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Condenser Monitoring System CMS


The CMS is a sophisticated, first-class measuring technology in modular design. The patented system not only serves for monitoring the ball recirculation and ball effectiveness for the tube cleaning system, but is also able to determine the cooling water velocity and flow, as well as the heat transfer coefficient (k-value), even of individual cooling tubes, quickly and accurately. The operator is therefore, for the first time, provided with an early warning on-line system that signals changes in condenser performance. By the TAPROGGE System the operator has the tool to exert an influence on the performance.


With the integral measuring technology that is generally installed in power stations, the condenser – even today – is still a "black box". It's particularly the complexity of the measuring tasks in condensers, and tolerance-related inaccuracies, that impair the performance of integral measurement in obtaining quick, precise and error-tracking information. Yet these are required to perform efficiency-increasing condenser operation – effectively and over the long term. The CMS condenser monitoring system solves these problems in an innovative way: it does not work integrally but locates the measuring task directly at the place of events, namely at the cooling tube itself. As a result, the measuring accuracy and speed are significantly improved, and the quality of statements on the changes in individual condenser areas is upgraded.

Design and Operational Characteristics

CMS temperature measurement module and CMS control panel
CMS temperature measurement module and CMS control panel

The CMS is designed as a modular measuring system. The system is based upon specially developed and patented temperature probes that allow extremely accurate and quick temperature measurement at the inlet and outlet of individual cooling tubes. The temperature curves recorded by the measuring probes are transmitted to the CMS control panel where they are evaluated, saved, and documented as chart and graph, by means of the special TAPROGGE Softcare® package. All data can be accessed locally or remotely.

Module 1: Monitoring of ball recirculation and effectiveness (BROM)

Once a cleaning ball passes the temperature probe at the tube outlet, a characteristical temperature curve is generated by which not only a ball passage (recirculation measurement) but also the effectiveness of the passing ball can be determined. Changes in the ball effectiveness and perturbations in the ball recirculation can be identified as quickly as possible.

signal ball passage

Module 2: Monitoring of cooling water velocity (BEM)

This module effects precise measurement of the cooling water velocity at selected, individual tubes in an innovative way. For this purpose the passage time of a temperature variation through the tube is determined by means of temperature probes at the cooling water inlet and outlet, and the cooling water velocity calculated by forming the relevant cross correlation function.

The measuring result allows statements on possible tube blockages and the evenness of distribution of the cooling water flow over single condenser passes or condenser areas. The measuring result allows the immediate determination of the cooling water volume flow for later calculations of the k-value.

ball effectiveness and cleaning frequency

Module 3: Monitoring of heat transfer coefficient (k-value)

For the calculation of the k-value of individual tubes, the cooling water inlet and outlet temperatures of the relevant tube, the local steam temperature and the cooling water velocity are required. CMS fulfills the measuring task with only 3 temperature probes, that means with one probe in the cooling water inlet, one in the outlet of the selected tube, and a further one in a plugged neighbouring tube, i.e. ideally positioned for measuring the steam temperature. The cooling water temperature and thereby also the cooling water flow are made available without further measuring technology, as described in Module 2.

Using this concept CMS generates measuring values with extremely tight tolerances which is of central importance for the subsequent calculation of the k-value. From the measuring data TAPROGGE Softcare® calculates the k-value of selected tubes, as well as the corrected k-value that can be compared with the nominal value. In this way, the TAPROGGE System provides an effective tool to accurately optimise the condenser performance.

temperature of cooling water in- and outlet
cooling water velocity