07 Mar 2019

Reactor Cooling: How to Cool Your Reactor for Maintenance

usa temperature control
 

It’s that time of year again. Your plant needs to shut down for maintenance which means it’s time to plan for a pause in processes and a dip in revenue. 

Here’s the thing: many of the complex systems in your plant need to run at specific conditions to perform well - and these conditions can often involve high temperatures.

What does this mean? 

Reactor Cooling Is Challenging

It means you need to cool down those systems to ambient temperatures before you even think about carrying out any maintenance tasks. This is a process that takes time and can cause a serious bottleneck in operations. 

Is this something you could afford? 

For most plants the answer is no. Even a week without these processes running as they should be can mean a loss of potentially millions.  Cooldown time can be especially long if the shutdown involves cooling down the reactor.

What you need is an innovative solution that cools your reactor quickly while sticking to pre-assigned limitations for how quickly you can cool it. 

Sounds impossible? 

There actually is a solution that can do this. It involves installing exchangers that circulate coolant through a closed-loop, mechanical refrigeration system. This cools down the gas that circulates through the reactor much faster than past methods, like using liquefied nitrogen. 

The reactor vessel can then be entered quicker, allowing the plant as a whole to start up again in a shorter period of time. 

Of course, this isn’t a simple solution that just anyone can do. You’ll need to hire an expert in reactor cooling and make sure you bring onboard someone that has specialist equipment and years of experience in knowing exactly how to best get your unit ready for maintenance.