How Predictive Cleaning Affects Heat Exchanger Energy Costs

Exactly how much of an impact does Predictive Cleaning have on the energy consumption of a heat exchanger? The HeatHamster team finds out.

Our aim was to study how predictive cleaning of heat exchangers affects energy costs. Together our Swedish client, we selected a small 1-MW heat exchanger for our pilot. Every kilowatt lost by this heat exchanger increases the use of steam, which has a direct cost.

On April 21st the plates of the heat exchanger were cleaned with pressure washer without using any chemicals. The operation took a few hours. The efficiency of the heat exchanger climbed from 20 % to 100 % and power output increased from 200 kW to 800 kW immediately after the clean-up.
However, only after two weeks, the efficiency had dropped to 50 % and power to 400 kW. This was seen from the data in real-time. Based on this, our client planned a second clean-up for July 8th. Again, the efficiency dropped, and the third clean-up was done during a production stop in September.

The impact of cleaning the heat exchanger is seen from the power output data and visually from the plates.
The impact of cleaning the heat exchanger is seen from the power output data and visually from the plates.

Million SEK with predictive cleaning.

Each clean-up increased profitability by 2 663 SEK – 3 733 SEK per day. The payback times for the clean-up costs were less than two days for each clean-up. With these three clean-ups our client has already made 164 952 SEK more profits between April 21st and October 5th.

If the efficiency of this one 1-MW heat exchanger would be over 80 % throughout the year, the profitability of our client would increase by 851 472 SEK per year. Achieving this requires a frequent two-week interval for clean-ups. Therefore, we have two development topics with our client.

First is to install washing connections to enable quick and cost-effective CIP-cleanings. This way the heat exchanger can be cleaned quickly as often as needed. The second development topic is to find and eliminate the root cause of the fast fouling. This way, the clean-up intervals could be longer.

Energy Profits. Light green shows the improved energy profits due to cleaning. Red shows lost energy.
Energy Profits. Light green shows the improved energy profits due to cleaning. Red shows lost energy.

Million-scale benefits through a Turn-key service.

If similar predictive service would be performed across all heat exchangers at our client, the estimated yearly profit would be 11.8 million SEK.

Across the plants in client’s group, the profit estimate is 51.1 million SEK per year.

HeatHamster provides energy profits as a service. It is the world’s only turn-key service for predictive clean-up planning. Optimizing
the energy profitability is based on real-time data analysis.

HeatHamster provides energy profits as a service. It is the world’s only tun-key service for predictive clean-up planning. Optimizing the energy profitability is based on real-time data analysis.

Stop guessing where your millions went.
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