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Eddy current testing has the potential to identify damage to tubes in the drain cooler, as well as degraded baffle plates and end plates, but would not reveal damage to the drain cooler shroud or entrance. This must be visually inspected (see Figure 4) either by use of a boroscope or other more intrusive methods. It is possible that operation with an increased normal operating level will sufficiently address the causes of accelerated tube damage, such that heater reliability is restored to an extent that shell cuts to facilitate visual inspection can be avoided. Additional corrective maintenance actions also are possible to address conditions such as excessive end plate openings without cutting the heater shell. Following the heater level test and a review of available tube NDE (non-destructive examination) data, an informed decision may be made concerning the justification of additional inspection, repair and/or replacement actions.
Feedwater heaters are a valuable asset to plant efficiency and can affect reliability. Proper maintenance of
Jonathan Hicks is a consulting engineer for the Thermal Performance Division at True North Consulting. He joined the company in 2011 and has 6 years of consulting experience, providing service and application support in the areas of thermal, electrical and mechanical performance. Hicks has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University in 2006. You may contact him by e-mailing email@example.com.
Greg Alder is a senior consulting engineer with True North Consulting Power Services Division, with primary responsibility in Plant Thermal Performance. He has more than 22 years of experience in thermal performance, providing consulting services to fossil, nuclear and combined-cycle generating plants. Alder has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Idaho. You may contact him by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iver Jacabson is a senior consulting engineer with True North Consulting and has more than 20 years of experience in the power industry. His areas of technical expertise include heat exchangers, NDE analysis, balance of plant systems and service water systems. Jacabson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri. You may contact him by e-mailing email@example.com.
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