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Millipore Proves Helios Tube Cleaning System® is the Permanent Cure for Chiller Fouling
December 17, 2020
Innovas Technologies

Millipore Proves Helios Tube Cleaning System® is the Permanent Cure for Chiller Fouling

by | Dec 17, 2020 | Blog Post

Chiller fouling is one of the most problematic and chronic chiller efficiency sinks. It causes significant energy loss, increased labor, leads to additional corrosion, causes process interruption, reduces chiller capacity, and shortens chiller life expectancy.

The good news is that chiller fouling no longer has to be tolerated. It no longer has to exist in your chiller operations because there is a proven system that will eliminate chiller fouling.


Test Case

We all like data. Numbers that exhibit trends and tell stories are the foundation of how most businesses decide every corner of their operation. While data’s importance in decision-making processes rules the day, it isn’t always the exclusive way to prove performance. When validated with other proof methods, data becomes much more powerful in demonstrating cause, effect, and highlighting the path to improvement. As an example, we show how a leading organization used a qualitative method to validate data outcomes.

Innovas Technologies® has “Banged the Drum” recently to highlight the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s success with the Helios Tube Cleaning System. Operational data trends and system performance have been stable for three years now. The chiller tonnage using Helios technology at the University has grown ten-fold from the first installation due entirely to the data that prove the Helios Tube Cleaning Systems’ efficacy. But in UW—Madison’s case, there is more proof to demonstrate the elimination of chiller fouling.

Ronald Reagan famously said, “Trust but Verify” when negotiating a strategic arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union. His quote and philosophy were perfect then and equally applies to UW–Madison’s management approach regarding the Helios implementation. The energy savings data in 2018 and 2019 was outstanding, as exhibited in the chart below. But UW–Madison leaders wanted more proof that chiller fouling had been conquered.

Chiller Fouling removal and Chiller Efficiency tools

The results are in and confirmed to leadership.

After a full season of operation, the UW—Madison facilities management team wanted to verify, with a qualitative measurement, that the tubes in the Helios-equipped chiller were actually cleaner than the ones in the non-equipped chiller. So, they conducted a Millipore Test to demonstrate the presence of chiller tube fouling. No, we at Innovas hadn’t heard of it either.


The test is simple.

Drain and open the chillers and then “push” out remaining dirt inside the tubes with a standard tube cleaning brush, while collecting the rinse water from the tube outlet into a small bottle. This captures the foulants left in the chiller tubes upon shutdown. Once collected, the water sample is poured through a small micron filter and timed to see how long the water takes to go through the filter. If there is dirt or foulants in the water, it will plug the filter and increase the water sample’s time to flow through the filter. The results were obvious. You can see by the below picture that the sample coming from the chiller without a Helios system had lots of fouling in it. After 6 minutes and 24 seconds the filter became completely plugged. The dirty filter is clear to see. The water sample from the Helios-equipped chiller flowed quickly through the filter (30 seconds) and appeared to deposit no silt or dirt.

The chiller operations data was great and showed the Helios was working as intended in eliminating chiller fouling and improving chiller efficiency. But the Millipore test proved conclusively to the guys on the floor that the Helios eliminated the chiller tube fouling that leads to efficiency loss. Together? A pretty powerful statement.


Innovas Technologies® – The Permanent Cure For Chiller Fouling

Chiller Fouling Test

Innovas Technologies® has and continues to prove that chiller fouling, which is frequently an organization’s largest source of wasted energy, is no longer an inevitable outcome of chiller operation. Regrettably, organizations worldwide spend tens of billions of dollars annually to “manage” the extent of loss and inefficiency caused by chiller fouling.

The operational status quo has traditionally been to optimize chemical water treatment, manually brush chiller tubes periodically, and “live with” fouling-related energy efficiency loss. Our case studies have proven that chiller fouling being “lived with” equates to excess energy consumption often exceeding 15%-translating to countless thousands of dollars wasted.

But there is a remedy and chiller tube fouling, and all of its effects, have become entirely preventable. By keeping chiller tubes clean, the benefits extend well beyond just realizing reduced energy expense. More examples include:

1. Elimination of unnecessary labor hours for manual chiller tube cleaning
2. Drastic reduction in Microbiological Induced Corrosion (MIC) of chiller tubes
3. Reduced Pumping Energy Required
4. Reduction or elimination of harmful chemicals that aid in manual tube cleaning
5. Improvement in chiller capacity with no extra energy expense
6. Reduction in process interruption due to fouling-related failures
7. Enable maintenance technicians to more valuable work than manual tube punching
8. Chiller life is extended due to reduced tube corrosion and lower compressor pressures

Chiller tube fouling is a known problem, its symptoms are measurable, its consequences are well understood. What is not well known is that there is a straightforward system that can reliably eliminate it. It’s called the Helios Tube Cleaning System®. The benefits are there for the taking for any organization that utilizes water-cooled chillers.