Specific performance issues

Condenser vacuum problems

  • Air ingress in the condenser of a steam turbine system causes an increase in condenser pressure. This leads to a reduction in power output of the steam turbine and thus loss of yield
  • Using a vacuum pump or ejector the ingressed air and possible other non-condensables in the steam can be extracted from the condenser (mixed with some water vapour)
  • If the air ingress increases in the course of time, condenser pressure will go up, leading to a (further) decrease in steam turbine power output (and thus loss of yield)
  • This will also occur if the capacity of the extraction pump deteriorates
  • If a deteriorated condenser vacuum has been detected, it is important to find the root-cause. A first step could be to determine the actual air ingress and compare this with the design value (and capacities of the vacuum pumps / ejectors).
  • CerTa Veritas can measure the total air ingress flow by a ‘vacuum drop test’ using à priori known reference leaks
  • With this quantification of the air (non condensables) ingress flow, it can be assessed whether the vacuum pump (or ejector) capacity is sufficient for the current situation, or should be increased, c.q. if further leakage detection should be carried out to reduce and preferably stop the additional leakage.
Condenser with (exchangeable) reference leak and pressure sensor for air ingress determination

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