In waste to energy plants and certain genre of cogeneration plants, it is mandatory to condense the steam from the boiler or HRSG in a separate bypass condenser when the steam turbine is out of service. The steam from the boiler or HRSG is attemperated in a pressure reducing desuperheating valve and then condensed in a bypass condenser. To avoid flashing of condensate in downstream piping it is customary to subcool the condensate in the bypass condenser. Circulating water from the steam surface condenser is used to condense the steam in the bypass condenser.

Some of the challenges involved in the design of the bypass condenser are:

• High shellside design pressure and temperature

• Condensate subcooling

• Large circulating water (tubeside) flow rate

• Relatively low circulating water (tubeside) inlet temperature

• Large Log Mean Temperature Difference (LMTD)

• Large shell diameters

• Small tube lengths

The diverse requirements complicate the mechanical and thermal design of the bypass condenser. This paper highlights the complexities in the design and performance of the bypass condenser. Similarities with the design and operation of steam surface condensers and feedwater heater are reviewed. The uniqueness of the bypass condenser’s design and operation are discussed and appropriate solutions to ensure proper performance are suggested.

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