Case study

Name of plant: Aserraderos Arauco, Viñales

Location: Constitución, VII Región

Country: Chile

Date: November 26-27th, 2014

Number of condensers: 1

Number of tubes: 3716

Diameter: ¾”

BWG: 19

Length: 5.52 m                                                                                      

Material: ASTM A 249 TP 304

Cleaner used: C4S

Source of water: Maule river

Aserradero Arauco – Viñales recycles chips and waste wood cuts to use as biomass, burning it in a boiler. The generated steam drives a turbine to produce 15.6 MW which are used by the plant itself, and the surplus is brought to the central grid.

The water used in the condenser comes from the Maule river, which is characterized by the changing conditions in winter and in summer, making it difficult to treat in the cooling tower. To check if the applied chemical treatment is working well, and taking advantage of a general maintenance at the plant, Nexxo S. A. was asked to use the Conco cleaning technology to clean the condenser.

Upon looking at the condenser’s mirror, one could immediately notice a difference between the top and bottom of the unit, with more dirt on top. The turbulence of the water flow and the design of the condenser causes the chemical treatment to be affective only on the bottom half, but not in the top half. The cleaning of the tubes using CONCO C4S cleaners - recognized by ASME - was excellent, projecting a new cleaning at the next general maintenance of the plant.