ECOMax-HE® patent pending Automatic Tube Cleaning System is an online solution to mitigate the fouling problem in the shell and tube heat exchangers.

It keeps inner walls of condenser tubes always clean by using cleaning sponge balls. It operates periodically at pre-defined intervals automatically.

ECOMax-HE® Automatic Tube Cleaning System is maintenance free and designed to have long life & trouble free operation.

There are periodic injection and collections cycles for the sponge balls.

Injection Cycle

The injection control valve opens and injection pump starts. Injection pump takes water from the Cooling Water inlet pipe and boosts the pressure in the Ball Collector (BC), where the cleaning sponge balls are resting. As soon as the pressure in the ball collector is boosted, the sponge balls are injected almost simultaneously at the heat exchanger tube sheet with the help of injection pump thereby giving effective spread to the sponge balls in various tubes, the sponge balls would pass through the tubes and clean the fouling /scales/deposits inside the tubes. Once the sponge balls come out of the heat exchanger tubes they are collected at ball trap & wait for the collection cycle.

Collection Cycle

In the collection cycle, collection control valve opens and collection pump starts. Collection pump takes water along with the sponge balls from the Ball Trap, the sponge balls are arrested by the Ball Collector on the way back & water is sent into the Cooling Water outlet pipe. The entire process is a batch operation, automatically controlled by PLC and occurs periodically few times in an hour. These pumps run hardly for 1-2 minutes for injection and collection of sponge balls in each cycle.

Patent pending ECOMax-HE® Automatic Tube Cleaning System has variety of salient features and offers wide range of benefit:

Salient Features

  • Fully automatic, no manual intervention required
  • Cleaning is done on continuous basis online
  • Zero ball loss system, no balls can escape to cooling tower
  • Ensures 100% clean tubes
  • Single System for Multiple Chillers even if the Chiller capacity is different
  • Automatically operates a cleaning cycle on the running chiller
  • User Friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Touch screen Multi Color HMI
  • Indicates number of cleaning cycles on individual chiller
  • No water wastage from the system
  • No mixing of CW inlet and CW Outlet Water during operation
  • Minimal pressure drop in the Ball Trap
  • Negligible power consumption by the booster pumps
  • Highly reliable as the system has less no. of control valves
  • Cleaning Sponge Balls would never be in contact with pump impeller
  • Compact, smaller foot print
  • While venting air from Ball Collector, sponge balls can’t escape from Ball Collector
  • Sight glass on the ball collector facilitates easy counting & monitoring of sponge balls
  • No plant shut down for system installation
  • Flexibility of operation of CW Pumps in case of multiple chillers in the plant room
  • Simultaneous injection cycle in one chiller and collection cycle in another chiller is possible
  • Green Technology


  • Results in up to 20% energy saving in HVAC chillers
  • Results in up to 5% increase in power output in case of Power Plants
  • Increases cooling capacity of HVAC Chillers
  • Improves Condenser tube life
  • Improves Compressor Life
  • Avoids costly shutdown and downtime
  • Eliminates offline cleaning completely
  • Avoids harmful chemicals that are used for descaling
  • Reduces Carbon Foot Print
  • Cost effective technology and offers very attractive ROI, usually less than 1 year

Fouling is a universal problem in shell & tube heat exchanger. It is basically the accumulation of unwanted material on solid surfaces to the detriment of function. Fouling can be in the form of Scaling, Biological deposits/ Bio-filming, Slime which affects the heat transfer & poor heat exchanger performance.

Common types of fouling

Scaling/Chemical Fouling:

The cooling water contains salts of calcium & magnesium. At elevated temperature salts of calcium & magnesium tend to precipitate & deposit on the heat exchanger surfaces. The chemical changes within the fluid cause a fouling layer to be deposited onto the tube surface. A common example of this phenomenon is scaling in a kettle or boiler caused by "hardness" salts depositing onto the heating elements as the solubility of the salts reduce with increasing temperature.

Mg(HCO3)2+ Heat = MgCO3 (Deposit) + CO2 + H2O

Ca(HCO3)2 + Heat = CaCO3 (Deposit) + CO2 + H2O

This type of fouling needs to be removed by chemical and mechanical means.

Biological Fouling:

Bio-fouling is organic debris that adheres to inside diameter of tube surface or blocks the intake flow at the tube sheet. This is caused by the growth of organisms within the fluid which deposit out onto the surfaces of the heat exchanger. When this type of fouling occurs it is normally removed by either chemical treatment or mechanical brushing processes.

Deposition Fouling:

This is when particles contained within the fluid settle out onto the surface when the fluid velocity falls below a critical level. Although the water quality is maintained because of the dusty surrounding in the industries, deposition fouling problem elevates. When this type of fouling occurs it is normally removed by mechanical brushing processes.

Corrosion Fouling:

This is when a layer of corrosion products build up on the surfaces of the tube forming an extra layer of, usually, high thermal resistance material.

Effect of Scaling on HVAC Chillers

Effect of Scaling on Power Plant Condensers

One of the major causes of lower vacuum is fouling inside the condenser tubes. Although treated water is used in the cooling towers because of the dusty atmosphere in the coal fired power plants, fouling of condenser tube is inevitable Fouling of the condenser tubes in the power plants cost the owners/operators millions of Rupees. Following graphs show the effect of lower vacuum on steam turbine efficiency & steam consumption in the turbines:

Improvement in exhaust vacuum by 10 mm Hg:

  • Reduces the steam consumption in the turbine by 1.1%
  • Results in improvement in turbine efficiency, improvement varies from 0.24 to 0.4%

ECOMax-HE® finds its use in Shell & Tube Heat exchangers of wide range of industrial applications:

  • HVAC – Condensers of Water Cooled Chillers
  • HVAC – Evaporators of Water Cooled Chillers
  • Industrial Refrigeration – Condensers of Water Cooled Chillers
  • Industrial Refrigeration – Oil Coolers
  • Power Plant- Turbine Condensers
  • Power Plant- Turbine Oil Coolers
  • Process- Solvent Recovery Plants
  • Process- Reactors
  • Process- Evaporatovrs
  • Process- Refineries

In order to ask for the preliminary pricing information, please drop us an email with following basic information:

  1. - Application
  2. - Capacity of HVAC chiller
  3. - Condenser / Heat Exchanger Pipe or Nozzle diameter
  4. - No. of passes
  5. - No. of condensers/heat exchangers in the vicinity


  • AAI
  • Aditya Birla Group
  • Alembic
  • Blue star
  • Cipla
  • CPWD
  • Daikin
  • delta
  • drl
  • Emcure
  • Granules
  • GSK
  • IDBI
  • Indian Bank
  • Infosys
  • Kirloskar
  • lilavati hospital
  • LnT
  • Lupin Pharma
  • Mylan
  • nocil
  • PG
  • Sandoz
  • SBI Bank
  • Shoppers Stop
  • Taj Chennai
  • Technova
  • The Oberoi Group
  • Trident
  • Vestas
  • Vivanta by Taj
  • Voltas
  • Zydus takeda
  • Zydus