Pre Maintenance Work

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Maintenance work actually begins in the operating phase and on the drawing-board and this issue will be addressed in Section 9.5 on upgrading. During operation all monitoring that is executed to collect data for energy balance must be completed by further monitoring, observation and recording. This information can be used to detect problems, investigate causes and determine solutions to improve the efficiency of the system. This monitoring can indicate damage, wear, inadequate installation, equipment limits, exceed or unexpected operational conditions etc. It should include wear monitoring, vibration analyses, flow and energy condition monitoring (effective pressures and temperatures and differentials head and temperature equipment and systems).

Good record-keeping of events and incidents during operational procedures, like change of burners in a furnace with damaged tips, unusual behavior of pressure during a pumping procedure, presence of water or any other contaminant, or a product in an unexpected location may help the investigation into causes that may lead to some inspection or maintenance tasks either in routine maintenance or at the next turnaround.

Especially for energy efficiency targets, a long list of items that need attention, that may affect maintenance for better results, can be built. Below is a small sample addressing only furnaces:

• fuel supply and burner pressures;

• fuel temperature;

• burner damper settings;

• windbox to furnace air pressure differential;

• air flow indication;

• air preheater inlet gas O2;

• flue gas and air temperature and pressure;

• air temperature to air heater;

• unburned combustion indication;

• stack appearance;

• flame appearance;

• forced draft fan discharge;

• furnace boiler outlet;

• economizer differential;

• air heater and gas - side differential;

• soot blower operation;

• general condition of burners like erosion, deposits, missing or damaged parts;

• atomizing steam pressure;

• refractory condition.

This list partially comes with the equipment itself, but is in constant construction. During operation a regular interface and exchange of ideas between operational and maintenance crews is demanding. It promotes learning about the equipment, the system, what to look after, strengths and weaknesses. It is another step of the knowledge process that leads to better results in energy efficiency.

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