Located just north of Los Angeles, there is a Detention Center with a Cogeneration Power Plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant operated by Los Angeles County. The Wastewater Treatment plant has a 40 foot tall Brine Concentrator used to recover the wastewater as distillate for process use by the facility.

The Brine Concentrator process is extremely efficient and the distilled water produced is much cleaner than the water available from the tap. The process is very corrosive and the original 316 stainless steel shell needed constant repair work to keep the unit operational. The Chief Engineer at the plant contacted a manufacturer to supply a new unit, which was going to cost the County approximately $4 million. This was well beyond their already strapped budget, and they were told that the existing Brine Concentrator could not be repaired.

The Chief Engineer contacted Heat Transfer Solutions to solve the problem. According to the HTS engineers, selecting the right metal was critical to the longevity of the repair. They recommended removing the 316 stainless steel outer shell and replacing it with AL-6XN, a super-austenitic stainless steel which is highly resistant to chloride stress cracking and pitting.

Heat Transfer Solutions was then brought in to perform around the clock cutting of the old shell and welding of the new shell during a 2-week shutdown period.This was especially difficult considering the less than one inch proximity of the paper-thin titanium tubes to the outer shell, plus the uncharacteristically heavy rainfall (nearly four inches!) during the repair.

Despite numerous challenges, Heat Transfer Solutions completed the project on-time and on-budget, saving Los Angeles County over 50% of the cost of a new Brine Concentrator. In the words of the Chief Engineer, “Heat Transfer Solutions performed the impossible.”