Solar Steam Generator Gasket Replacement

Posted by Matt Hecht

Problem

A Large Southwest Solar Generating station discovered water mixing with oil.  After initial review it appeared that the floating heads had a gasket leak.  Customer did not believe the problem was due to a tube leak as it had not happened before.

The Laron Preferred Solution™

Laron dispatched a team to simultaneously remove the man-way covers from the rear of both primary steam generators.  Using SNOOP, the team diagnosed the floating heads to determine if that was the cause of the leak.  The leak was found not to be caused by the floating heads but rather the head and rear gaskets.  In order to replace these gaskets the entire tube bundle needed to be removed.

A Helium testing group was brought in to pressurize the system using Helium and a “sniffer” to determine where the leak was.  Leaks were found in both tube bundles and would have to be removed for proper repair.  Over 2300 tubes were individually vacuum tested to determine which tubes required repair.  Laron was prepared to repair all the leaks found.  The gaskets were replaced, the tubes repaired, the steam generator reassembled and pressure tested.  The units were back to optimal operating capacity and the customer was pleased.

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