With the long-term operation of Heat Exchanger Networks (HENs), fouling is a frequent problem. This is related to decreasing long-term heat transfer performance. Fouling decrease the heat transfer coefficient and reduce the efficiency of heat exchange. Different fluid types have different characteristics in corrosiveness and contribute to different results for fouling. The current graphical tools cannot fully tackle the HEN cleaning and retrofit design in the long-term operation.
This paper proposes a new graphical tool called Time vs Temperature Diagram (TTD) for HEN long-term management, taking fouling into consideration. It visualises the long-term temperatures change of each heat exchanger on hot and cold streams. The effect of heat exchanger cleaning can be shown visually in this diagram. This diagram can help to determine the cleaning and retrofit plan over a long period. An example is illustrated to show how to apply this diagram.