical Discharge Pressure 43
3.3 Fouling in Final Condenser 43
3.3 Reduction in Back Pressure 45
3.4 Loss of LVGO Pan Level 45
3.5 Variations in Cooling Water Temperature 47
3.6 Multi-Component Malfunctions 50
3.7 Partial Tabulation of Vacuum System Malfunctions 51
4 Effect of Water Partial Pressure on Jet Effi ciency 55
4.1 Vapor Pressure of Water Limits Vacuum 56
4.2 Reminder about Water Partial Pressure 59
4.3 Air Leaks in Steam Turbine Surface Condensers 59
4.4 Variable Cooling Water Temperature 60
4.5 Loss of Sonic Boost 60
4.6 Relative Jet Effi ciency 62
4.7 Defi nition of “Vacuum Breaking” 63
4.8 Critical Discharge Pressure Exceeded 64
5 Air Leaks 67
5.1 Upper Explosive Limits 67
5.2 How to Find Air Leaks 68
5.3 Diffuser Air Leaks 69
5.4 Air Leaks on Vacuum Towers 70
5.5 Air Leaks in Heater Transfer Lines 71
5.6 Air Leaks – Turbine Mechanical Seal 72
6 Sources and Disposal of Hydrocarbon Off-Gas 75
6.1 Evolution of Cracked Gas 75
6.2 Sources of Cracked Gas 78
6.3 Cracked Gas Evolution from Boot 80
6.4 Air Equivalent 81
6.5 Overloading Vacuum Jets 84
6.6 Excess Cracked Gas Flow 85
6.7 Field Checking Gas Flow Meter in Vacuum Service 85
Contents ix
6.8 Surging 3rd Stage Jet Bogs Down Primary Jet 89
6.9 Exchanger Leaks Overloads Jets 90
6.10 Poor Vacuum Tower Feed Stripping 92
6.11 Level Connection Purges and Pump
Mechanical Seal Gas 94
6.12 Effect of Heater Outlet Temperature 95
6.13 Extracting H2S from Vacuum Tower
Off-Gas Upstream of Ejectors 97
6.14 Disposal of Seal Drum Off-Gas 99
6.15 Fouling of Waste Gas Burner 100
7 Motive Steam Conditions 101
7.1 Effect of Wet Steam 102
7.2 Water in Motive Steam 103
7.3 The Tale of Weak Steam 104
7.4 Internal Freezing of Steam Nozzle 105
7.5 High Pressure, Superheated Motive Steam 108
7.6 Effect of Moisture Content of Saturated
Steam on Temperature 108
7.7 Steam Pressure Affects Vacuum 109
7.8 Effect of Superheated Steam 111
8 Mechanical Defects of Ejectors 113
8.1 Steam Nozzle Testing 113
8.2 Other Mechanical Defects of Jets 114
8.3 Fouled Steam Nozzles 117
8.4 Diffuser Erosion 118
8.5 Repair of Ejector Body 119
8.6 Changing Worn Steam Nozzles 119
8.7 Restoring Critical Flow 120
9 Condenser Fouling and Cleaning 123
9.1 Fouling Mechanism in Condensers
for Refi nery Vacuum Towers 123
9.2 Fouling Due to Chemical Additives 124
9.3 Minimizing Condenser Fouling
in Vacuum Towers 125
9.4 Fouled Pre-condenser 126
9.5 Fixed Tube Sheet Condensers 128
x Contents
9.6 Cleaning Condensers On-Stream 129
9.7 Optimum Condenser Bundle Confi guration 130
9.8 Chemically Cleaning Condensers
(contributed by Gerry Obluda) 130
9.9 Ball Cleaning Condenser Tubes
(contributed by an operator at the Syncrude
Plant in Canada, whose name I have lost) 131
9.10 Corrosion Control by Better Desalting 132
10 Pressure Control of Vacuum Towers 135
10.1 Positive Feedback Loop 141
11 Condenser Cooling Water Flow 143
11.1 Cooling Water Flow Confi guration 143
11.2 Air Evolving from Cooling Water Reduces
Cooling Water Flow 145
11.3 Cooling Water Pressure to Surface Condensers 148
11.4 Tube Leaks 149
12 Condensate Back-Up in Condensers 151
12.1 Undersized Condenser Drain Nozzle 153
12.2 Seal Drum Level Indication 155
12.3 Leaking Gauge Glass on Surface Condenser Boot 157
12.4 Condensate Pump Cavitation Due to Air Leaks 161
12.5 Condensate Back-Up in Surface Condenser Boot 162
12.6 Experiment with Condensate Back-Up 165
12.7 Condensate Back-Up 166
13 Seal Leg Drainage 169
13.1 Sludge Accumulation in Seal Drum 169
13.2 Seal Leg Leak Inside Seal Drum 171
13.3 Seal Leg Flange Leak 174
13.3.1 Outside Seal Drum 174
13.4 Seal Leg Design 178
13.5 Inadequate Seal Leg Length for Hydrocarbons 180
13.6 Inadequate Seal Leg Capacity 182
13.7 High Back-Pressure from Seal Drum 183
13.8 Detecting Condensate Back-Up in Seal Legs 185
13.9 Condensate Back-Up Due to Air Leak
in Barometric Drain Line 186
Contents xi
13.10 Seal Drum Design 189
13.11 Seal Drum Fills with Corrosive Deposits 190
13.12 Seal Drum Design Tips 194
13.13 An Unfortunate Incident 195
14 Other Types of Vacuum Equipment 197
14.1 Hogging Jets 197
14.2 Use of Hogging Jet on Surface Condenser 198
14.3 Liquid Seal Ring Compressors 200
14.4 Gas Ejectors 202
14.5 Liquid Ejectors 203
14.6 Ejector Compression Effi ciency 204
15 Air Baffl e and Impingement Plate in Surface Condensers 207
15.1 Mechanical Confi guration of Seal Strips 208
15.2 Corroded Brass Seal Strips 210
15.3 Air or Vapor Baffl e Leak 210
15.4 Identifying Defective Seal Strips 211
15.5 Air Baffl e Clearance 213
15.6 Fouling Mechanism in Vacuum
Tower Surface Condensers 214
15.7 Surface Condenser Impingement Plate 214
15.8 Oversized Impingement Plate 216
15.9 Impingement Plates as Vapor Distributors 217
16 Optimizing Vacuum Tower Operation 219
16.1 Steam to Heater Passes 220
16.2 LVGO Pan Level Loss Causes a Loss in Vacuum 222
16.3 Carry-Over of LVGO Pumparound Spray 228
16.4 Optimizing Vacuum Tower Top Temperature 229
16.5 Plugged Vacuum Tower Top Demister 231
16.6 Bypassing Primary Ejector 234
17 Frequently Asked Questions 235
17.1 Vacuum Systems 235
The Norm Lieberman DVD/Video Library 243
Other Books by Author 247

Back to Top


BISAC SUBJECT HEADINGS
TEC047000: TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Petroleum
TEC009070: TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Mechanical
TEC009010: TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Chemical & Biochemical
 
BIC CODES
THFP: Petroleum technology
TGB: Mechanical engineering
TDCB: Chemical engineering

Back to Top


Description
BISAC & BIC Codes
Author/Editor Details
Table of Contents
Bookmark this page