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Becht Engineering Blog

In this section of the site contributing authors submit interesting articles relating to the various services, industries and research & development efforts of Becht Engineering.

Accurate Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) Can Guide Due Diligence Efforts

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A key element in an effective Due Diligence study is to be able to quickly identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) on a current, historical and projected basis. These KPI’s include safety statistics, operational performance, status of maintenance programs and overdue activities. The KPI’s can be presented in numerical or graphical format however it is important to understand trends in the KPI, comparison to world class performance and in the case of graphical presentation the slope of the improvement or decline in performance. It is also important to understand the basis and calculation method for the KPI. Plant reliability is a critical KPI however we find a variety of methods used to calculate this very important factor. We have done due diligence in plants where just having the lights on or a critical compressor on turning gear is considered running at 100 percent reliability. The devil is truly in the details....
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Cooling Water Treatment: Benefits of a Cold Eyes Review

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The chemical treatment of a plant cooling water system is typically provided through a vendor who supplies both chemicals and service. The most common type of system in industrial plants is an open evaporative, recirculating  cooling water system (with a cooling tower performing the heat rejection) but closed loop systems and once through systems also require treatment.  The chemicals employed are generally proprietary and are specifically engineered to provide control of : Corrosion Mineral Scaling Debris Fouling Biological forms (algae, fungi, aerobic and anaerobic bacteria) The cost for chemical treatment and service is small compared to the cost of the equipment in a cooling system, on the order of a few percent. However, if plugging of a heat exchanger with mineral scale occurs, or a heat exchanger fails by pitting due to corrosion, the entire annual cost for the chemical treatment and service can be exceeded by a single incident in...
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CFD Modeling of a Mixing Tee – Part 1: Model Validation

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by Dave Dewees, Zumao Chen and L. Magnus Gustafsson This 2-part blog deals with CFD modeling of a mixing tee that is often found in industry. Traditional simulation is validated against experiment, as well as a new commercially available method that offers the possibility of substantial solution time reduction.  In fact, the new method is shown to give accurate results in a much shorter computer time than the traditional analysis, allowing much more rapid turnaround of difficult problems such as the turbulent mixing behavior of industrial mixing tees. When there is a large temperature difference between two fluid streams, large temperature fluctuations can occur, which can lead to thermal fatigue of the piping system, even at “steady-state” bulk flow conditions. Advanced CFD modeling is capable of predicting these fluid temperature fluctuations at the mix point, as well as characterizing the corresponding temperature variations in the pipe wall itself. Specifically, large eddy simulation...
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CFD Modeling of a Mixing Tee – Part 2: Predictions of Temperature Fluctuations

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by Dave Dewees, Zumao Chen and L. Magnus Gustafsson Miss Part 1? Click Here This is the second part of a 2-part blog.  In Part 1, the stress-blended eddy simulation (SBES) and large eddy simulation (LES) approaches for simulating turbulence have been validated against test data obtained from a mixing tee. In this part, the SBES approach is used to predict temperature fluctuations in a mixing tee where light gas oil mixes with a recycled gas.  Depending on the characteristics of the streams being mixed (momentum and temperature), protection from rapid temperature variations occurring even at steady-state bulk flow conditions is a necessity. While a CFD model can predict these temperature variations with good fidelity as shown in Part 1 of this blog, once a problem is found, the same CFD model can also be used to design solutions that protect the piping at the mix point.  Here thermal sleeve length...
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