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Steam Surface Condensers

Due to increasing switch of metallurgy to titanium in steam surface condensers, and the reduction in qualified fabricators capable of both design and fabrication, TiFab is becoming a larger player in the steam surface condenser market worldwide. The Power Sector has experienced unpredictable growth and there are now only a few companies left who can design and supply steam surface condensers, as many went out of business or were merged to form only a few large companies — leaving the purchaser with fewer options.

Steam Condensers

TiFab has in house condenser design capabilities that provide the following:

  • Thermal Design (TiFab’s own program)
  • Mechanical Design
  • Configurations custom sizes to meet specific customer project requirements
  • Various materials of construction
  • Condenser and PID related condenser system drawings
  • Ancillary Equipment specified for each condenser design

NOTE: TiFab's in-house thermal design program for water-cooled steam surface condensers follows the general principles in accordance to HEI 9th Edition for steam surface condensers.

Contact TiFAB for more information on our steam condensers and titanium condensers

TiFab typical completed condenser projects illustration (#1)

surface condenser

This gas compressor steam surface condenser handles steam from a Coking Unit steam turbine at the Motiva Enterprises Refinery in Delaware City, Delaware. The unit is cooled with Lower Delaware River water, which has varying levels of salinity depending on rainfall and tidal effects. The refinery was originally built in 1956 and made extensive use of both 90-10 and 70-30 copper nickel tubing, aluminum brass, and similar materials which at the time were the refinery industry standard for combating corrosion in saline waters.

The original surface condenser unit's 70-30 copper nickel tubes and aluminum brass water boxes provided a long service life, but tube failures were creating a capacity problem, and frequent unscheduled repair of corrosion of the waterboxes and impairment of boiler feedwater quality necessitated replacement.

Because of the critical nature of the equipment, the refinery needed a replacement that would solve these problems as well as minimize the downtime required for replacement. The refinery elected to build an exact replacement unit, and after consideration of various materials of construction, selected Titanium both for tubing and for the waterboxes. Titanium Fabrication Corporation provided adaptive engineering to devise a design details utilizing a combination of solid Titanium, explosive clad, and loose lined construction to provide an integral waterbox.

The success of this unit has since led plant corrosion engineers to put in 2,500,000 feet of titanium tubing in service with zero corrosion failures to date.

Tubesheets are explosive clad 5/8" Grade 1 Titanium on SA-516-70 carbon steel plate. Joints are grooved for added pullout strength, and seal welded for optimum reliability. The only modification on the shellside was utilization of close tolerance baffle holes and a reduction of baffle spacing to minimize risk of tube vibration induced by the high cross flow steam velocity. The condenser was designed to the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Division 1. The units went in to service in 1998.

TiFab typical completed condenser projects illustration (#2)

surface condenser

TiFab provided condenser modules with seal welded tube to tubesheet joints Baltimore Gas & Electric USA back in the early 80’s. There were over 100,000 Titanium tube to tube sheet welds. The modules were welded at TiFab New Jersey USA workshop where we expanded then seal welded all the tube ends to high quality with a 100% pass rate on site hydro test. The tubesheets were CS/Ti clad with the cladding at 6mm thick. These were replaced bundles inserted into the existing condenser housings as completed / assembled replacement bundle modules.

TiFab typical completed condenser projects illustration (#3)

TiFab recently (2005) successfully welded Titanium tubes to CS/Ti clad tubesheets on an existing condenser at site which were leaking as they had only been previously sealed by mechanically expanding the tubes into the tubesheets. TiFab traveled to the customer’s plant site in Poolbeg, Ireland and successfully sealed the leaking tubes.

The below illustrates our on site Titanium welding on this project and all the tube end welding test blocks that were carried out at our NJ USA works prior to going on site. These projects serve as testimonials to TiFab’s ability to fabricate high quality steam condensers.

titanium welding

Click here for TiFab's article in Hydrocarbon Engineering about Surface Condensers.

For information regarding TiFab’s Surface Condensers capabilities, please contact:

Tony Terranova
Technical Director
+ 44 1242 675533