Fluid management: time to take a proactive approach

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Published: 05 May 2021


ADVERTORIAL: Managing cooling and heating fluids is key if process efficiency is to be optimised and operating costs minimised.

Hydratech, the UK’s leading formulator of hybrid glycols and specialist heat transfer fluids, provides a range of services to maximise thermal efficiency, minimise downtime and extend component life. Hydratech’s suite of Fluid Management Services include:

Consultancy - application and selection

Heat transfer fluid characteristics have a direct and long-lasting impact on system performance, production output, energy consumption, maintenance and down-time. Selecting an appropriate formulation, mixing ratio and compatible inhibitor package can be a daunting task for those not familiar with fluid thermodynamics, toxicity, corrosion chemistry and aerobic bacteria.

Hydratech has been assisting customers with fluid selection for 25 years, utilising over 100 years combined experience in all aspects of cooling and heating applications.

Pre and post-commission conditioning

It is not uncommon for the maintenance of cooling systems to be overlooked, leading to potential issues, including; advanced corrosion, biological fouling and sediment formation. All of which will have a direct and negative impact on heat transfer, pumping performance and energy costs.

Ultimately, pipe-work corrosion can lead to failure, leaks and untimely shut-down. Prior to any remedial repairs it is likely the cooling and/or heating fluid will be drained down and disposed of.

New fluid is needed to recommission the associated system. However, due to system contamination by corrosion, algae, sediment etc. any new fluid will also become contaminated, so it is recommended (necessary) that such systems are reconditioned prior to recommissioning.

Hydratech is very familiar with the requirements of BSRIA BG/29 (Pre-commission Cleaning of Pipework Systems guidance) and manufactures a range of cleansing and conditioning chemicals to help contractors and end-users meet those requirements.

Fluid Monitoring Program

Selecting an application-specific heat transfer fluid or water treatment package is the first important step in maximising system performance. It confirms an awareness of individual system design, thermal and pumping demands, and how energy efficiency (CoP) can vary according to fluid characteristics. 

To sustain specified thermal and pumping performance over extended periods of time, the fluid, pipework, heat-exchangers, pumps etc. should remain in 'as new' condition, there should be no degradation of the mechanical or fluid components. This can be achieved provided;
•    Corrosion resistant and compatible metals of construction have been selected.
•    The system has been properly pre-commission cleaned and preferably passivated prior to filling.
•    A compatible (synergistic) long-life inhibitor formulation has been added to the heat transfer fluid.
•    Air (oxygen) ingress has been minimised and preferably eliminated.

Hydratech recommends periodic analysis of the heat transfer fluid, to verify long-term condition of the fluid and system.

How it works: Customers are supplied with pre-packaged and labelled bottles for collecting and despatching of samples to Hydratech’s lab for periodic analysis. A report is provided for each fluid sample analysed - containing confirmation that the concentration, pH, total dissolved solids, turbidity etc. of the fluids are within acceptable limits. If any results are outside these limits, it may be recommended that a more in-depth test is carried out.

Fluid maintenance

Each sample tested through the Fluid Monitoring Program has an associated report, which details all the relevant results together with any recommended actions. It is often possible to correct corrosion, scale and biological issues by adding appropriate doses of booster inhibitor(s). Hydratech manufacture many different inhibitor formulations for regular or shot dosing of closed loop cooling systems.

Hydratech