Flow Based Pipe Cleaning System

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Abstract

The system developed in this project is designed to clean the internal surface of the water delivery pipes at 'soreq' desalination plant. Keeping the the pipes clean is important inorder to reduce energy costs investead in pumping water through these pipes. By Using the water flow as the driving force for activating the system, a simple and reliable system is achived.

Background

Deaslination plants all over the world uses pipes to deliver water from the ocean to the plant facilities. these pipes can reach length of several Kilometers and diameters of up to 2.5 meters. Exposed to the marine envirement, the pipes are being covered by a layer of substence (marine bio fouling) which narrows the pipe diameter and increases the friction factor between the water and the pipe. these features increases the headlosses in the pipe and therfore the pressure the pumps need to create in order to obtain a spesific flow rate. These days, cleaning a pipe is done by device named 'PIG' which requires many preperations and total shutdown of the desalination process for many hours or even several days. The need for an alternative solution was raised by 'soreq' desalination plant in order to optimize the cleaning process.

File:Bio fouling in pipe.png

The Consept

The design consept is based on the idea of using the water flow as the energy source of the cleaning system. The system uses the water flow for two purposes: moving the system along the pipe and activating the cleaning elements. By using a water turbine, linear motion of the flow can be turned into rotational motion which is required in order to rotate the cleaning arms along the pipe diameter as the system moves forward. The system has the ability to adjust itself to different diameters along the pipe by changing the position of the cleaning arm "head" and wheels (unlike the PIG device), making it suitable for different pipes and plants.

File:Final concept illustration.JPG