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Method of sensing abnormal condition in heat exchange process and heat exchange apparatus

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Method of sensing abnormal condition in heat exchange process and heat exchange apparatus


A method of sensing an abnormal condition in a heat exchange process, capable of promptly and readily sensing leakage of a heat medium into a process fluid flow path in a process of heat exchange, is provided. The present invention is directed to a method of sensing an abnormal condition in a heat exchange process between the heat medium and the process fluid having a sensing step of sensing a gas component generated as a result of decomposition of a heat medium and/or a gas component generated as a result of contact between the heat medium and the process fluid, in a vapor phase portion in a flow path for the process fluid. The method is preferably applied in a heat exchange process where the heat medium is fused salt including nitrate and/or nitrite and the process fluid includes secondary alcohols or a dehydrated product thereof.

Browse recent Sumitomo Chemical Company, Limited patents - Tokyo, JP
Inventors: Shinobu Maruno, Isao Eto
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120291985 - Class: 165 111 (USPTO) - 11/22/12 - Class 165 
Heat Exchange > With Alarm, Indicator, Signal, Register, Recorder, Test Or Inspection Means

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120291985, Method of sensing abnormal condition in heat exchange process and heat exchange apparatus.

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TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a method of sensing an abnormal condition in a process of heat exchange between a heat medium and a process fluid and a heat exchange apparatus of which abnormal condition is sensed with the method of sensing an abnormal condition.

BACKGROUND ART

In a heat exchange process, fused salt, water, or the like is employed as a heat medium, and a temperature of a process fluid is adjusted to a prescribed temperature as a result of heat exchange between this heat medium and the process fluid. For example, fused salt which is a mixture such as sodium nitrite and potassium nitrate has such properties as (1) excellent heat conduction capability, (2) high chemical stability even at a high temperature, and (3) ease in temperature control. Therefore, fused salt has been used as a high temperature heat medium for heating or cooling various process fluids.

During the heat exchange process, a process fluid or a heat medium may leak due to corrosion or the like of a pipe and a method of sensing leakage of a fluid has been studied. For example, Japanese Patent Laying-Open No. 2003-82833 (PTL 1) has proposed a method of sensing a gas component (nitrogen oxide) generated at the time when a leaked process fluid reacts to a heat medium, in a vapor phase portion in a flow path for the heat medium.

CITATION LIST Patent Literature

PTL 1: Japanese Patent Laying-Open No. 2003-83833

SUMMARY

OF INVENTION Technical Problem

With the method described in PTL 1, however, leakage of a heat medium into a process fluid flow path cannot be sensed, and there has been a possibility of occurrence of a secondary disaster such as explosion.

It is an object of the present invention is to provide a method of sensing an abnormal condition in a heat exchange process, capable of promptly sensing leakage of a heat medium into a flow path for a process fluid. In addition, it is also an object to provide a heat exchange apparatus of which abnormal condition is sensed with such a method of sensing an abnormal condition.

Solution To Problem

The present invention provides a method of sensing an abnormal condition in a heat exchange process for heat exchange between a heat medium and a process fluid, having a sensing step of sensing a gas component generated as a result of decomposition of the heat medium and/or a gas component generated as a result of contact between the heat medium and the process fluid, in a vapor phase portion in a flow path for the process fluid. In the sensing step, leakage of a heat medium into a process fluid flow path can promptly and readily be sensed.

The method of sensing an abnormal condition according to the present invention described above is preferably used in a heat exchange process, in which the heat medium is fused salt including nitrate and/or nitrite and the process fluid contains secondary alcohols and/or a dehydrated product thereof. In this case, the gas component sensed in the sensing step includes, for example, at least one of nitrogen oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and hydrogen (H2).

The method of sensing an abnormal condition according to the present invention described above is further preferably used in a heat exchange process, in which the heat medium is fused salt including nitrate and 20 to 90 weight % of nitrite and having a melting point from 100 to 200° C. Namely, in the case where the heat medium is the fused salt including nitrite such as sodium nitrite (NaNO2), since at least one of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen is generated as a result of reaction between this heat medium and the process fluid, leakage of the process fluid can promptly be sensed by sensing this gas.

In addition, the present invention provides a heat exchange apparatus including a process fluid flow path through which a process fluid flows, a heat medium flow path through which a heat medium flows, a heat exchanger for heat exchange between the heat medium and the process fluid, and a gas sensor for sensing a gas component generated as a result of decomposition of the heat medium and/or a gas component generated as a result of contact between the heat medium and the process fluid, the gas sensor being provided in a vapor phase portion in the process fluid flow path.

It is noted that the “heat exchange process” in the present invention is a concept encompassing also a dehydration process of secondary alcohols.

Advantageous Effects of Invention

According to the method of sensing an abnormal condition in a heat exchange process or the heat exchange apparatus in the present invention, in a heat exchange process for heat exchange between a heat medium and a process fluid, leakage of a heat medium can promptly and readily be sensed by sensing a gas component generated as a result of decomposition of the heat medium and/or a gas component generated as a result of contact between the heat medium and the process fluid, in a vapor phase portion in a flow path for the process fluid.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram showing one embodiment of a heat exchange apparatus according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram showing a test apparatus used in a verification test according to the present invention.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120291985 A1
Publish Date
11/22/2012
Document #
13521951
File Date
12/28/2010
USPTO Class
165 111
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
28F27/00
Drawings
2



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