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Question paper code: 91672


Seventh Semester Mechanical Engineering
ME 2403 Power Plant Engineering
Part A ( 10 x 2 = 20 marks)
1. What is a combined power cycle? Give examples.
Two power cycles can be combined to increase the efficiency and to reduce the fuel
consumption, is called combined power cycles. Examples gas turbine and steam power plant,
MHD and steam power plant.
2. State how the steam boilers are classified.
Water tube boilers and fire tube boilers: low, medium and high pressure boilers.
3. Listout the four important circuits of steam power plant?
Coal and ash circuit, air and flue gas circuit, feed water and steam circuit, cooling water circuit.
4. What is ESP? State its use.
An electrostatic precipitator (ESP) is a filtration device that removes fine particles, like dust and
smoke, from a flowing gas using the force of an induced electrostatic charge minimally
impeding the flow of gases through the unit.
5. What is a gas cooled-nuclear reactor?
A nuclear reactor in which gaseous coolants such as air, hydrogen, helium or carbon di oxide is
called gas cooled reactors, it has the following advantages. 1. Fuel processing is simple, 2. The
use of C02 as coolant completely eliminates the possibility of explosion in reactor. 3. No
corrosion problem
6. What do you understand by the term specific speed of a water turbine?
The specific speed of a turbine is defined as: "The speed of a turbine which is
identical in shape, geometrical dimensions, blade angles, gate opening etc., which
would develop unit power when working under a unit head."
7. Under what circumstances will you recommend diesel power plant?
For remote and emergency power generations diesel power plant can be recommended.
8. How does regeneration improve the thermal efficiency of gas turbine cycle?
By increasing turbine inlet temperature and by increasing pressure ratio.
9. What are the two types of ocean energy?
Mechanical energy from tides and waves and thermal energy from ocean
10. State diversity Factor.
The percent of time available that a machine, piece of equipment, or facility has its maximum or
nominal load or demand (70% diversity means that the device in question operates at its nominal
or maximum load level 70% of the time).

Part B ( 5 x 16 = 80 marks)
11. a)i)List out the advantages of combined power plants

High overall plant efficiency

Low investment costs
Small amount of water required
Great operating flexibility
phased installation
Simplicity of operating
Low environmental impact
co-generation of heat and electricity

ii) Draw and discuss the layout of Diesel plant.

Different systems of diesel power plant

1. Air intake system
2. Exhaust gas system
3. Engine cooling system
4. Fuel supply system
5. lubricating oil system
6. Engine starting system
7. Electrical systems

b) i) Sketch and describe a Fluidized Bed Combustion system.

When an evenly distributed air or gas is passed upward through a finely divided bed of solid
particles such as sand supported on a fine mesh, the particles are undisturbed at low velocity. As
air velocity is gradually increased, a stage is reached when the individual particles are suspended
in the air stream. Further, increase in velocity gives rise to bubble formation, vigorous turbulence
and rapid mixing. The bed of solid particles exhibits the properties of a boiling liquid and
assumes the appearance of a fluid. In this state the bed is said to be fluidized. The furnace
combustion takes place at about 840OC to 950OC. Control of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide
emissions in the combustion chamber without the need for additional control equipment is one of
the major advantages over conventional boilers. The fluidized bed is a system in which the air
distributed by a grid or distribution plate, is blown through the bed solids developing a "fluidized
condition." Fluidization depends largely on the particle size and the air velocity. At low air
velocities, a dense defined bed surface forms and is usually called a bubbling fluidized bed. With
higher air velocities, the bed particles leave the combustion with the flue gases so that solids
recirculation is necessary to maintain circulating fluidized bed. The mean solids velocity
increases at a slower rate than does the gas velocity. Therefore, a maximum slip velocity between
the solids and the gas can be achieved resulting in good heat transfer and contact time with the
limestone, for sulphur dioxide removal.

ii) Explain the working of a Benson Boiler with a neat sketch.

Main features of Benson boiler

As there are no drums, the total weight of benson bolier is 20% less than other boilers. This also
reduces the cost of the boilers.
As no drums are required, the transfer of the benson parts is easy. Majority of the parts may be
carried to the site without pre-assembly.
Since no drum is used, this is an once-through boiler and the feed water entering at one end is
discharged as superheated steam at the other end.
Circulating pump and downcomers are dispensed with.
12.a)i) Describe the various types grates used with hand fired furnace.
Hand Fired Grates. A hand fired grate is used to support the fuel bed and admit air for
combustion. While burning coal the total area of air openings varies from 30 to 50% of the total
grate area. The grate area required for an installation depends upon various factors such as its
heating surface, the rating at which it is to be operated and the type of fuel burnt by it. The width
of air openings varies from 3 to 12 mm. The construction of the grate should be such that it is
kept uniformly cool by incoming air. It should allow ash to pass freely. Hand fired grates are
made up of cast iron. The various types of hand fired grates are shown in Fig. 4.10. In large
furnaces vertical shaking grates of circular type are used.

ii) Enumerate the advantage of pulverized fuel firing.

1. Low excess air required
2. Less fan power
3. Ability to use highly preheated air reducing exhaust losses
4. Higher boiler efficiency
5. Ability to burn a wide verity of coal
6. Fast response to load changes
b)i) Describe the operation of a balanced draught system.

The balanced draught is a combination of forced and induced draught.

If the forced draught is used alone, then the furnace cannot be opened either for firing or
inspection because the high pressure air inside the furnace will try to blow out suddenly and
there is every chance of blowing out the fire completely and furnace stops.
If the induced draught is used alone, then also furnace cannot be opened either for firing or
inspection because the cold air will try to rush into the furnace as the pressure inside the furnace
is below atmospheric pressure. This reduces the effective draught and dilutes the combustion. To
overcome both the difficulties mentioned above either using forced draught or induced draught
alone, a balanced draught is always preferred.
ii) Name the different types of condenser. Describe the operation of surface condenser.
Steam condenser are of two types: 1. Surface condenser. 2. Jet condensers
In surface condensers there is no direct contact between the steam and cooling water and the
condensate can be re-used in the boiler: In such condenser even impure water can be used for
cooling purpose whereas the cooling water must be pure in jet condensers. Although the capital
cost and the space needed is more in surface condensers but it is justified by the saving in
running cost and increase in efficiency of plant achieved by using this condenser. Depending
upon the position of condensate extraction pump, flow of condensate and arrangement of tubes
the surface condensers may be classified as follows:
(i) Down flow type. Steam enters at the top and flows downward. The water flowing through the
tubes in one direction lower half comes out in the opposite direction in the upper half shows a
longitudinal section of a two pass down-flow condenser.
(ii) Central flow condenser. In this condenser the steam passages are all around the periphery
of the shell. Air is pumped away from the centre of the condenser. The condensate moves
radially towards the centre of tube nest. Some of the exhaust steams while moving towards the
centre meets the undercooled condensate and pre-heats it thus reducing undercooling.
(iii) Evaporation condenser. In this condenser steam to be condensed is passed through a series
of tubes and the cooling waterfalls over these tubes in the form of spray. A steam of air flows
over the tubes to increase evaporation of cooling water, which further increases the condensation
of steam.
13 a) i) Describe the various factors to be considered while selecting site for nuclear power
The various factors to be considered while selecting the site for nuclear plant are as follows :
1. Availability of water. At the power plant site an ample quantity of water should be available
for condenser cooling and made up water required for steam generation. Therefore the site
should be nearer to a river, reservoir or sea.
2. Distance from load center. The plant should be located near the load center. This will mini-

mise the power losses in transmission lines.

3. Distance from populated area. The power plant should be located far away from populated
area to avoid the radioactive hazard.
4. Accessibility to site. The power plant should have rail and road transportation facilities.
5. Waste disposal. The wastes of a nuclear power plant are radioactive and there should be
sufficient space near the plant site for the disposal of wastes.
ii) Write note on the pressurized water reactor.

PWRs keep water under pressure so that it heats, but does not boil. Water from the reactor and
the water in the steam generator that is turned into steam never mix. In this way, most of the
radioactivity stays in the reactor area. In a PWR, the primary coolant (water) is pumped under
high pressure to the reactor core where it is heated by the energy generated by the fission of
atoms. The heated water then flows to a steam generator where it transfers its thermal energy to a
secondary system where steam is generated and flows to turbines which, in turn, spin an electric
generator. In contrast to a boiling water reactor, pressure in the primary coolant loop prevents the
water from boiling within the reactor. All LWRs use ordinary water as both coolant and neutron
b)i)What are the factors considered in selecting a prime mover for a hydro electric power

ii) Describe the working of a low head hydro plant with a neat sketch.

Low Head Power Plants: These power plants are also known as Canal power plants. A dam is
built on the river and the water is diverted into a canal which conveys the water into a forebay
from where the water is allowed to flow through turbines. After this, the water is again
discharged into the river through a tail race. At the mouth of the canal, head gates are fitted to
control the flow in the canal. Before the water enters the turbines from the forebay, it is made to
flow through screens or trash-racks so that no suspended matter goes into the turbines. If there is
any excess water due to increased flow in the river or due to decrease of load on the plant, it will
flow over the top of the dam or a waste weir can be constructed along the forebay so that the
excess water flows over it into the river. For periodic cleaning and repair of the canal and the
forebay, a drain gate is provide on the side of the waste weir. The head gate is closed and the
drain gate is opened so that whole of the water is drawn from the forebay and the canal for their
cleaning and repair.
14a)Write a note on the i) fuel system ii) lubrication system of a diesel power plant.
Fuel system
The fuel is delivered to the plant by railroad tank car, by truck or by barge and tanker and stored
in the bulk storage situated outdoors for the sake of safety. From this main fuel tank, the fuel oil
is transferred to the daily consumption tank by a transfer pump through a filter. The capacity of
the daily consumption should be at least the 8-hour requirement of the plant. This tank is located
either above the engine level so that the fuel flows by gravity to the injection pump or below the
engine level and the fuel oil is delivered to the injection pump by a transfer pump driven from
the engine shaft, Fuel connection is normally used when tank-car siding or truck roadway is
above tank level. If it is below tank level, then, an unloading pump is used to transfer fuel form
tank car to the storage tank
The five essential functions of a fuel injection system are:
1. To deliver oil from the storage to the fuel injector.
2. To raise the fuel pressure to the level required for atomization.
3. To measure and control the amount of fuel admitted in each cycle.
4. To control time of injection.
5. To spray fuel into the cylinder in atomized form for thorough mixing and burning.

The above functions can be achieved in a variety of ways. The following are the systems, which
are usual on power station diesels:
1. Common Rail.
2. Individual Pump Injection.
3. Distributor.
Lubrication system:
Since frictional forces causes wear and tear of rubbing parts of the engine and thereby the life of
the engine is reduced. So the rubbing part requires that some substance should be introduced
between the rubbing surfaces in order to decrease the frictional force between them. Such
substance is called lubricant. The lubricant forms a thin film between the rubbing surfaces. And
lubricant prevents metal-to-metal contact. So we can say Lubrication is the admission of oil
between two surface having relative motion.
The main function of lubricant is to,
1. To reduce friction and wear between the parts having relative motion by minimizing the force
of friction and ensures smooth running of parts.
2. To seal a space adjoining the surfaces such as piston rings and cylinder liner.
3. To clean the surface by carrying away the carbon and metal particles caused by wear.
4. To absorb shock between bearings and other parts and consequently reduce noise.
5. To cool the surfaces by carrying away heat generated due to friction.
6. It helps the piston ring to seal the gases in the cylinder.
7. It removes the heat generated due to friction and keeps the parts cool.
The various parts of an engine requiring lubrication are;
1. Cylinder walls and pistons.
2. Main crankshaft bearings.
3. Piston rings and cylinder walls.
4. Big end bearing and crank pins.
5. Small end bearing and gudgeon pin bearings.
6. Main bearing cams and bearing valve tappet and guides
7. Timing gears etc.
8. Camshaft and cam shaft bearings.
9. Valve mechanism and rocker arms.
b) i)List out the advantages of gas turbine plant.

Very high power to weight ratio compared to reciprocating engines.

Smaller than most reciprocating engines of the same power rating
Moves in one direction only with far less vibration than reciprocating engine
Fewer moving parts
Greater reliability
Waste heat from exhaust is useful for combined cycle or cogeneration.

7. High speed and low pressure

8. Low lubricating oil consumption
9. Can run on a wide variety of fuels
10. Very low toxic emission of CO and HC.
ii) Explain the constructional details and operation of combustion chamber of a gas turbine
power plant.
The gas turbine is a continuous flow system; therefore, the combustion in the gas turbine differs
from the combustion in diesel engines. High rate of mass flow results in high velocities at
various points throughout the cycle (300 m/sec). One of the vital problems associated with the
design of gas turbine combustion system is to secure a steady and stable flame inside the
combustion chamber. The gas turbine combustion system has to function under certain different
operating conditions which are not usually met with the combustion systems of diesel engines. A
few of them are listed below:
1. Combustion in the gas turbine takes place in a continuous flow system and, therefore, the
advantage of high pressure and restricted volume available in diesel engine is lost. The chemical
reaction takes place relatively slowly thus requiring large residence time in the combustion
chamber in order to achieve complete combustion.
2. The gas turbine requires about 100:1 air-fuel ratio by weight for the reasons mentioned earlier. But the air-fuel ratio required for the combustion in diesel engine is approximately 15:1.
Therefore, it is impossible to ignite and maintain a continuous combustion with such weak
mixture. It is necessary to provide rich mixture fm ignition and continuous combustion, and
therefore, it is necessary to allow required air in the combustion zone and the remaining air must
be added after complete combustion to reduce the gas temperature before passing into the
3. A pilot or recirculated zone should be created in the main flow to establish a stable flame that
helps to ignite the combustible mixture continuously.
4. A stable continuous flame can be maintained inside the combustion chamber when the stream
velocity and fuel burning velocity are equal. Unfortunately most of the fuels have low burning
velocities of the order of a few meters per second, therefore, flame stabilization is not possible
unless some technique is employed to anchor the flame in the combustion chamber.
15a)i) Describe the working of Claude OTEC cycle power plant

In the cycle warm surface water at 27C is admitted into an evaporator in which the pressure is
maintained at a value slightly below the saturation pressure corresponding to that water
temperature. Water entering the evaporator, there four, finds itself superheated at the new
pressure. This temporarily superheated water undergoes volume boiling causing that water to
partially flash to steam to an equilibrium two-phase condition at the new pressure and
temperature. The low pressure in the evaporator is maintained by a vacuum pump that also
removes the dissolved non-condensable gases from the evaporator. The evaporator now contains
a mixture of water and steam of very low quality at 2. The steam is separated from the water as
saturated vapor at 3. The remaining water is saturated at 4 and is discharged as brine back to the
ocean. The steam at 3 is, by conventional power plant standards, a very low-pressure, very high
specific-volume working fluid (0.0317 bar, 43.40 m 3 /kg, compared to about 160 bar, 0.021 m
3 /kg for modern fossil power plants). It expands in a specially designed turbine that can handle
such conditions to 5. Since the turbine exhaust system will be discharged back to the ocean in
the open cycle, a direct-contact condenser is used, in which the exhaust at 5 is mixed with cold
water from the deep cold-water pipe at 6, which results in a near-saturated water at 7. That water
is now discharged to the ocean.
The cooling water reaching the condenser at 13C is obtained from deep water at 11C (51.8F).
This rise in temperature is caused by heat transfer between the progressively warmer outside
water and the cooling water inside the pipe as it ascends the cold water pipe. There are thus three
temperature differences, all about 2C: one between warm surface water and working steam, one
between exhaust steam and cooling water, and one between cooling water reaching the condenser
and deep water. 'These represent external irreversibilitys that reduce the over-all temperature
difference between heat source and sink from 27 11 = 16C (28.8F) to 25 15 =
10C (18F) as the temperature difference available for cycle work. It is obvious that because of
the very low temperature differences available to produce work, the external differences must be

kept to absolute minimum to realize as high efficiency as possible. Such a necessary approach,
ii) Explain with a schematic-diagram the working of a dry steam geothermal power plant.

b) i) Write an explanatory note on the economics of power generation.

In power plant engineering economics of power system use certain well established
techniques for choosing the most suitable system. The power plant design must be made on the
basis of most economical condition and not on the most efficient condition. The effectiveness is
measured financially. The economics of power generation involves
1. Choosing equipment that is available for operation during the largest possible % of time
in a year.
2. Reducing the amount of investment in the plant
3. Operation through fewer men.
4. Having uniform design
5. Selecting the station as to reduce cost of fuel, labor etc.
The economics of power plant operation is greatly influenced by load factor, demand factor
and utilization factor.
ii) A residential consumer has 10 lamps of 40 W each. His demand is
Midnight to 5 am 40W
5am 6 pm
no load
6 pm 7 pm
329 W
7 pm 9 pm
360 W
9 pm to midnight 160 W. plot the load curve . find Average load, maximum load and demand
360 W
329 W

160 W

40 W


5 am

6 pm

7 pm

9 pm