Heat Exchanger Monitoring and End-of-Cycle Prediction


Predicting end-of-cycle (EOC) for a heat exchanger due to fouling is a constant challenge faced by refineries. Proactively predicting when a heat exchanger needs to be cleaned enables risk-based maintenance planning and optimization of processing rates, operating costs, and maintenance costs. Before using Seeq, the engineer had to manually combine data entries in a spreadsheet and spend hours/days formatting and filtering the content or removing non-relevant data when necessary (for example when equipment was out-of-service).


Utilizing the Seeq Formula Tool to monitor heat exchanger performance in the place of time-consuming spreadsheets will eliminate weeks of work for engineers, freeing them up to perform other valuable company tasks. The same formulas can be applied to many other exchangers, so users can focus on other continuous improvement projects instead of continually monitoring many spreadsheets. Millions of dollars could be saved per year as a result of improved turnaround planning and other improvement opportunities.


Seeq analysis enables monitoring of heat exchanger performance degradation, which in turn allows for risk-based maintenance planning. Operational plans can be optimized based on heat exchanger performance and planned maintenance costs can be minimized. Decrease the impact of unplanned rate reductions from heat transfer constraints to avoid losing millions of dollars in opportunities from crude/intermediate processing margins. Reduce unplanned maintenance requirements by thousands by predicting and planning for one failure event. 

Data Sources

  • Process Data Historian: OSIsoft PI, PHD, others
  • Heat Exchanger Design Data: Imported from the asset database or created in Seeq by engineer via scalars/signals 

Data Cleansing

Operators can quickly Identify and remove irrelevant data from unit/equipment shutdowns for routine maintenance or cleanings, significantly speeding up the analysis time.

Calculations and Capsules

Capsules help to easily identify maintenance and routine cleaning periods through Seeq’s Custom Condition. Users can apply first principles equations to quickly and easily calculate Heat Transfer Coefficient (U) from temperatures and flow rates with Seeq’s Formula tool and develop a model of U-value data as a function of time with the help of Seeq’s Prediction tool.

Summarizing Results

Seeq enables the observation of the date on which the prediction intersects with the known U performance threshold to allow for fast prediction of end-of-life cycle. Users can better avoid operational challenges by enabling maintenance and operations teams to remove the exchanger from service for cleaning before the projected EOC date, while Seeq’s Journal allows users to document detailed analysis steps for further review and process revisions.