An on-line cleaning technique perfected in Europe, which places low-yield explosive charges in close proximity to tube lane pluggage, and uses pre- and post-cleaning video camera surveillance to document results, has been tested at three WTE facilities in the western U.S. operated by Covanta. Testing indicates several tangible benefits relative to the more traditional off-line blasting, water washing (on-line and off-line), and stick blasting (on-line), including: • substantial elimination of cleaning related downtime between maintenance outages; • longer runtimes with less overall fouling and pluggage related ailments; • reduced off-line cleaning time at the beginning of major outages to the benefit of the outage schedule; • exemplary safety of the on-line cleaning process; • less wear and tear on pressure parts and boiler casings; and, • almost no fugitive dust problems in the boiler house that may occur with off-line blasting. The process starts with an initial video survey of fouling conditions. A water-cooled camera with purge air and temperature monitoring is inserted into the flue gas to record the fouling condition of the boiler. Following the survey, a cleaning plan is developed. Shots consist of low-yield detonating cord encased in thin gage aluminum alloy tubing. The charges are positioned in the gas lanes between tubes while being cooled with a water-air mixture and detonated. Following the cleaning effort, a final camera survey is done to verify the cleaning effectiveness, and to follow up with touch-up cleaning if necessary.

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