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Media / Application stories / Targeted Airblow at Russel City power plant, USA

Targeted Airblow at Russel City power plant, USA


Cogen Cleaning Technology uses 18 Atlas Copco Rental compressors to clean the pipes of the Russell City power plant, California, USA, during the final stages of the construction.

Russel City Power plant
The process of commissioning a startup requires cleaning the pipes throughout the facility. A big airblow requires 8 to 12 compressors: this project had 18 Atlas Copco PNS 1250 and XRVS high pressure compressors. Cogen also rented 9 Atlas Copco Hurricane boosters for the high pressure portion of this project, each with  a coalescing filter pack  and 14 fuel tanks.
The plan was to have 2 backup compressors but the 2 XRVS compressors allowed to reconfigure the manifold so both high and low pressure testing could be conducted at the same time.
On this job the chemical cleaning process was followed by a “hydrolaze” process: a high-pressure spray that knocks out debris stuck in the pipes.
It took a month for this project. “It’s about a week per system [18 on this job], but we  combined the process to get it done faster,” Wakeem said.
Gregg Alper, President and CEO of Cogen said, “Choosing Atlas Copco Rental as our partner in this project was a no-brainer. [Atlas Copco Rental was] critical in securing this project, providing their expertise all throughout the bid process.”
The process of blowing air to clean the piping systems consisted of a precisely timed routine: air entered in a series of blows, the bank of compressors produced 20,000 cfm while the boosters increased the 350 psi compressed air to the required 900 psi.
Wakeem said, “It’s the mass flow of air that pushes debris though the system.”

Russel City Power plant

Chris Rhoades (left) - Atlas Copco Rental’s area sales manager for California. Kevin Wakeem (right) - Cogen Cleaning Technology’s expert.

After this a target [polished carbon steel plates shined to a mirror finish] was inserted into the line. When sufficient time had passed, the target was removed and checked for quality of air in the system.
Targets at first are pitted and abrasive: when the targets show repeatedly clean, the process is finished. This project required 18 systems to be blown, each with different lengths of time.
“You go into a project this size knowing there will be issues. We received very good support from Atlas Copco Rental that allowed us to continue to make progress.”

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Specialty Rental is a division within Atlas Copco’s Compressor Technique business area. It serves customers in the industry segments around the world with temporary air, steam, nitrogen and power rental solutions. The specialty rental services are offered under several brands. The divisional headquarters is located in Houston, USA.