EPCON develops a detailed hydraulic model of a cooling water system with plant flow and pressure data to determine the root causes of low velocities in key heat exchanger tube bundles. The hydraulic models identify the most cost effective solution that is carried through the FEED, detailed design, procurement and construction management phases. EPCON's technology based approach combined with our high level of experience enables us to determine the lowest cost piping and pump modifications to restore full design velocities to all key exchangers in the system. This results in significant improvements in plant performance.

Benefits of a Cooling Water Study:

  • Quantify pump performance versus design to identify poorly performing pumps
  • Establish maximum theoretical system capacity and limits by design
  • Provide a basis for comparison of improvement options and future operations
  • Identify exchanger and pipe plugging
  • Determine the optimal number of operating pumps
  • Reduce pump electricity usage by optimizing equipment usage

How a Cooling Water Hydraulic Model Improves Plant Performance:

  • Analyze cooling water needs for major projects, often resulting in completed preliminary design
  • Re-distribute cooling water flow to key units
  • Identify optimal future piping modifications
  • Improve exchanger life by identifying low flow exchangers and the root cause
  • Balance flows by reducing identified system build-ups, reconfiguring piping, and restoring identified pump degradation
  • Ensure Cooling Tower can meet hydraulic & thermal loads

Example refinery units that benefit:

  • Vacuum Units – pressure limited by cooling water flow
  • Reformers - purer hydrogen recycle and lower MW means less work for compressor
  • Alkylation units - helps produce higher octane
  • Coker - better cooling keeps pressure down and improves coke yield
  • Hydrocracker - pressure limited by cooling water flow
  • HDS - pressure limited by cooling water flow