It’s no secret that rotating equipment in power plants and refineries continues to get larger in order to generate more power or process more fluid. To keep lubrication systems for this equipment clean, larger and more powerful flushing equipment and processes are necessary. High velocity oil flushing is a tried and true cleaning method for these systems.
What is Oil Flushing?
Small contaminants like dirt, sand and oil residue build up over time, threatening to clog, damage or shorten the lifespan of equipment. Contamination can be introduced into a lube oil system in several ways: during manufacturing, transport, and installation at the project site. In fact, 86% of lubrication professionals say particle ingression has caused problems for their plant’s rotating equipment. Oil flushing is one cleaning method used to sweep away those small particles and reduce the threat, increasing the lifespan of a machine or system.
Why is Oil Flushing Important?
Oil flushing should always be performed on newly installed equipment to ensure trouble-free start-up, and is often performed on existing equipment during turnarounds. Ignoring the need for a properly designed flush could have costly consequences down the line and require significant costs for repairs that could have been avoided. Ensuring these systems are effectively cleaned is imperative for long-term project success and equipment reliability.
B&W Energy Services uses specialized equipment to perform high-velocity turbulent flushing and filtration of lube oil and control oil systems, commonly found on critical rotating equipment.
First, we evaluate the entire system to be flushed clean. Our team then develops a detailed cleaning plan, incorporating all design input, as well as client, owner and vendor specifications and guidelines into our engineered procedure. Our detailed engineering package will cover all aspects of the flushing program. From there, we perform incompressible fluid modeling to confirm design flow rates and velocities will be achieved during fluid circulation, as well as ensure proper temporary equipment sizing and ratings.
Once the plan is in place, our team of experienced field supervisors will mobilize to the site with specialized equipment. B&W Energy Services takes pride in providing a comprehensive approach to high-velocity flushing using our in-house designed skids, which integrate pumping, filtration, and heating components into a minimum footprint setup.
To optimize the flushing efficiency, we employ thermal cycling of the lube oil, altering its viscosity to facilitate faster contaminant retrieval. Our high-volume filtration process significantly reduces flushing durations.
We utilize pneumatic vibration on piping during flushing. This technique aids in dislodging and moving larger particles out of the system, further enhancing the effectiveness of the flushing process. We understand the importance of preventing cross-contamination and potential leaks during flushing, so we meticulously inspect, clean and wrap each component before shipping it to the site.
Our commitment to excellence means we use only the highest quality hose and fittings available on the market, ensuring a reliable and leak-free flushing operation. Our unique process sets us apart from the rest, as we ensure every detail is accounted for!
See Oil Flushing In Action
For an example of B&W’s oil flushing service in action, take a look at our recent work in Kuwait. Between three major refinery projects, we completed more than 100 lube oil flushes of all types of systems. Click below to learn more about those projects:
As your system designs evolve to meet industry needs, so do our processes—but no matter what, you can count on an efficient, effective and quality clean every time you choose B&W Energy Services. To learn more about our oil flushing process or additional services, contact us today!