Steam or compressed air continue to be the typical cleaning mediums for long retractable (IK) sootblowers used to clean the convection section of the boiler. Advancements in steam/air nozzle technology have lead to improved cleaning in areas such as the secondary superheater, but due to issues with boiler tube erosion, advanced nozzles have not been routinely used in the convection section. Boiler tube erosion and the resulting forced outages due to tube leaks have consistently been an operational issue for many boilers. Sonic cleaning has offered the hope of cleaning without tube erosion, but cleaning results have been mixed. The energy created by sonic devices is more than an order of magnitude less than a sootblower jet and as a result have not been able to remove many types of deposits.

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