What is a Bake-Out, and Why Is It Necessary?
Field service and maintenance on pollution control equipment can be complicated. GCES prides itself on having one of the most capable teams of service experts in the field service, with over 75 combined years of industry specific experience. Our team understands the importance of a customer understanding their equipment’s specific needs. In their continuing commitment to extending the life of pollution control equipment for GCES customers, they regularly provide maintenance tips, based on their real-world experience.
A bake-out is a maintenance function that must be performed on a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer, in order to clean the media bed. The bed of the RTO accumulates process specific aerosols and particulates over time, which can cause alter the unit’s ability to function as it was designed to. Efficiency, capacity, and reliability of the unit may be compromised, if the ceramic media beds performance is inhibited. If left unclean for a prolonged period, the risks of fire, and total shutdown may become more prevalent.
A bake-out involves heating the ceramic media beds to a predetermined, extremely high temperature, in order to burn off all the accumulates. Temperatures may vary, depending on the design of the equipment. This area of the RTO can be difficult to manually access, so a bake-out is the most efficient way to remove and destroy these particulates. Think of it like the “self-cleaning” button on your kitchen oven.
- Sudden pressure drops
- Increased fuel or energy consumption
- Sudden change in fan speed
- Higher outlet temperature
- Larger combustion chamber temperature swing
Properly functioning Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers support continuous manufacturing capabilities and maintain state and federal environmental compliance. Improperly operating Regenerative Thermal Oxidizers or Recuperative Catalytic Oxidizers (RCOs) can also negatively impact production volume, increase operating costs, and can accumulate fines from regulatory agencies.
All pollution control equipment, including RTOs, should receive Preventative Maintenance Evaluations, annually or semi-annually. For equipment less than 5-years-old, this should be done every year. For equipment over 5-years-old, this needs to be done every 6-months, to reduce the chance of issues or shutdown. Skipping PMEs can be costly and possibly even dangerous, leading to reduced equipment life expectancy.
Benefits of An Annual PME:
- Minimizes the chances of an unexpected system shut-down, which can often cost thousands, if not millions, of dollars in lost operating production.
- Significant operating expense savings through calibration of system settings, resulting in increased efficiency in the unit operation.
- Reduces the chance of regulatory compliance issues.
- Improves the life and uptime of the system and components.
- Reassures proper operation of your air pollution control and heat processing equipment.
At the end of a GCES PME, a report is provided, detailing our findings, action items, and recommendations to maximize the operating efficiency of your thermal processing equipment.
If you are interested in scheduling a PME, or are in need of any field service for your RTO, or other pollution control equipment, including a bake-out, contact GCES today, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (832) 476-9024