The client investigated the cause of the vacuum problem with their own staff, but unfortunately without success. In the meantime, the installation was suffering a loss of efficiency due to this malfunction. On the recommendation of a supplier, Applus + was contacted to help discover the cause and provide a solution. The client suspected a vacuum leak in the roof condenser and wanted this to be confirmed.
After some preparation work in the Applus+ RTD Kapelle office in the Netherlands, two inspectors left for Africa with the appropriate equipment. The installation was taken out of operation on site and tested for 2 days. Eventually, helium leak testing revealed the leak at the top of the condenser.
After an emergency repair, the installation could be returned to normal operation and the vacuum displayed the correct values. At the end of the day, 0.5 MW / hour more was produced than normal and the client had earned back the costs incurred.
The challenge was to get the planning for taking the installation out of operation, which is very expensive. Also, specific equipment and the inspectors needed to be on site on time, so that the entire process could be carried out as efficiently and effectively as possible.
The client had spent months looking for the cause of the problem and trying to find a solution. Applus+ found the cause and solved the problem in two days, and since then, the plant has been running optimally again.