At Rochem, we believe in understanding our customers’ situations, challenges, and goals in order to provide bespoke and effective solutions. Over the 40+ years we’ve been in the industry, we’ve discovered this is the way to deliver the best and most cost-effective results.

The power plant

Rochem were asked to help at a site with two gas turbines, operating 7000 hours annually. Until they contacted us, they had been following the original directions from the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) regarding cleaning equipment and procedure but believed there was scope for improvement.

The problems

The team had identified numerous issues and challenges with the existing situation and procedures:

Offline washing

  • Took a long time (4 hours) during which an engineer had to be present at all times.
  • Complex wash procedure with 4 wash cycles and 20+ rinse cycles.
  • Due to the site’s geographic position, the air is dirtier in the summer than the arctic air that blows in over winter.
  • Offline washes have to be performed before the ambient temp. drops below 40F. Although offline washes are possible below this temp, glycol must be added to the wash solution which increases costs (300 gallons of glycol are required to wash both machines) plus the costs of its disposal post clean
  • Contaminated rinse water: the existing piping allowed for soap to be sucked into the rinse tank as the system transitioned from wash to rinse. This meant the tank needed to be decontaminated before a rinse cycle could start.
  • Excessive water consumption leading to excessive, expensive hazardous waste disposal of effluent.
  • Environmental challenges: the plant is surrounded by pine trees meaning pine pitch enters the system through the air inlet and adheres to the bellmouth, inlet guide vanes and other compressor parts.
  • Ineffective detergent: the original water-soluble detergent recommended was not the best choice for the site and ineffective at tackling the contaminants specific to the area. The water-soluble detergent was unable to effectively remove the pine pitch.

Online washing

  • Only possible when ambient temp. is 50F+ i.e. June-Oct. (during these months the compressors are washed daily).
  • Erosion: washes were restricted to 10 mins because of erosion caused by large droplets produced by the OEM spray nozzles.

The goals

The team at the power plant believed their site could perform much better and already had an idea of what they wanted to achieve. This included better spray nozzles producing smaller droplets and better coverage; better detergent, preferably ‘green’ to allow for on-site disposal of effluent rather than expensive offsite disposal; reduced waste; and an end to rinse tank contamination by modifying the equipment.


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Lid van DGTA
Dutch Gas Turbine Association

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