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April 2010

Technical Tips

ESP Technical Tip
Optimizing Your Precipitator: Internal Components

If your precipitator isn't working as well as it should, the very first place to troubleshoot is inside. Plates, discharge electrodes (wires) and other internal components are the bones of the precipitator, and if they're not installed or maintained properly, you will have performance issues. Start by assessing clearances. The distance between wires and plates is the most basic, important aspect of an ESP's performance. If clearances are not set correctly, the result is reduced voltage, increased wire failure, more loading to downstream fields, and other problems.


It should be standard procedure before every outage to review ESP performance data to pinpoint areas that need attention. Look for lower than normal kV and mA readings; wherever these show up, mark the sections as places to focus your troubleshooting efforts. Then, during the outage, check the marked sections for clearance problems.


Re-aligning clearances might be simple, or might be complicated. In some cases, all you need to do is re-hang/replace falling or fallen wires. You might find localized plate warping caused by high hoppers, and this might necessitate replacing some of the plates. If that's not feasible during the outage, a shortcut is to simply pull out wires in sections where there are clearance issues. Sure, you'll lose some potential collecting capacity, but it will be made up for in overall improved performance. One bad apple, as they say, can spoil the whole barrel.


It can't be emphasized enough: installing and maintaining appropriate internal components--wires, plates, etc.--is vital to optimal ESP performance. Even the type of discharge electrode used makes a huge difference. For example, if there is very heavy dust loading, switching from weighted wires to another type can significantly improve performance, especially at the inlet field.


If you're planning an ESP rebuild or major set of replacements, start by assessing clearances. Consider changing the spacing between plates and switching to a more appropriate type of discharge electrode for a one-two punch. It makes a lots of sense to precisely match the discharge electrode geometry to properties of the particulate being collected, and related factors. For example, rigid discharge electrodes or barbed wires can be designed to help overcome low current levels produced by high space charge.


Also, consider the role rappers play. Older precipitators often have greater plate area per rapper than current designs. Increasing the number of rappers can help maintain power into the electrical fields and reduce the magnitude of opacity spikes.


As with a lot of other things in life, optimizing your precipitator starts from the inside out. If you avoid shortcuts anywhere, make internal components that place.


Visit our website to learn more about maintaining ESP internal components. Or, call us anytime for advice: (440) 942-8990.

Fabric Filter (Baghouse) Technical Tip
Use Proper Pulse Jet Valve Sequencing to Optimize Cleaning

The sequencing and timing of pulse jet baghouse cleaning diaphragm valves is critical to optimal performance. This is particularly true if your baghouse is cleaned on-line. Never activate these valves in sequential order; if you do, a significant amount of dust will remain in the collector.


If you clean in sequential order, material from one row of filter bags simply gets moved to the row previously cleaned. This not only results in poor cleaning but tends to retain very fine particles on the filter bags and can lead to premature blinding.


Therefore, cleaning in a random, non-sequential order distances rows from each other and greatly reduces both re-entrainment and potential premature blinding of bags.


One way to separate rows during cleaning is to re-arrange the order of solenoid wires that lead to each valve. Most of the time, this is as simple as moving the wires on the compartment’s solenoid junction strip. In a large, multi-compartment P/J collector with PLC controllers, an even better approach to further separate the cleaning rows is sequencing each valve in separate compartments.


Visit our website to learn more about recommended baghouse cleaning techniques. Or, call us anytime for advice: (440) 942-8990.

Sustainability Comes Home

Neundorfer's Exercise Program Wins Wellness @ Work 

At Neundorfer, the word sustainability means taking care of our customers, our community, our environment, and ourselves. A company culture that encourages physical fitness and healthful habits is part of that. Cardio/weight training ("boot camp") and yoga classes are held on-site several times a week, and team members can avail themselves of fitness equipment (treadmills, weights) anytime they want to burn some calories or build muscle.

 "One of the reasons I love working at Neundorfer is that staying in shape is so easy," says Mae Kowalke, Manager of Seminars and Stories. "All I have to do is head over to the fitness room on Boot Camp days and change into sweats. Plus, it gives me a chance to get to know my co-workers better."


This initiative to make staying in shape easy recently won Neundorfer a 2010 Wellness @Work award from Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), in the Small Business (1-100 employees) category.


The Wellness @Work awards, founded in 2009, honor Cleveland-area companies with active wellness programs that are continually being improved. The idea is to put a spotlight on forward-thinking companies that create ways for their employees to be more empowered about maintaining regular exercise habits.


Neundorfer's culture of fitness definitely fits into the Wellness @Work vision. It's not just the exercise classes; the focus on being healthy starts at the top. When the weather is nice (and sometimes, even when it isn't), president Mike Neundorfer and VP Steve Ostanek often go running on their lunch breaks, and invite anyone else along who wants to stretch their legs. Plus, walking meetings are a common occurrence.


"We’ve witnessed real results in employees making a change to include regular exercise in their lifestyle," says Jody Beller, Regional Operations Manager for Team N. "The encouragement we receive from one another keeps us on track to a healthier tomorrow."

Learning Oppotunities 

There's still time...register now!
Strategic Planning Workshop: Improving Efficiency, Availability and Environmental Impact
April 27-28, 2010 at Neundorfer training facility, Willoughby, Ohio

Co-hosted by power plant optimization experts from Storm Technologies, United Dynamics Corporate (UDC) and Neundorfer.


Guest speakers from the U.S. Department of Energy and Linestream Technologies


This special learning event is designed to help power plant managers create a holistic plan for optimizing inputs and outputs, resulting in improved performance and reduced emissions. You'll gain practical, high level insights into optimizing your plant, from the coal pile to the stack.


Learn more and register here. Time is running out, so make sure to reserve your seat now!



2010 Precipitator Users' Group

What: Precipitator Users' Group (PUG) Seminar and Labs.

When: May 24-27, 2010.

Where: Neundorfer training facility in Willoughby, Ohio.

How much: $1,400 for PUG, $150 per lab (two are offered).

Why: Make an investment in real-life precipitator management skills by attending this hands-on learning event.

Discount: Sign up for PUG and one of the labs, get 15% off both.

Neundorfer's annual Precipitator Users' Group (PUG) seminar is fast approaching. Attending PUG is an excellent investment that results in immediate payoff when you return to your plant. PUG's focus is on learning by doing: you'll apply precipitator management concepts to real life scenarios. Registration fee includes learning materials, meals and a social event. Don't miss this opportunity to learn skills you'll apply right away on the job. Plus, you can earn up to 15 hours of professional development credit (depending on guidelines for your state). 



Design a Custom Neundorfer Training Workshop!

Close Your Knowledge Gaps…

If your plant is feeling the pinch of a reduced knowledgebase related to maintaining and troubleshooting air pollution control equipment, call Steve Ostanek  (440) 942-8990 x120, or fill out a training needs worksheet and send it to Maggie Zeller,


Together, we can design a custom, hands-on training workshop to fill your specific knowledge gaps, presented by our experts who have decades of experience with everything from gas flow distribution problems to short fabric filter bag life to ash resistivity issues. These training sessions can be held at your facility or at our headquarters in Willoughby, Ohio. 

Learn more about custom training options