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M. A. Habib 1

e-mail: mahabib@kfupm.edu.sa

I. Al-Zaharnah M. El-Shafei S. A. M. Said N. Merah

Department of Mechanical Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

S. Al-Anizi M. Y. Al-Awwad M. Hajji

Department of Consulting Services, Saudi Aramco, Dhahran 31311, Saudi Arabia

Influence of Boiler Load Swing Rates on Effective Stresses of Drum Boiler Riser Tubes

In this paper, different rates of steam flow (swing rates) are used to demonstrate the transient changes in both the drum-boiler steam pressure and the wall temperature levels in addition to stresses in the walls of steam risers. A MATLAB code was written to integrate the nonlinear dynamic governing equations for solving the water volume, the drum pres- sure, and the steam quality at the exit of the riser tubes. The same code is also used for calculating the steam riser inner and outer wall temperatures based on the inner wall heat transfer coefficient. The temporal riser pipe pressure and the inner and outer pipe wall temperatures have been incorporated into an ANSYS model for calculating the effec- tive combined thermal and pressure-caused stresses numerically. The combined effective stress fluctuation for the highest swing rate (40%) is found to be too low to induce any damage in the riser tube. The controlled pressure level has been compared with an actual pressure reading from an existing drum boiler under operating conditions for the purpose of validating the control parameters employed in the study. An optimization method for reducing the steam pressure overshoot level in the boiler is also proposed. DOI: 10.1115/1.4001653

Keywords: boiler dynamics, boiler control, drum boiler, riser tube, effective stresses

1 Introduction

Steam generators that are commonly used in many industrial processes may experience rapid and dynamic changes in the steam demand. The rapid increase in steam demand results in a rapid decrease in drum pressure. The decrease in drum pressure is nor- mally met by a corresponding rise in the firing rates, thus, heat flux along the riser and downcomer tubes are increased and may result in tube overheating due to an increase in the riser wall temperature and therefore riser effective stresses. The problem impact is not only due to the cost of replacing defective parts, but also due to the frequent need of system shutdown and the possible imminent safety hazards. To avoid such a problem, limits of boiler load swing rates to control boiler firing in order to prevent tubes overheating, high pressure fluctuations, and effective stresses are to be investigated. A research in the area of boiler performance under dynamic operation includes optimization of control methods to avoid sud- den changes in thermal and mechanical stresses. It also includes research during boiler start-up and boiler swing. Dynamic simu- lation models of boilers provide a very cost effective tool to study plant transient characteristics with the aim to improve the design and control strategies to meet stringent operational requirements. The dynamic performance of boilers and steam generators has been a major subject of study, and several investigations have been conducted on controlling their performance. Maintaining ac- ceptable levels of working thermomechanical stresses in compo- nents of boilers and steam generators during start-up, shutdown, and load changing is one of the main criteria employed for opti- mizing the operational performance of boilers and steam genera- tors. Controlling the internal pressure and the associated steam

1 Corresponding author. Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the J OURNAL OF P RESSURE V ESSEL T ECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received July 27, 2009; final manuscript received April 21, 2010; published online October 20, 2010. Assoc. Editor: Hyunjae Park.

temperature change rates during the heating and cooling changes

is necessary for minimizing the developed stresses in the walls of

boiler components. Motivated by a model-based control, Astrom and Bell 1 de- veloped a nonlinear dynamic model for drum boilers. The model describes the complicated dynamics of the drum, downcomer, and riser components. The model is based on physical parameters of the plant such as the boiler configuration, the operating param- eters, and the state variables. The goal was to develop a model which captures the key dynamical properties over a wide operat- ing range. Kim and Choi 2 developed a model for water level dynamics in the drum-riser-downcomer loop of a natural circula- tion drum-type boiler. The model is based on basic conservation rules of mass, momentum, and energy, together with the constitu- ent equations. The work provides an investigation of the response of water level dynamics to changes in steam demand and/or heat- ing rate. The results were compared with those of Astrom and Bell 1 . Like the model by Astrom and Bell 1 , the assumption of metal temperature being equal to the steam saturation temperature and the linear variation of the steam quality along the riser tubes is employed. Franke et al. 3 utilized the MODELICA software for

modeling the thermofluid processes of a simple drum boiler dur- ing the start-up period. The model was based on mass and energy conservation equations together with property relations for liquid and vapor phases. The model was applied to a 70 MW coal-fired boiler, considering important components such as the furnace, economizer, superheaters, headers, spray water injection, and long pipes. A drum boiler start-up simulation program for controlled and natural circulation boilers was developed by Li et al. 4 . The model is based on the principles of mass, energy, and momentum conservations. The simulation results were compared with experi- mental measurements. On the control side, Silva et al. 5 described the application of

a predictive adaptive controller to the regulation of superheated steam temperature in a commercial boiler. The objective of the investigation was testing the use of a predictive adaptive control- ler for the regulation of superheated steam temperature in the presence of load changes. The work of Kruger et al. 6 proposed

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a quadratic programming optimization to find the optimal refer-

ence values for boiler firing rate, steam pressure, and steam tem- perature during start-up. Wang et al. 7 provided an investigation on intelligence-based hybrid control for power plant boiler. A hy- brid classical/fuzzy control methodology was presented to inte- grate low-level machine control and high-level supervision for the steam temperature process of the power plant boiler. The results showed that the steam temperature can be stably maintained whenever disturbances are large or small, and a better control performance as compared with traditional methods was achieved 7 . Gough 8 applied an advanced control of steam superheat temperature on a utility boiler. The paper described an adaptive predictive model to the control of the superheater steam tempera- ture. It was proposed to use a variable speed water pump and a control system for the pump speed to account for the varying pressure difference between water feed and drum pressure. Some research papers accommodated the working stresses of boilers in the control design and analysis of boilers and steam generators. A new control solution aiming at improving the start-up procedures of boilers and explicitly taking the thermal stress values of critical components into account has been pre- sented by Kruger et al. 6,9 . The presented boiler model has shown that it is possible to obtain boiler models using only state variables, which can be measured or only a few additional non- measurable states. An on-line optimization of drum boiler start-up was investigated by Franke et al. 3 . The cost function of the optimization model was taken to be in terms of the deviations of the steam pressure and steam flow rates from their reference val- ues, while the thermal stress was taken as an output constraint. Examples of an improved main steam temperature control and operation of a drum boiler turbine bypass system were presented by Peet and Leung 10 to demonstrate the value of dynamic capability to maintain the steam temperature deviation over wide- load ranges or during rapid load changes, which can increase the permissible rate of load change due to thermal stress limitations. Taler et al. 11 developed a new method for determining thermal stresses in boilers during start-up. They presented a new method of transient temperature field identification in the drum on the basis of measured temperature changes at locations on the outer insulated surface of the drum. The method’s accuracy was dem- onstrated by a comparison of thermal distributions obtained by FEM. An analysis of transient temperature and stress distribution

in boiler components during start-up and shutdown operations has

been presented by WJ glowski et al. 12 . The thermal stresses have been determined indirectly on the basis of measured tem- perature values taken at selected points on the outer surface of a construction element. Monitoring of boilers’ thermal and strength operation conditions allowed finding the dangerous loads on power boiler’s pressure elements during the boiler start-up and shutdown operations. From the above literature review, it can be seen that none of the authors addressed the specific problem of thermal stress variation due to swing rate in the boiler riser tubes. Most of the research works that dealt with thermal stress variations in boilers and heat- ers have done it for start-up and shutdown operations only. The

problem of the effect of different swing rates on thermal- and

pressure-caused stresses has not been explicitly addressed, nor has this stress fluctuation effect on the tube’s life studied. The objec- tive of this research paper is to analyze the combined thermal- and pressure-induced stress response of the drum boiler riser tubes due

to rates of heating load that vary under controlled conditions with

the changed rates of the steam flow rate. The nonlinear dynamic

governing equations are integrated simultaneously using MATLAB for solving the water volume, the pressure, and the steam quality

at the exit of the riser tubes. The inner and outer temperatures of

the riser tubes are calculated after solving for the heat transfer

coefficient at the inner wall of the riser tubes at different time steps. For different swing rates of steam flow, the combined stresses are computed. A FEM model has been used for calculat-

061301-2 / Vol. 132, DECEMBER 2010

Table 1 The physical and steady state boiler operational data at MCR

Drum saturation pressure kPa

4996.6

Drum saturation temperature °C

263.9

Steam mass flow kg/s

66.5

Total energy input MW

208.2

V d = volume of drum m 3

40

A d =water surface area of drum m 2

20

m d =mass of drum kg

140,000

V r =total volume of riser tubes m 3

37

D i =inner diameter of a riser tube

0.0672

D o = outer diameter of a riser tube

0.0762

m r =total mass of riser tubes kg

160,000

V dc = volume of downcomer tube m 3

11

C p = C = specific heat of metal kJ/ kg K

0.5

ing the combined effective stresses in the riser tubes. The possi- bility of damage induced by resulting temperature and stress variations is investigated. An optimized control approach is intro- duced in the study.

2 Modeling

2.1 Dynamic Model of the Drum Boilers. The boiler under

consideration here is of the water-tube natural circulation type. The operational and physical data of the drum boiler used in the study are presented in Table 1. The main components of the boiler are the steam drum, the downcomer, and the riser tubes Fig. 1 , which represent the complete water circulation loop. Most of ther- mal energy is added to the fluid while flowing in the riser tubes and thus boiling takes place. The following are the governing equations. The system consid- ered includes the drum, riser, and downcomer. The governing equations 1 consist of the conservation of mass and energy of the total system, the equations governing the phase change in the drum including the steam and water volumes inside the drum, and the rate of steam condensation and the equations for the flow circulation in the riser-downcomer loop, which describe the trans- port of mass, energy, and momentum. Thus, a set of nonlinear differential equations representing the time dependence of the state variables of the pressure P , total volume of water V wt , and

steam quality at the exit of the riser tube x can be presented in a matrix form as follows:

riser tube x can be presented in a matrix form as follows: Fig. 1 Construction of

Fig. 1 Construction of the boiler furnace: water circulation loop

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a

a

a 31 0

11

21

a 12 0

a 22 0 a

33 dP / dt

dV

wt / dt

dx

/ dt

= fw s

˙

˙

Q

Q

+ fw h fw s h s

x˙ h fg dc

The model derived parameters are given by

a 21 = V wt h w

a 11 = V wt

w P

+ V st

s P

w

h w

p + w p

a 12 = w s

+ V st h s

s

h s

p + s p

a 22 = w h w s h s

V t + m mt C p

Table 2 The thermal model constants 15

1

CO 0.65 CO 0.65

 
 

C 1 1.136 C 2 0.9 C 3 667.2 C 4 0.7

0.6683

0.2

1058

0.7

2

C 5 0.3

0.3 C 5 = 0 for vertical tubes and =0 for horizontal tubes if Fr is greater than 0.04

3

t m p

 

Re = G 1 − x D i

12

4

F k is a fluid dependent parameter =1 for water

5

Fr is the Froude number =

G 2

l 2 gD i

13

a 31 = w

h w p

xh fg

w p

1 − ¯ V r + 1 − x h fg

s

h s

p + s p

+ s + x w s h fg V r

¯

p V r + m mt C p

t m p

¯ V r

6

G = mass flux = m˙ r and D i is the pipe diameter

A

r

BO is the boiling number = q Gh fg

14

15

a 33 = 1 − x s + x w h fg V r

¯

x

7

where ¯ is the average value of the void fraction along the riser tube, V r is the volume of the riser tubes, m mt is the total mass of the system, and t m is the metal temperature. w , s and h w , h s are the density and specific enthalpy of water and steam; h fg is the specific enthalpy of evaporation h fg = h s h f .

2.2 Thermal Model. The following equations are used to cal-

culate the inside and outside wall temperatures of the riser tube:

q D o = T o T i

R

pipe

and

q D o = T o T s

R

conv

8

where q is the heat flux at the outside surface of the tubes, D o is the pipe outer diameter, T i and T o are the wall temperatures at the inner and outer walls of the tube, T s is the water saturation tem- perature, and R conv and R pipe are the resistances of the inner water film and the pipe wall per unit length. They are calculated from the following relations:

R pipe = ln D o / D i

2

K pipe

and R conv =

1

D i h

9

with K pipe as the thermal conductivity of the pipe material and h is the heat transfer coefficient of the water film inside the tube. K pipe is kept constant throughout the time domain of the solution. It should be noted that Eq. 8 is solved under steady state condi- tions. This assumption is justified by the high capacity of water in the system. For calculating the heat transfer coefficient including convec- tion evaporation and nucleate boiling terms and is expressed as 13

10

where h L is the single phase heat transfer coefficient and is calcu- lated from the Dittus–Boelter equation 14

11

where Re is the Reynolds number of the flow inside the tube and Pr is the Prandtl number for water. Pr is kept constant throughout the time domain of the solution.

Nu = 0.023 Re 0.8 Pr 0.4

h = h L c 1 CO c 2 25 Fr l c 5 + c 3 BO c 4 F k

CO = convection number = 1 x

x

0.8 w 0.5

s

16

where w is the density of liquid phase and s is the density of the vapor phase. x is the steam quality, and the constants C 1 , C 2 , C 3 , C 4 , and C 5 are given in Table 2.

2.3 Steam Pressure Control and Optimization Scheme. The boiler control system uses a three-term control strategy. The demanded heating power Q t is determined based on the devia- tion of the drum pressure P d t from the pressure set point. The control law is given by

17

E p t = P sp P d t

Q t = Q i + k qp · E p t + k qi · 0 t E p t dt + k qd · dE p t dt

where P sp is the drum pressure set point; P d t is the measured drum pressure; Q i is the initial heat flow; and k qp , k qi , and k qd are the proportional, integral, and derivative control parameters, respectively.

To maximize the swing rate, within the operation constraints, the problem is formulated as a constrained optimization problem, where an objective function is minimized with respect to the con- trol parameters and the steam demand. The objective function is the weighted sum of several performance objectives. The swing rate is taken to be the percent change in steam load over a period of 1 min. The performance objectives include the following:

• The maximum percent overshoot/undershoot of the heating power.

• The maximum percent overshoot/undershoot of the drum pressure.

• The weighted sum of the square of the difference between the drum pressure and the drum pressure set point. The weighting values are exponentially increasing with time to penalize drum pressure oscillations.

• Weighted reward value for large swing rate large steam load .

18

The performance is calculated over a period starting from the new steam load value. Several operational constraints were also imposed, including upper and lower limits of the firing rate, drum

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level and drum pressure, and maximum rate of feed water. The optimization problem is then solved using a genetic algorithm GA . A genetic algorithm is a method for solving both con- strained and unconstrained optimization problems that is based on natural selection, i.e., the process that drives biological evolution. The genetic algorithm repeatedly modifies a population of indi- vidual solutions. At each step, the genetic algorithm selects indi- viduals at random from the current population to be parents and uses them to produce the children for the next generation. Over successive generations, the population evolves toward an optimal solution 15 .

2.4 Combined Stress Problem. The finite element method

has been employed for solving the heat conduction equation to determine the temperature distribution in the riser pipe wall. Re- sulting temperature profiles are integrated numerically for finding the effective thermal stresses in the wall. Grid size independency tests have been conducted for finding the optimum number of elements and for obtaining results with maximum accuracy. The riser pipe wall was divided into SOLID98 ANSYS elements. The SOLID98 ANSYS element is a ten-node tetrahedral coupled-field solid version of the eight-node SOLID5 ANSYS element 16 . The element has a quadratic displacement behavior and is well suited to model either regular or irregular meshes. Each of the ten nodes has six degrees of freedom at each node. The effective stresses in the cylinder wall are calculated from the solved obtained tempera- ture and pressure distributions, according to the von Mises theory 17,18

where

2

effective =

+ l 2 + r 2 l + l + l r 1 / 2

= T + P

r = r T + r P

19

20

21

22

where , r , and l are the tangential, radial, and longitudinal stresses, respectively, and where T , r T , and l T are the ther- mal tangential, radial, and longitudinal stresses, respectively, and given as

l = l T + l P

=

r 2 + r i

1 − r 2 2 r i

E

2

r

o

2

r o T rdr + r r T rdr T r 2

r i

i

23

r =

r 2 r i

1 − r 2 2 r i

E

2

r

o

2

r o T rdr + r r T rdr

r

i

i

z =

1 −

E

2

r

2 r i 2 r

o

r o T rdr T

i

24

25

where E is the modulus of elasticity, is Poisson’s ratio, and is the thermal expansion coefficient of the riser tube material. The tangential, longitudinal, and radial stresses caused by pressure stresses, P , r P , and l P , are given as

r P = r r 2 o i 2 r P

2 1

i

P = r r 2 o i 2 r P

2 1

i

r o

r

2

2

+

r

r

2

o

2

26

27

28

The transient thermal stresses part of the total stresses of the riser tube are calculated based on the identified inner and outer wall temperatures of the tube using Eqs. 23 25 . The temperature

l P = 0

061301-4 / Vol. 132, DECEMBER 2010

75 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 0 3000 6000 9000 12000 15000 Steam
75
70
65
60
55
50
45
40
0
3000
6000
9000
12000
15000
Steam flow rate (kg/s)

Time (s)

Fig. 2 Steam flow rate reading of the current boiler

histories are determined at different time points from the values of heat transfer coefficients at the inner surface of the tube using Eqs. 8 and 9 . Both the tube pressure and the inner and outer wall temperatures were employed in the FEM simulation.

3 Solution Procedure

The present model solves the differential equations of pressure, quality, and total water volume. Equation 1 was solved simulta- neously using an explicit method with a time step of 1.0 s for a total time of 1500 s. The coefficients in these equations were obtained from Eqs. 2 7 . In order to integrate the differential equations of the system, a MATLAB subroutine was developed. The computed pressure and temperature values were then used to nu- merically calculate the effective von Mises stresses Eq. 19 at each time step.

4 Results and Analysis

4.1 Validation. Measurements of boiler operating conditions

were conducted for a typical Saudi Aramco boiler having the steady state conditions of drum pressure of 4480 kPa and steam

flow rate of 44.7 kg/s. The boiler having the maximum continuous

rating MCR operating conditions as shown in Table 1 is con-

nected to a gas turbine steam cogeneration unit through a pressure

header. Due to an upset in the gas turbine unit tripped gas tur- bine , the header pressure dropped. This is followed by an in- crease in the steam flow rate from other boilers including the

boiler under concern, which resulted in a pressure drop in the

steam drum of this boiler. As the drum pressure drops, the control

system responds to recover the pressure drop toward the set point value by increasing the fuel flow rate. The variations in the steam

flow rate are given in Fig. 2. As shown by the figure, the steam

flow rate increases at around 12,000 s by around 60% in almost

700 s i.e., 5.1% per minute of the operating value or around 3.4% of the MCR value. The results of the field data were used for validating the present nonlinear dynamic system under the condi- tions of a closed loop system. Thus, the steam flow rate of the field results Fig. 2 was supplied as input data for the nonlinear

dynamic model and the response of the drum pressure was calcu- lated. The results are shown in Figs. 3 and 4. Figure 3 provides the calculated and measured drum pressure, while Fig. 4 provides a close up view. The results show that the procedure provides good agreement, and the variations in the pressure are well captured by the present model, particularly in the region from 0 to around

17,000 s. The rest of the time period indicates some discrepancies. These discrepancies are attributed to the rise of the pressure set- point in the experimental side. Although this rise was taken into account in the present calculations, but the exact new value of the pressure setpoint was not known. As well, it should be noted that the small oscillations appearing in the steady state region up-

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5000 4900 Calculated Pressure 4800 Experimental data 4700 4600 4500 4400 4300 4200 4100 4000
5000
4900
Calculated Pressure
4800
Experimental data
4700
4600
4500
4400
4300
4200
4100
4000
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
Pressure, kPa

Time, s

Fig. 3 Calculated and experimental results of response of drum pressure to variations in steam flow rate

stream of 12,600 s and in the vicinity of 20,000 s are related to system noise in the experiments and therefore are not presented by the present computational procedure.

4.2 Calculated Operating Conditions and Thermal Stresses. Thermal stresses of the riser tubes were calculated at different values of swing rates in the steam flow rate exiting the boiler. The steam flow rate was increased to 40% using different schemes of 5%, 10%, 20%, and 40% per minute. These corre- spond to 3.4%, 6.7%, 13.4%, and 26.8% of the MCR value per

minute. Thus, 8 5%,

were applied. The variations in the steam flow rate corresponding to these step rises are shown in Fig. 5. The calculations include drum pressure, inner and outer wall temperature, and effective thermal stresses of the riser walls. Equation 1 was used for the calculation of drum pressure, steam quality, and riser wall tem- perature. Equation 1 was also used to calculate drum pressure and steam quality. Equation 8 was used to calculate the riser wall temperature, and Eqs. 23 25 were used to calculate the effective thermal stresses. The response of the drum pressure to the variations in the steam flow rate is shown in Fig. 6. The increase in the steam flow rate results in a pressure drop in the steam drum. As the pressure drops in the steam drum of the boiler, the control system responds to recover the pressure drop toward the set point pressure by increasing the fuel flow rate. The pres- sure oscillates around the steady state value and stabilizes at around 500 s. The figure shows that the overshooting in the drum pressure increases as the step rise in the steam flow rate increases and ranges between 130 kPa and 80 kPa around the steady state value. Figure 7 presents the inner and outer wall temperatures of the riser wall. The inner wall temperature oscillates within 3.2 K and

4 10%, 2 20%, and 1 40% step rises

5000 4900 Calculated Pressure 4800 Experimental data 4700 4600 4500 4400 4300 4200 4100 4000
5000
4900
Calculated Pressure
4800
Experimental data
4700
4600
4500
4400
4300
4200
4100
4000
kP aPressure,
65 60 step rise = 5% step rise = 10% 55 step rise = 20%
65
60
step rise = 5%
step rise = 10%
55
step rise = 20%
step rise = 40%
50
45
40
0
300
600
900
1200
1500
Steam flow rate (kg/s)

Time (s)

Fig. 5 Input schemes of steam flow rate

the outer wall temperature oscillates within 4.8 K before stabiliz- ing at the steady state value but also reflect the variations in the steam quality as it affects the heat transfer coefficient. The in- crease in temperature on the inner wall occurs at a rate of about 110 K/h, and on the outer wall, at an approximate rate of 170 K/h. The rate of change on the outer wall is comparable to that of a typical start-up operation, which was estimated at 167 K/h for the drum inlet 19 . The present temperature change occurred at the steady state temperature of 545 K, while the typical start-up oc- curred at 360 K. Furthermore, the temperature rise in this case is very low to cause any kind of thermal shock. The next question to be considered is how the different swing rates affect the stress distribution in the riser tube and the service life of this component. Figure 8 presents the effective stresses at the inner and outer surfaces of the riser wall tube. These stresses are the combined effects of the variations in the pressure and temperature across the walls. The highest values of maximum stress 53.5 MPa and stress range 6 MPa occur at the inner wall and are due to 40% step rise. The stresses due to pressure are dominant in this transi- tion zone about 80% . Even though the amplitude of the stress cycle is low, the cycling of thermal and mechanical stresses even with low amplitudes is always feared because they may cause premature fatigue failure. The effect of the present stress reversals on the fatigue life of the riser tube is examined in the following:

The stress amplitude is estimated at 3 MPa from the following:

a = max min

2

= 53.5 − 47.5

2

The mean stress m is taken here as the steady state stress of 51.5 MPa. To include the mean stress effect for asymmetric cycles,

4600 4550 4500 4450 step rise = 5% step rise = 10% 4400 step rise
4600
4550
4500
4450
step rise = 5%
step rise = 10%
4400
step rise = 20%
step rise = 40%
4350
4300
0
300
600
900
1200
1500
P (kPa)

11000

11500

12000

12500

13000

13500

14000

 

Time, s

Time (s)

Fig. 4 Calculated and experimental results close view of re- sponse of drum pressure to variations in steam flow rate

Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology

Fig. 6 Pressure profiles at the inner wall of the riser tube in response to variations in steam flow rate

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538 537 536 step rise = 5% 535 step rise = 10% step rise =
538
537
536
step rise = 5%
535
step rise = 10%
step rise = 20%
534
step rise = 40%
533
0 300
600
900
1200
1500
K)T(

Time (s)

a- Inner wall

547 546 545 544 step rise= 5% step rise = 10% 543 step rise =
547
546
545
544
step rise= 5%
step rise = 10%
543
step rise = 20%
step rise = 40%
542
541
0 300
600
900
1200
1500
T (K)

Time (s)

b- Outer wall

Fig. 7 Temporal temperature profiles at inner and outer walls in response to variations in steam flow rate

Goodman’s approach 19 is used to estimate the equivalent stress amplitude aeq

aeq =

a

3

=

1 − m

S ut

1 51.5

345

= 3.53 MPa

The ultimate strength S ut = 345 MPa of A 178 at room temperature

is used here because carbon steel strength is not affected by tem-

peratures below 645 K 700°F 19 . The estimated stress amplitude is very low and is not expected to cause any fatigue damage. The endurance limit for steels with S ut less than 550 MPa 80 ksi and at temperatures less than 645 K 700°F is approximately 70 MPa 10 ksi 20 . This will result in

a safety factor as high as 20. As shown above, the stress variation in the riser tube due to swing rate is not expected to result in tube failure, provided that the boiler and tube were initially at steady state and that the start-up and shutdown cycles were taken care of in the design of the boiler system. Thus, the stress level caused by swing rates as high as 40% may not be a limiting factor. Figure 9 presents the wall temperature distribution at 10 s, 60 s, and 120 s. These results show that the swing rate does not affect the temperature distribution across the wall of the riser tube at the initial stages; however, as the time progresses, the wall gains higher temperatures for the higher swing rates, although the tem- perature distribution remains similar. Figure 10 presents the cor- responding wall stress distributions at 10 s, 60 s, and 120 s. These

061301-6 / Vol. 132, DECEMBER 2010

54 53 52 51 50 step rise = 5% step rise = 10% 49 step
54
53
52
51
50
step rise = 5%
step rise = 10%
49
step rise = 20%
step rise = 40%
48
47
0
300
600
900
1200
1500
Time (s)
a- Inner wall
30
29.5
29
step rise = 5%
28.5
step rise = 10%
step rise = 20%
step rise = 40%
28
27.5
0
300
600
900
1200
1500
Effective stress (MPa)
Effective stress (MPa)

b-

Time (s)

Outer wall

Fig. 8 Temporal combined pressure and thermal stress pro- files at the inner and outer walls in response to variations in steam flow rate

results show that the value of swing rate does not significantly affect the stress level, especially in the region before the midwall thickness.

4.3 Control Optimization. The influence of the optimization

of the control system on the effective stresses of the riser tube is

shown in Fig. 11. The two control systems are compared. The first is the current control system. The second is developed in the present work to provide minimal overshooting in the boiler oper- ating parameters. The control used is given by Eq. 18 for fuel flow rate, which is a proportional-integral-derivative PID - controller. Sensitivity to k qp , k qi , and k qd was conducted and the optimized weighted control parameters are found as 300, 0.0179, and 0, respectively, while the control parameters of the current boiler are 60, 3, and 0, respectively. These parameters were evalu- ated based on the field measurements. The results of Fig. 11 show that the stress fluctuation is minimized with the optimized control system, making its effect on the life of the tube even less signifi- cant.

5 Conclusions and Remarks

This research paper presented a study on the effect of swing rate on effective combined pressure-caused and thermally induced stresses in riser tubes of drum boilers. The differential equations describing dynamics of the drum boiler were integrated using a MATLAB subroutine. Experimental field data were used for validat- ing the subroutine results and a reasonable level of accuracy was found. Different schemes for increasing the steam flow swing rate

1 40% . The

were employed 8 5%, 4 10%, 2 20%, and

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542 541 540 539 5% 538 10% 537 20% 536 40% 535 534 T (K)
542
541
540
539
5%
538
10%
537
20%
536
40%
535
534
T (K)

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1

Radius, (r-ri)/(r-ro)

a- at 10 seconds

546 5% 544 10% 542 20% 540 40% 538 536 534 T (K)
546
5%
544
10%
542
20%
540
40%
538
536
534
T (K)

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9

Radius, (r-ri)/(r-ro)

b- at 60 seconds

1

548 5% 546 10% 544 20% 542 40% 540 538 536 534 T (K)
548
5%
546
10%
544
20%
542
40%
540
538
536
534
T (K)

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9

Radius, (r-ri)/(r-ro)

c- at 120 seconds

1

Fig. 9 Wall temperature distributions at 10 s, 60 s, and 120 s

heat transfer coefficient at the inner wall is evaluated using a thermal model that includes the effects of convection evaporation and nucleate boiling, and the pipe wall resistance is calculated for estimating the temporal inner and outer wall temperatures. Both the steam pressure and the riser tube inner and outer wall tem- peratures were introduced in a finite element model for finding the effective combined stresses. The temperature distribution across the wall of the pipe due to the swing rate values is similar at different time stages, and the levels between the thermal stresses at the inner and outer walls increase as the time progresses with higher values of swing rate. The combined temperature- and pressure-induced stress fluctuations in the riser tube due to swing rate were found to be too low to result in a riser tube damage, provided that the boiler and tube were initially at steady state and that the start-up and shutdown cycles were taken care of in the design of the boiler system. The proposed control strategy for minimizing the overshoot temperature and stress responses was found to be successful in reducing both the peak values and the rise time.

Acknowledgment

The authors wish to acknowledge the support received from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and Saudi Aramco during this study.

Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology

55 50 5% 10% 45 20% 40 40% 35 30 25 Effective stress (MPa)
55
50
5%
10%
45
20%
40
40%
35
30
25
Effective stress (MPa)

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 Radius, (r-ri)/(r-ro)

a- at10 seconds.

55 5% 50 10% 45 20% 40 40% 35 30 25 0 0.1 0.2 0.3
55
5%
50
10%
45
20%
40
40%
35
30
25
0
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
Radius, (r-ri)/(ro-ri)
b- at 60 seconds
55
5%
50
10%
45
20%
40
40%
35
30
25
Effective Stress (MPa)
Effective Stress (MPa)

0

0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1

Radius, (r-ri)/(ro-ri)

c- at120 seconds

Fig. 10 Wall stress distributions at 10 s, 60 s, and 120 s

Nomenclature

A r riser pipe inner area m 2

C P specific heat of metal kJ/kg C

D

diffusion coefficient m 2 / s

E

modulus of elasticity, Eqs. 23 25 kN / m 2

G

mass flux kg / m 2 s

h

specific enthalpy kJ/kg ; heat transfer coeffi- cient kW / m 2 C

g

gravitational acceleration m / s 2

h fw specific enthalpy of feedwater kJ/kg h f specific enthalpy of saturated liquid water kJ/kg h g specific enthalpy of saturated water vapor kJ/kg h s specific enthalpy of steam leaving the boiler kJ/kg h w specific enthalpy of saturated water kJ/kg

h fg

specific condensation enthalpy h fg = h g h f kJ/kg

k

dimensionless friction coefficient in the downcomer-riser loop

K

thermal conductivity kW/mC

Q

heat flow rate to the risers kW

dc downcomer mass flow rate kg/s fw mass flow rate of feedwater supplied to the drum kg/s

DECEMBER 2010, Vol. 132 / 061301-7

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54 53 52 51 Current Control 50 Optimized Control 49 48 47 Stress (MPa)
54
53
52
51
Current Control
50
Optimized Control
49
48
47
Stress (MPa)
0 300 600 900 1200 1500 Time (s) a- Inner wall 30 29.5 29 28.5
0
300
600
900
1200
1500
Time (s)
a-
Inner wall
30
29.5
29
28.5
Current Control
Optimized Control
28
27.5
27
0
300
600
900
1200
1500
S tress (MP a )

Time (s)

b- Outer wall

Fig. 11 Current and optimized controlled combined thermal- and pressure-induced stresses for the 40% increase in steam flow rate

s mass flow rate of steam exiting the boiler

kg/s sd steam flow rate through the liquid surface in the drum kg/s

r mass flow rate through riser kg/s

Nu Nusselt number

P drum pressure kPa

Pr Prandtl number

q heat flux kW / m 2 Re Reynolds number r i riser pipe inner radius m

r o riser pipe outer radius m

t d residence time of the steam in the drum s

T time s

T d residence time of the steam in the drum s

T s riser tube steam temperature °C

T o riser tube outer wall temperature °C

T i riser tube inner temperature °C

t m metal temperature °C

t s steam saturation temperature °C

R

riser pipe radius m

V

volume m 3

V d drum volume m 3

V dc downcomer volume m 3

V r volume of riser tubes m 3

061301-8 / Vol. 132, DECEMBER 2010

V st total volume of steam in the system m 3 V t total volume of the drum, downcomer, and risers; V t = V st + V wt m 3 V wd volume of water under the liquid level m 3 V wt total volume of water in the system m 3 x steam quality

Greek Symbols volume fraction of steam in the riser thermal expansion coefficient ¯ average volume fraction of steam in the riser Poisson’s ratio dynamic viscosity kg/ms w saturated water density kg / m 3 s saturated steam density kg / m 3 l liquid phase density kg / m 3 v vapor phase density kg / m 3 l longitudinal stress kN / m 2 tangential stress kN / m 2 r radial stress kN / m 2

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