Performance parameters and flow characteristics on the shell side of surface condensers are becoming better understood. Contributing to this knowledge base is the recent ability to measure the physical properties as well as the quantity of gases being removed from the condenser by air removal equipment. Reviewed here are the commonality of these data from many operating condensers obtained over the past six years and other known condenser measurements, theory and laboratory experiments. These are combined to formulate global theoretical description of condenser dynamics describing the mechanism responsible for aeration and de-aeration, excess back pressure buildup due to air ingress or generation of other noncondensable gases, and the dissolubility of corrosive gases in condensate. The theoretical description supports a dynamic model useful for deciding condenser configuration design and design improvements. Features of design found in many operating condensers that promote aeration and resulting corrosion are presented. The benefits of the model and engineering design modifications to plant life cycle management, improved condenser performance, outage reduction and reliability improvements, lost load recovery and fuel savings are discussed.

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