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In general the heat absorbing parts subject to internal pressure in a boiler will be called as pressure parts. The main pressure parts in a boiler will be as


Drums, Water walls, Super heaters, Re heaters, Economisers and valves & fittings. The Drum, Down comers, water wall headers and water walls will form the circulation system and cover the furnace zone. The drum provides the necessary space for locating the steam separating equipments for separation of steam from mixture of steam and water.

It also serves as a reservoir for the supply of water to circulation system to avoid possible starvation during operation. Super heaters are used to raise the steam temperature above the saturation temperature by absorbing heat from flue gas to increase the cycle efficiency. For utility boilers which are meant for power generation, the super heater outlet temperature is limited to 540 ± 5°C due to metallurgical considerations. Re heaters are used to raise the steam temperature to the same super heater temperature but at a lower pressure since steam flow through re heater takes place after HP stage turbine. Economisers are used to absorb heat from the flue gases and add this as sensible heat to the feed water before water enters the evaporation circuit of the boiler.


The Fig.1 shows the arrangement of pressure parts in a boiler. The circuit arrangement is normally classified as water circuit and steam circuit.


Feed water is supplied to the economiser inlet header via feed stop and check valves. The feed water flow is upward through the economiser coils that is counter flow to the hot flue gases. After feed water is collected by economiser intermediate headers it passes through Economiser hanger tubes to reach top Economiser outlet header. The water from Economiser outlet header will go to drum through Economiser connecting links to drum.

Water from Drum comes to bottom water wall ring header through vertical down comers. From Ring headers it will rise through front, side and rear water wall panels and absorb radiant heat and the resulting mixture of water and steam will reach top water wall headers above roof. The mixture will be discharged into Drum by riser pipes. Steam will be separated from the mixture inside the drum by drum internals. STEAM CIRCUIT:

The saturated steam which is separated from water steam mixture by drum internals will reach SH Radiant Roof inlet header SHH1 through SH connecting pipes. After steam passes through radiant roof tubes it will reach outlet header SHH2.

The steam from SHH2 comes to SHH3 (left and right side wall inlet headers) in the second pass. Fin welded panels on either side of second pass will bring the steam to SH side outlet header SHH4. Steam from SHH4 will reach SH front inlet header SHH5 via elbow connections and it will raise up through Front Panels. These panels will be in the form of loose tubes at the corner near SH Final coils and they are called SH Hanger tubes connected to SH Rear Junction Header SHH 7. Steam also will pass through supply pipes from SHH 5 to extended side wall inlet header SHH6. The panels from SHH6 cover the bottom and side portions of extended from either side of SHH 14 region and connected to separate header at top on either side (extended side wall outlet headers) SHH

The steam from these headers reach SHH7 through connecting pipes and further flow will be through fin welded panels covering the rear roof and rear wall to LTSH Inlet Header SHH9. A portion of steam which enters SH 2 nd Pass Side Wall Inlet Headers SHH3 will reach SH Side wall Outlet Header Rear SHH 4A. The steam from SHH 4A on either side enters SH Back pass Rear wall Inlet Header SHH8 through elbows and goes up to SHH9 covering the lower portion of rear wall. The steam from SHH9 passes through (LTSH/Horizontal) super heater lower and upper banks and will come to SHH 10 (LTSH Outlet Header) by SH terminal tubes.

De super heater links are connected between SHH 10 and SHH 11 (SH Platen Inlet Header) at quarter points where DESH are placed. Then steam from SHH 11 will pass through SH platen coil assemblies and reach SHH 12 (SH Platen Outlet header). Two Links which are connected between SHH 12 and vertical spaced SH (Final SH) inlet header SHH 13 will allow the steam to pass through Final SH assemblies to reach SHH 14 (SH Vertical spaced or main steam outlet header). The main steam line will further carry the steam to HP turbine from either side of SHH14. Steam after HP turbine enters Reheater through cold reheat lines and the Reheated steam reaches the next stage/IP turbine Via Hot reheat lines connected on either side of Reheater outlet header.



The circulation system of water through the furnace water wall is due to either natural circulation or controlled circulation. Natural circulation boilers employ the effect of density differences between water and steam to produce circulation.

This density differences together with the height of the boiler constitutes a head which overcomes the losses occurring in the circuit and makes circulation possible. In controlled circulation boilers this density difference is augmented by a pump output energy to ensure positive circulation through the water wall tubes.

The circulation system for a natural circulation boiler comprises of the Drum, Downcomers, Furnace walls and connecting pipes at the top of the boiler furnace.


The boiler drum serves three main functions:

To provide the necessary space

for separation of

steam from mixture of steam and water.

To provide the required space for the separated steam till it leaves the drum as purified steam.

To house the equipment needed for purification of steam after separation from the mixture of steam and water.


starvation of tubes during operation.








The Drum size is determined to meet all the above requirements. Drum diameter and length should be sufficient to provide accessibility for installation and inspection. The drum is checked for stresses induced due to self weight and external loads.


DRUM DRUM INTERNALS: INTERNALS: The following are the functions of Drum Internals. Separation of water from

The following are the functions of Drum Internals.

Separation of water from steam water mixture.

Removal of water bubbles from water volume of boiler from entering downcomer.

Mixing and distributing the feed water.

Adding chemicals.

Facilitating blow down.


While dismantling the drum internals during overhaul, marks may be made to ensure same assembly goes back to the same place.

Check that there are no obstructions in safety valve nozzles, nozzles, water gauge nozzles etc.

The steam water mixture that enters the separating chamber from the riser tubes should not leak.

The welds at the joints of the separating chamber should be complete the leak proof.

Tightness of separating chamber may be ensured by torch test.

All corrugated sheets of secondary separators and final screen dryers should be free from foreign material.

The vertically of the turbo separator should be ensured during re-fixing.

The final dryer boxes are to be fixed with each other without any gap.

All bolted / screwed connections are to be tight.

After the fit up drum internals is over the inside of the drum should be thoroughly cleaned and free from foreign materials.


FURNACE FURNACE W W A A LLS: LLS: (Fig.4) Normally for boiler furnace enclosures membrane wall

(Fig.4) Normally for boiler furnace enclosures membrane wall construction is adopted. They are called fusion welded panels in which a number of tubes are joined together by a process of fusion welding. The fusion welded panels have been built with tube sizes from 31.8 mm OD to 63.5 mm OD and the panels are made in width on length is because of transportation.

The fusion welded wall construction offers many advantages, over tangent tube construction.

Pressurised furnace is possible with the related advantages of (a) increase in efficiency (b) better load response with similar combustion control (c) quicker starting and stopping (d) Forced draft fan handle less air.

Heat transfer is better.

Erection is made easy and quick.

Gas tight enclosure.

Less insulation weight.

Presently, the membrane walls are also made from fin welded panels using PEMAMEK fin welding machine. All the above advantages are applicable to this PEMAMEK made fin welded panels also.


SUPERHEATER SUPERHEATER AND AND REHEATER: REHEATER: These heating surfaces are in the form of coils which

These heating surfaces are in the form of coils which are made by bending the tubes in cold or hot condition. The superheater is composed of four basic sections.

The platen section is located directly above the furnace in front of the furnace arch (Fig.5a). It absorbs heat mainly by radiation. The pendant spaced section is located in back of the screen wall tubes (Fig.5b). The mode of heat transfer is convection.

The horizontal section of the superheater is located in the rear gas pass above economiser. The steam cooled wall sections form the side, front and rear walls and roof of the vertical gas pass. The combination of convective and radiant superheater is generally used in all boilers to give flat superheat curves over wide ranges in load.

The fundamental considerations governing superheater design apply also to reheater design. The reheater is composed of single stage but two parts for ease of manufacture and erection (front & rear pendant vertical spaced section) (Fig.5c). The rear pendant vertical spaced section is located above the furnace arch between water wall screen and rear wall hanger tubes. The front pendant vertical spaced section located between the rear water wall hanger tubes and the superheater platen section. The outside diameter of reheater tubes will be larger than that of superheater tubes as more volume is to flow through reheaters, operating at low pressures.


Spacer are used to maintain pitches along and across coil assemblies. The type of spacers generally used are transverse spacers and alignment ties. Fluid cooled spacers or mechanical spacer bar are used as transverse spacers. Alignment ties are used to maintain pitch between tubes in the same assembly. Flexible connector and alignment band are used as alignment ties. Flexible connectors in combination with fluid cooled spacers are used and mechanical spacer bars in combination with alignment band are used. The spacers are all made of stainless steel



The vertical superheaters or reheaters are suspended from the ceiling and horizontal coils are supported by hanger tubes. In pendant SH or RH assemblies the tie lugs are welded in between tubes at the top row to transfer the load from centre to end terminals. The horizontal superheaters are supported by economiser hanger tubes through strap supports as shown in Fig. 7. The pendant superheaters and reheaters are separately suspended by high crown supports. As shown in Fig.8 the high crown plates are welded on either side of seal band and the load is transferred through end bar. The headers will be independently supported from the ceiling through tie rod assemblies with or without variable spring hangers as the case may be.



Basically, the following rules are to be followed:-



Make sure the horizontal superheater sections and steam cooled walls are completely drained by opening the inlet and outlet header drains and link vents before lighting off. Close the inlet header drains down to a slightly cracked position after draining. Close the link vents when they beginning to steam. Close the inlet header drains immediately after rolling the turbine. The superheater pendant outlet header and main steam line vents and drains serve as starting drains and are kept open until the turbine is under light load.

These drain valves may be throttled as drum pressure increases providing sufficient steam flow through the superheater is assured at all times. The link vents should be kept open until all air has been expelled from the superheater. These vents are normally kept open until the drum pressure has reached approximately 2 ata (g).



All reheater drains and vents are opened before lighting off. The vents and drains to the atmosphere must be closed prior to raising a vacuum in the condenser. Drains connecting with the condenser may be left open until the boiler is under light load.



It is essential that suitable arrangements are made to assure cleanliness of the external and internal surfaces of the superheater and reheater at all times. Fly ash and / or slag accumulations result in unequal gas distribution inefficient heat transfer and possible localised overheating.

Suitably located soot blowers operated in the proper cycle, normally provide adequate means of keeping external surfaces clean during operation. The external surfaces of superheater and reheater should be inspected regularly for cleanliness. Slagging must be kept to a minimum by proper use of soot blowers. Extreme build ups must be removed immediately.

Proper feed water treatment and control of steam quality and carry over are essential to assure cleanliness of interior surfaces of superheaters. Over loads, fluctuating load, high water level, high concentrations, etc. all contribute to deposits on interior surfaces. Accumulation of these deposits inside the tube will lead to unit failures. Periodic checks of steam pressure drops across the superheater and reheater under identical load conditions usually indicate whether or not solid deposits are present within the elements. The manufacturer may be consulted for repair procedures and proper means to prevent recurrence.



Desuperheating is one of the methods of steam temperature control. Desuperheaters are provided in the superheater connecting links and the cold reheat line to permit reduction of steam temperature when necessary and to maintain the temperatures at design values within the limits of nozzle capacity. Temperature reduction is accomplished by injecting spray water into the path of steam in the form of a fine spray. The water getting itself vaporised, absorbs heat from steam thereby reducing its temperature. The spray water source is from the boiler feed water system. It is essential that the spray water be chemically pure and free of suspended and dissolved solids. The desuperheaters used in the reheater system is meant for emergency condition. The reheat steam temperature is controlled mainly by tilting burners.

The desuperheater consists of a spray tube, liner and fixing screws (Fig.9). The spray tube is perforated with holes, the diameter and number of which are determined based on the maximum quantity of injected water. The holes always should face the downstream of steam flow. In the case of reheater desuperheater which receives water for injection from after feed pump, the spray tube is of special design called spray nozzle (Fig.10). The spray nozzle is of sturdy construction to handle a large pressure drop as high as 50 to 60 atmospheres. The liner is a thin cylinder, open at both ends, kept concentric to the outer shell by means of positioning screws. The liner prevents water particles sprayed from getting in contact with shell, before getting vaporised thereby avoid thermal erosion in the desuperheater shell. The liner only can be replaced if found to be pitted during any annual overhaul of the boiler.



The purpose of the economizer is to preheat the boiler feed water before it is introduced in to the steam drum, and to recover some of the heat from the flue gases leaving the boiler. The economizer is located in rear gas pass below the horizontal superheater. They are kept as the last heat absorbing surface of all pressure parts. Each section is composed of a number of parallel tube circuits.

Economisers are designed either as plain tube or finned tube (Fig.11) Finned tube has the extended surface in the form of fins. The fins can either be continuous flat or spiral fins. Flat fins are used for coal fired units whereas spiral finned economizer is used only for oil or gas fired units as in coal fired units ash may settled in the gap of spiral fins which will foul the surface and rupture the tubes. The spiral finned economizer will be the most compact of all types.



For the supports of plain tube economizers ladder type/panto type of supports are used as shown in fig.12. In ladder type support, plain strips are placed on either side of Eco. Coil and are connected with support clips over which Eco. Tubes will be resting.

For panto type supports scalloped plates are put in between coil assembly’s and eco tubes rest on the scalloped portions.



Before starting up the boiler, economizer should be inspected and cleared of foreign materials. All access doors should be bolted tightly. Always use deaerated water for boiler feeding. This is essential to keep down the inside corrosion of pressure parts including economizer. Feed water temperature must also be maintained at the highest level possible either with the help of feed water heaters or heating the water in the tank. Low temperature of feed water will result in external corrosion of economizers. The eco. Circulation system if provided should be kept in service when there is fire in the boiler with no feed flow.

Frequency with which soot blowers are used depends entirely on local conditions. Observation of the increase in draft loss between blowing will determine the frequency. In many cases it has been found that blowing once a day or less is sufficient. An economizer tube leak can be detected by sound or increased make up water requirements. The leak should be investigated at the earliest possible time and the unit to be shut down in a normal manner. Water leaks in the economizer can cause considerable erosion damage to adjacent tubes.


Water washing can be done to remove bonded deposit and fouling at in a accessible locations as off- load cleaning. Even though on load cleaning is sufficiently effective. It is usual to water wash economizer during each annual overhauls. Any exposed insulation should be kept in good condition at all times. It is recommended that during every long maintenance shut downs, the economizer tube outside erosion is checked up visually as well as with a micrometer measurement at the top tube facing the flue gas flow. Ultrasonic method of measuring the thickness reduction due to coal ash erosion is also recommended.


Oxidation resistance, maximum allowable stress and economics determine the choice of materials for pressure parts. The use of carbon steel is extended as far as these considerations permit. Beyond this point carefully selected alloy steels are used. The boiler drum can be made of alloy steel or carbon steel plates. The steel should have a carbon content less than 0.3%. Some of the materials used for Drum are


Comparing carbon steel and alloy steel as material for drum the carbon steel will cost less per ton of material but the overall weight of drum will be higher because of increased thickness. Hence there may be additional material handling cost in case of carbon steel drums.

However, the fabrication and welding of carbon steel plates presents little difficulties. Hence this factor tilts the scale infavour of carbon steel plates.

The majority of superheaters and reheaters are made of low alloy steel. The steels commonly used for this application are shown in table. Higher chromium content increases the resistance to scaling or oxidation. Stainless steels are also used to a limited extent wherever the skin temperatures of superheaters or reheaters are very high. In utility boilers the lowest portion of wrapper tube of SH platen/RH coils which is exposed to flame directly is made of stainless steel. Stabilised stainless steel has Niobium, Titanium, Columbium, and Tantulam, etc. added in traces to the steel which prevents carbide precipitation along the grain boundaries.


Major areas of activities covered in this section.





Trim piping are various lines made out of pressure parts around boiler for both intermittent operations like drain, vent, start up (or) continuous operations like spray system etc. Function wise these piping can be mainly categorized as


Scheme of water and steam circuit with valves, fittings and instrumentation clearly shows the various systems to be provided in a boiler with applicable valves and fittings and instrumentation.


All pressure parts must be drainable when not in operation except some complicated assemblies like platen coils etc. So two major drain systems one for water side and another for steam side is provided. The drain lines may join in a header if no. of lines are more and one big line from header will be routed to intermittent blow down tank. (or) if no. of lines are less they may be directly routed to IBDT. The drain system is adequately sized to drain the whole boiler with in specified time which is normally 60 minutes.


When the boiler is fitted with water either for Hydro test or for light up, air inside must be driven out other wise air lock will occur which will result in hammering effect. So at all high points where water simultaneously gets filled up, separate vents are provided to vent the air out. These same lines are used for Nitrogen blanketing also during acid cleaning to prevent rust formation. For this a tee off connection is provided in the air vent.


When boiler is warming up initially the turbine will be matched only a specified temperature and pressure. Till such time the steam produced will be let out to atmosphere. For this purpose, start up vent is required. It’s other purpose is for safety valve floating, that is to check the safety valve set pressure. This system includes start up line, regulating and isolating valves, diffuser and silencer, to abate noise.


The boiler is designed for particular flow, pressure and temperature. Flow will change with load but pressure and temperature are maintained constant in the specified range of operation say 60-100% MCR. The temperature is important factor because wide variation in temperature is detrimental to turbine operation. So temperature is maintained with in ± 5° C at all loads between 60 - 100% MCR. When heat absorbing surfaces are designed for 100% MCR at various loads with varied flow of medium heat pickup cannot be controlled with firing alone.

Also it cannot cope up with sudden load change. So spray system which uses feed water for quenching temperature. In RH, tilting of burner is enough and only in emergency condition spray is required. The system consists of spray control station where a pneumatically operated control valve regulates the spray quantity according to signal got from SH outlet temperature. The signal is corrected for burner tilt position for precise control. In SH, the DESH is one stage before final super heater to prevent water carry over to turbine.


In drum where steam is separated from water steam mixture, concentration of salt in water increases as steam is pure without any salt. So after a certain period of continuous operation of boiler, if drum water sample shows high ppm of dissolved salts, water from the bottom portion of drum will be blown out to blow down tank through blow down valve where all pressure is dropped. This is not continuously operated because of high purity of water used nowadays.



These lines are connected to downcomer and drum respectively. They are operated during start up to control drum swelling (or) also during emergency times when drum level rises alarmingly.


Even though highly treated water is used in boiler and elaborate water treatment system is available, it is essential to monitor quality of water at various parts of the boiler. For this sampling system is given. Normally tap off pts. for sampling are


Feed water inlet to Economiser treated water only enters boiler.

- To ensure highly


Drum Water (CBD TEE OFF).


As steam evaporates, PPM of salts in water increases. To monitor that and also to know the effect of chemical dozing done in drum it is useful.


Saturated Steam Sampling


Totally five sampling tapings are given in saturated

steam pipes at equal distances. two ways.

a) To monitor any salt carry over in steam

They are useful in

b) To know the efficiency of different section of cyclone separators.


Superheated steam sampling


To ensure that quality steam enters turbine.


Similar samplings can be done for R.H. inlet and outlet also.

8) Sampling system consists of sampling probe, sampling lines, sample coolers. Material used is stainless steel to ensure true sampling.



fittings for safe operation of boiler and

monitoring are called mountings. these are mandatory in nature.





Some of

i) Safety valves

ii) Water level gauges.


It is mandatory requirement as per all codes. Boiler should have adequate self actuating safety valves which will relieve at least 100% of its maximum generating capacity. The following are the types of safety valves:

i) Spring loaded S.Valves.


Spring loaded Safety Valves are self actuating type which are kept close by compressed spring which opens on reaching its set pressure. Relieving capacity at 80% drum and Minimum 20% rel. capacity at Superheater. Superheater is lowest set to prevent starvation.



First Safety valve is set at Design Pressure of the Drum. 2 nd safety valve is set at 2% high and 3 rd at 3% higher.

Any Safety Valve set pressure should not exceed 3% of design pressure. Staggered setting done to prevent all Safety Valves opening at same time. The operating pressure of drum should be less than 95% of design pressure as safety valves will sit tightly only up to 95% of set pressure. If operating pressure is more than that, the spring force is more or less neutralized and leakage may occur.








operated safety valve and is not approved by codes as it will fail to operate on power failure.

Spring loaded Safety Valves need more maintenance once it pops up and should be prevented from blowing as far as possible.

In case of E.R.V. due to its construction, steam acts both below and above seat in addition to spring which ensures extra tightness. So it is the lowest set Safety Valve which will open first and relieve pressure. Only when it cannot cope with the situation Spring loaded safety valves will open. So E.R.V. reduces maintenance burden of spring loaded safety valves. This is actuated automatically when operating pressure increases the set pressure (or) also can be opened by pushing a bottom from Unit Control Board when ever found necessary.


Water level measurement in drum is very important because:

i) if level decreases beyond a limit starvation will occur.

ii) excess water carry over and salt carry over will occur.

Different type of level measurement available are:

i) Direct water level gauge (DWLG).

ii) Remote water level indicator (RWLI).

iii) Electronic water level indicator (EWLI)


These are mandatory as per code. For low pressure application flat gauge glasses are used in which we can see water level directly. In case of high pressure application bi-colour port gauges are used in which instead of continuous column, ports are provided. In a typical gauge, 7 ports are available. For easy identification of water and steam, water level is shown in green colour and steam level in red colour by the use of colour strips. Due to different Refractive Index of water and steam, the transmitted colour is either green or red. Two numbers are used on either side of the drum.


As temperature of water in gauge is less due to heat loss density differs from that of water in drum and this results in erroneous level indication.


These are used to show drum level at operating floor. Though periscopic duct, fibre optic devices can be used to see DWLG reading at operating floor. Remote water level indicator is more rigid and clear indication on scale is possible. Two R.W.L.I. are connected on either side of drum. With secondary indicator, it is possible to have reading in UCB also.


water level

measurement is Electronic Water Level Indicator which uses a different principle of detecting water level. Resistivity of water is 100 times less that that of steam.





A pressure vessel is used to simulate water and steam level in drum and number of electrodes are inserted at equal intervals. The resistivity between vessel and electrodes is measured and the signals are processed in a Printed Circuit Board circuit which gives out as lamp indication. With some addition we can have alarm and trip facility also with EWLI. The indication can be had at UCB (or) drum operating floor. Recently BHEL has developed an indigenous version of EWLI as Bhelvision 10/20.

Apart from these, instruments for measurement of flow, pressure and temperature are also installed in appropriate equipments.


The pressure parts of any boiler are to be designed to meet the regulations of the boiler code, in force in every country. It is a statutory obligation to comply with the provisions of the boiler code in every aspect in the design, manufacture, inspection and erection of boilers. The materials for the pressure parts should be selected and procured incompliance with the code regulations.

There are different codes used for the boiler design viz. IBR, ASME Section I, DIN, BS & JIS. Generally all indigenous boilers are designed to IBR code. The fabrication and inspection of pressure parts should be as per IBR which specifies the weld end preparations, heat treatment, destructive and non- destructive testing during manufacture and erection. The designs should be approved by the Chief Inspector of Boilers. The formula to arrive at the thickness of shell or header and tube is given below as per IBR.

There are different codes used for the boiler design viz. IBR, ASME Section I, DIN, BS & JIS. Generally all indigenous boilers are designed to IBR code. The fabrication and inspection of pressure parts should be as per IBR which specifies the weld end preparations, heat treatment, destructive and non- destructive testing during manufacture and erection. The designs should be approved by the Chief Inspector of Boilers. The formula to arrive at the thickness of shell or header and tube is given below as per IBR.

Thickness calculation for shells/headers:-

t =


100 f z


0.5 P

+ 0.75 mm

Thickness for tubes

t =



200 f + P


t = Calculation thickness in mm


= Calculation pressure Kg/cm 2 (g)


= Ligament efficiency

f = Maximum allowable stress for the material at

Apart from the above, the maximum permissible openings, Reinforcement calculations wherever required, end cover calculations are also submitted for approval by Statutory Authorities along with relevant drawings and on his approval they become documents for production.