Feedwater Heaters, Coolers
Optimization of thermodynamic design
LP Feedwater Heaters
HP Feadwater Heaters of tubesheet and header type
Separate Desuperheater of extraction steam
Duplex Heaters and Disdtrict Heaters
M.Youssef Patent List:
Patent List for Feedwater Heaters
Heat exchangers are especifically treated by TPT.
In the feedwater heaters (FWHs) the tube bundle consists of bend tubes of U- or W-form and
the tubes are connected to the tubesheet or headers. The FWHs are arranged as vertical or
The tube material, tube diameter and water velocity are selected for the feed water heaters
according to operational safety standards and economical measures.
HP Feedwater heaters are designed as single zone, two zone or three zone heaters:
- Condensing heat-exchangers (type CO)
- Condensing section with an integral subcooler (type CO+SC)
- Condensing section with an integral desuperheater and an integral subcooler (type CO+DS+SC)
- Topping desuperheater cross connected to the first HP heater (type DS)
Heat flow in:
Desuperheater section 3 Condensing section 2
Subcooler section 1
Q3=Mw x(hw3o -hw3i) , Q2=Mw x(hw2o -hw2i) ,
Q1=Mw x (hw1o -hw1i) [kW]
Q3=Mst x(hs3i -hst3o) , Q2=Mst x(hs2i -hc2o) ,
Q1=Mcon x(hc1i -hc1o) [kW]
Ash =Qsh/(k3 . dTlog3) , Acon=Qcon/(k2 . dTlog2) ,
Asc =Qsc/(k1 . dTlog1) [m2]
Heat transfer coeffitient k: k3, k2 and k1
Log. temperature difference: dTlog3, dTlog2 and dTlog1 [K]
Feedwater Heater of Tubesheet Type:
Tubesheet HP heaters are designed as two zones or three zones along with a condensing
section, a desuperheater and an integral subcooler.
The use of a desuperheater reduces the terminal temperature difference (TTD) of the
entire FWH. A negative TTD can be achieved by the use of a desuperheater. The appropriate
limit of the steam desuperheating is given by the condition of the dry outer wall of the
tube at the outlet of the desuperheater. The tube wall temperature should be remain above the
local saturation temperature in all operation conditions.
The use of a separate cross-connected desuperheater improves the heat consumption and
increases the feedwater temperature at the boiler inlet.
Drain coolers are employed because of heat consumption improvement in case of drain
insertion into the lower heater through the control valve.
Tubes and tube bundle carrier:
The tubes are expanded by rolling into the tube sheet. The bundle carrier is designed such
that the tubes are protected against deformation and vibration and can freely expand. The
support plates with the tube bundles can freely move in longitudinal and cross direction
despite the unequal thermal expansion due to the hot and cold tube leg. The support plates
show furthermore supports in the shape of wings in order for lateral guidance of the bundle
carrier at the inner wall of the steam shell. The bundle carrier consists of support plates,
side metal sheets, spacers and tie-rods which can be quickly assembled with little welding
work and economically.
LP Feedwater Heater:
Patent: tube bundle carriers)
The LP FWHs are usually arranged as horizontal heaters and sometimes are built vertical.
LP FWHs are designed as single zone with a condensing section or two zones with a condensing
section and integral subcooler section. Drain coolers are employed because of heat
consumption improvement in case of drain introduction into the lower heater through the
level control valve.
Horizontal LP Heaters can be built with partial bundle (flooded) subcooler. This securely
operated subcooler type is developed by ABB/ALSTOM.
Full bundle subcooler with sucked inlet condensate should not be used in LP Heaters. The
sucked condensate causes steam flashing and cavitation in the first SC chamber, which
leads to the risk of erosion.
Condensing heaters without subcooler section have a better heat consumption if the drain
flows forward by using a drain pump. A drain pump is used usually for the drain of
LP heaters No. 2 and 4.
HP Feedwater Heater of Tubesheet Type:
Patent AU 1404792: HP Feedwater Heater)
In the HP feedwater heaters the tube bundle consists of bend tubes of U-form and
the tubes are connected to the tubesheet.
The HP FWHs are usually arranged as vertical heaters and sometimes are built horizontally.
Horizontal HP Heaters can be built:
- with partial bundle (flooded) subcooler or
- with full bundle (suction) subcooler.
The heater performance is mainly defined by the terminal temperature difference (TTD) at the
feedwater outlet and by the temperature difference at the drain outlet or drain cooling
Header Type FWH:
This type of HP FWH has been developed to meet the increasingly severe operating conditions
in large turbogenerator plants. These may include high heat rates, sudden load variations
and frequent start-ups and shut-downs in case of peak-load power plants. The header type
Heaters have lower maximum stresses during transient operating condition and therefore
fewer potential failure mechanisms than tubesheet heaters.
The header type heater provides greater operation flexibility, due to key design points such as:
complete separation of inlet and outlet headers, small wall thickness of the cylindrical
headers and multi-bend tubes (W-tubes) enclosed in a shell. By means of nipples the tubes
are individually welded at their ends to separate inlet and outlet header pipes. The tubes
are of a low carbon steel alloy as 16Mo3.
By means of grid type support designs, the steam flow in the desuperheating zone and the
condensate flows in the drain cooler zone reduce pressure losses in these regions.
For more information on Header Type FWH see:
"Header Type FW Heater as Retrofit for Cycling Units"
Dr. M. Youssef,
Power-Gen Europe 93: Mai 25-27, 1993 Paris
Header type heaters are built for vertical or horizontal arrangements according to the
turbine room organisation. The horizontal header type heater with an integral subcooler
section are normally equipped with a partial-bundle, full-length and completely flooded
The feed water flows through the tube bundles and the bled steam passes on the shell side
through an integral desupperheating zone. The bled steam is condensed in a condensation
zone, afterwards the resulting drain flows through the subcooler. In the lower heater zone the
condensate flows in the subcooler in counter flow to the incoming feedwater and led with
a defined velocity around the tubes, ensuring the required drain cooling approach.
The technical data and economical optimum is given by the calculation of the Thermal data,
flow velocities, pressure losses, operation loads, heating area and fabrication.
Patent: Duplex FW Heater)
( Duplex FW Heater)
Duplex feed water heaters for a steam power plant are arranged horizontal and normally are inserted
into the condenser neck. A duplex heater consists of two heat exchanger modules (LP Heater 1/
LP Heater 2) in a common shell. The Modules are applied as pure condensing heat exchanger modules
or with a condensing zone and with an integral drain cooler. The two heater spaces are defined through
a partition wall in the shell and turbine extraction steam of different pressure and temperature
is fed via inlet nozzles. The water to be heated flows from the water box through the U-tubes
of the first heat exchanger module while the extraction steam with the pressure P1 condenses
on the outer surface of the tubes. The water heated in heater 1, flows through the U-tubes of
the second heat exchanger module and is further heated through the extraction steam with the
pressure P2 (P2>P1) and flows again into the water box to the outlet nozzle.
The condensate is discharged at the bottom through two or more nozzles.
The condensate flow of heater 2 is controlled through a control valve which controls the levels
in the heat exchanger space 2. At a heat exchanger module with an integral drain cooler zone a
flooded sectional bundle is chosen. The condensate of heater 1 flows via a siphon into the condenser.
Non condensing gases are sucked off over venting tubes which are positioned in the bundle lane
at the zones of the lowest pressure.
The flows in the water box are achieved through the dividing the water box into three spaces by means
of two internal shrouds or angular plates. The water box inlet nozzle is connected with the first
shroud and the water outlet nozzle with the second shroud. Between both shrouds the feed water
flows from heater 1 to heater 2.
The heat exchanger spaces are defined through a partition wall in the shell. The partition wall
is carried out to a major part as a double-wall to provide insulation. Thereby the first wall
which faces the heat exchanger space with the higher pressure is pressure bearing and the second
wall which faces the heat exchanger space with the lower pressure serves as heat insulation and
manufactured of thin sheet metal.
For transmitting the force between the two walls thin metal sheets are provided.
The space between the two walls is open through a number of holes at the bottom of the wall to
the steam space with the lower pressure P1. The insulation provides a reduction in the heat loss
flow and a power saving.
The load resulting from the pressure difference at the partition wall is transmitted via the
support plates of heater 1 to the steam shell. The flexibility and the support of the partition
wall avoid excessive stress at the connection place shell-partition wall due to heat expansion
and over bending.
District heaters (DHs) are built as condensing heat exchangers or with an integral drain
cooler zone. DHs are designed for horizontal or vertical instalation. DHs are tubesheet
type tubebundle heat exchangers with straight or U-tubes. The tubes are expanded into the
tubesheet. By means of support plates the tube bundle are protected against harmful vibrations.
The steam flow is distributed over the entire bundle across an annular space between the
shell and the tubebundle. The heating water flows through the heat exchanger tubes, while
the extracted steam condenses on the outer surfaces of the tubes. The condensate accumulats
in the heater hotwell. The incondensible gases are extracted over the bundle length in the
zones of lowest pressure. A sufficient venting provides a good heat transfer coefficients
for assuring a maximum utilization of the installed heat transfer surfaces.
The tube bundle is usually protected against erosion due to high velociy at the steam inlet
nozzle by an impingement plate.
Patent: Condenser with integral water cooler)
( Condenser with integral water cooler)
The water-water coolers are used for back cooling of water or condensate of cooling cycle and
are arranged near the condenser. Water-water coolers (WWCs) are designed for horizontal
instalation. WWCs are tubesheet type tubebundle heat exchangers with straight tubes and with
one or two passes. The tubes are expanded into the tubesheet.
The cooling water inter the waterbox and flows through the heat exchanger tubes (tube side,
cold side), while the water to be cooled, here called condensate (shell side, warm side)
flows on the outer surfaces of the tubes. By means of support plates the condensate is
deflected in counter cross flow to the cooling water and the tube bundle are protected
against harmful vibrations.
Failures of HP Feedwater Heater Tubes:
The tube failure is one of the major causes of forced outages in fossil fired power plants.
The causes of these failures are related to design problems, fabrication
problems and operational problems. These basic problems can result in various types of damage
to heater tubes. For example, design problems are related to high velocity in tubes,
vibration, material selection, and tube to tube sheet joint. Problems related to fabrication
include support plate drilling, welds, tube to tubesheet joint fabrication. Operational
problems are related to cycling, startup, lay-up, low load operation, operation with
excessive flow, flow out of leaking tubes, water chemistry etc. These problems result in
a variety of damages to the feedwater heater tubes.
The top of problem are
- Steam impingement in desuperheat and condensing zone
- Tube vibration caused by high cross-velocity
Tube failures in a heater can be avoided by a well-planned inspection. Inspections during
planned outages and inspections during forced outages.
Failures in desuperheater
Failures can occur in desuperheater and cause damages
- Damage caused by steam condensation at the desuperheater outlet
- High inlet steam velocity
- Tube vibration caused by high steam cross-velocity
- Damage at the desuperheater outlet due to interaction of condensate and steam flow
Failure in subcooler
- Excessive condensate velocities lead to local flashing of the condensate and subsequent collapse
of the vapour bubbles, which is harmful when this agitation occurs close to tubes or other
erosion-corrosion prone materials.
- Tube vibration caused by high condensate cross-velocity
TPT can help you in FWH questions:
- Improvement of heat exchanger design
- Failure analysis
- solving of problems
- Measurement of heat exchanger: conception, observation, evaluation