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BSES-Dahanu 2X250 MW Tube Mill Commissioning Experience

Sl. No. Description

01. System Description
02. Commissioning
03. Mill Startup and Shut Down Logics
04. F.S.S.S. Logic Modifications
05. Mill Fires
06. Mill Auto Loops Commissioning
07. Problems and Feedbacks
08. Conclusion

Now a days ball mills are being supplied for thermal power stations by BHEL Hyderbad for coal
pulversiation. These are manufactured by BHEL as per Stein Industry France design, a unit of GEC
ALSTHOM group. These are horizontal mills consisting of a shell filled with balls and rotating at slow
speed. At Dahanu BBD 4772. designated 6 mills are supplied (3 numbers per unit). BBD stands for
Broyer Boulet Direct. I.e. Ball Mill for direct pulverised coal fired boiler. 4772 stands for 4.7 metres
inside diameter and 7.2 metres length of the pulverizing zone. Manufacturing range of BHEL supplied
mills are as follows.


BBD 3448 Ø3.4x4.8L 30-40 30.5
BBD 4760 Ø4.7x6.0L 70-90 79.0
BBD 4772 Ø4.7x7.2L 80-110 99.0


The Ball Tube Mill consist of two perfectly symmetical grinding circuits. Each circuit can be
described as follows. The raw coal from the feeder discharge fails into a mixing box where it is pre-driec
by the hot by-pass air. It then enters the mill through the trunnion tube, whose screw conveyor
conveys the coal into the mill. This is then pulverised by the movement of balls inside the rotating
body. Hot primary air is introduced into the mill through the central tube of the screw conveyor. It
completes the coal drying and carries the pulverized coal out of the mill through the trunion annulus
around the central tube. Counter to the raw coal feed direction. The pulverized coal and primary air
mixed with by-pass air from the mixing box enter the classifier installed above the mills. Often at the
feeder level. The double cone type classifier fitted with adjustable vanes to regulate the pulverized-coal
particle size. The large grains of coal fall back by gravity into the trunion inlet. Where they mix with
the raw coal and are repulverized. The finely ground coal, suspended in the primary air, is transported
from the classifier outlet to the burners, for injection into the furnace. Due to the phenomenon of
grinding by friction the balls are prone to wear. The loss in ball charge can be replenished by means of
an on-line Ball feeding system. This results in a mill with very low maintainance cost and excellent


Various terminologies of components used in ball tube mills.

1) SHELL :- Main cylindrical portion with end cheeks welded. For 4772 size mill shell is in three
pieces. & for 4760 it is in two pieces.

2) TRUNTION :- The hollow cylindrical portions acting as brg. Journals. Assembled to cheeks on
both sides of shell with tight fit & bolting.

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3) TRUNION TUBE :- Stationary tube inserted in trunion. The mill level DP measurement
inpulse lines are housed in this tube. Screw conveyor is inserted in this tube. Seal air is supplied
between the gap of trunion & trunion tube.

4) SCREW CONVEYOR :- Inserted in trunion tube to feed the coal into the mill. The screw
formed with four ribbons ;with corresponding direction forming left hand or right hand threads for D.E.
and NDE side. The centre portion is consisting of centre tube / hot air tube. The centre tube is
supported on shell side by four nos. connecting rods/drive bars with shell side liners having boss for
fixing these rods. The other side of centre tube is supported with shaft protruding out side the hot air
box and supported by an antifriction type bearing.

5) CONVEYOR BODY & SEAL AIR BOX :- This is a stationary box housing portion of screw
conveyor and having raw coal inlet side vertically up on one side and P.C. outlet duct connection at an
angle. It is lined with liners from inside. The seal air box is attached with this box and butts with
Trunion by felt seals effecting sealing with seal air. The trunion tube is bolted to conveyor body.

The seal air line with isolating valve from main seal air fan is connected to seal air box. Hot air
box is connected to conveyor body on outer side. Conveyor body is supported on base plate to

6) HOT AIR BOX :- The hot air box with inside deflector plates is fixed to the conveyor body. The hot
air duct incorporating control damper connected to this box and the hot air is admitted to the mill
through centre tube/hot air tube.

7) SUPPORT BEARINGS :- The mill shell is supported on these brgs at trunion. The brgs and
trunions are matched for drive end and non drive end. The trunion and brg. On D.E. side is callled as
fixed brg with 1 mm side clearance and NDE side free brg. With expansion provision with side clearance
of about 35mm.

The bearing housing is in two parts. Lower & upper. The lower parts consiting the spherical
seating brg. Housing female portion. Also having drilled holes for lub. Oil hose and line connections.
Two holes at bottom opening in spherical seat area. The two lines from H.P. pump discharge are
connected is working as jacking oil for lifting the shell and forms an oil film. One discharge line of B & S
pump (Ball and socket termed for bottom spherical seating portion of bearing.) is connected by hose at
bottom hole.

The brg. Portion is only segmental (about ¼ segment) heavy duty bronze brg. The top half
housing covers the top half of journal and incorporates the distributor pipe for spraying lub oil from L.P.
pump for brg. Cooling. It has one inspection door also.

The brg. temp thermocouple is fixed on bottom half for remote indication of brg. temp &
interlock use.

8) GIRTH GEAR :- It is the main driven gear mounted on one end periphery of shell flange. It is
in segments bolted together to form full gear wheel.

9) PINION & PINION SHAFT :- The girth gear is meshed with pinion mounted on a shaft
supported with two brgs.

10) DRIVE GROUP :- The drive to the pinion is established by main motor through reducer
called as main reducer. The main motor is used for normal operation of mill.

On other end of main motor, an inching reducer & inching motor/auxiliary motor with brake
drum, hydraulic coupling or torque limitor is connected. The reducer comprising of latch & ratchet
mechanism is provided for unidirection movement with aux motor.

The rachet mechanism or the free wheel arrangement does not allow rotation of inching
mechanism when main motor is ON.

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(A) Main lub. Oil system comprising of L.P. pump, H.P. pump & B & S pump, mounted on main
lub, oil tank with coolers, heaters, filters & all connected instruments for providing lubrication and
jacking of main supporting brgs.

(B) Main reducer lub. Oil system : - The main reducer is having forced lubrication for its gears
and brgs. Comprising of pump, filters, cooler & instruments.

(C) Main Motor lub. Oil system : - The main motor supplied at Dahanu is with end shield
mounted journal brg. with forced lubrication system comprising of pump. Filters, coolers, instruments
etc. For other projects the motors are fixed with antifriction brgs.

(D) The auxiliary reducer is lubricated with the sump lubrication available in gear box.

(E) The girth gear and pinion mesh is lubricated with tar based grease pumped by grease pump
and sprayed with atomising air over full width of gear teeth. The panel consisting of spray nozzles and
associated instruments is fixed on girth gear housing and positioned such as grease is sprayed at teeth
meshing area.

(F) The coupling between aux. Reducer & main motor, between main motor and main reducer,
main reducer and pinion shaft are filled with grease.

(G) Free wheel : - Incorporated in Dahanu unit two working as unidirectional drive for inching
operation is filled with lubricating oil. (Hydraulic oil).

12) GIRTH GEAR HOUSING :- The girth gear is covered by housing and sealed by felt seal.
This housing is kept pressurised by separate seal air fan called girth gear seal air fan mounted on top of
housing, to avoid any dust entry in girth gear area. The greasing panel is also mounted on this housing.

13) SOUND HOOD :- The total shell is covered by sound hood made of pannels packed with
acoustic insulation to avoid noise pollution in surrounding area of mill running with balls and coal load.

14) MIXING BOX :- The outlet of raw coal from R.C. feeder passes through mixing box located
below R.C. feeder outlet in raw coal inlet pipe to mill. The hot bypass air is admitted in the mixing box
through bypass air duct with control damper This hot air entering in mixing box ensures good mixup &
predrying of coal entering to mill. The bypass air carrying fines from raw coal mixes with the pulverised
coal drawn from inside the mill by air through mill in conveyor body and goes out through pulverised
coal outlet duct without entering the mill hence called as bypass air. The bypass air also helps in
maintaining the total air flow to achieve the required velocity through P.C. pipes to avoid coal powder
settlement especially at lower loads of mill.

15) CLASSIFIERS :- The double cone type classifiers are located at R.C. feeder floor level. The
P.C. outlet ducts from conveyor body is connected to classifier. It classifies the fine coal of required
fineness and coarse coal is returned back through refusal duct from classifier to R.C. inlet feed pipe.
Classifier outlet is through multiport outlet assembly connected to four nos. of P.C. pipes routed to
boiler furance serving one elevation firing. The Classifier outlet to P.C. pipes can be isolated by
electrically operated mill discharge gate/P.F. shut off gates mounted on classifier top.

16) CLACK BOX :- A rubber flap type valve acting as NRV is mounted in refusal duct, which
allows coarser particles of coal from classifier to R.C. pipe for recirculation.

17) PURGE AIR DUCT FOR P.C. PIPES :- Purge air drawn from cold P.A. header is connected
to individual coal pipe with “T” connection immediately after P.F. shut off gate. The common purge air
damper is having a manual operated isolating damper and individual duct to each coal pipe is having
penumatic operated damper for isolation. The common purge air damper is always kept open to avoid
any coal powder settlement in purge air duct and the individual purge air damper is kept closed when
the respective end of mill is in operation. It is opened before every start of elevation and after
shutdown of elevation for purging the coal pipes.

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18) SEAL AIR FANS :- Two seal air fans per mill are installed one as main & other stand by. The
suction is from atmosphere through auto & viscous filter and discharge is distributed to.

(i) Seal air box for sealing trunion to trunion tube for arresting leakage of coal dust from
pressurised mill outside near support brg. area.

(ii) Seal air to R.C. feeder

(iii) Seal air to motor operated P.F. shut off gates.

(iv) Seal air for screw conveyor support brg. shaft area in hot air box.

(v) Seal air for ball feeding duct.

19) LINERS :- The mill shell is lined with cylindrical liners & the cheek area is lined with profiled
inlet side liners. 4 Nos side liners on each sides are with boss provision for fixing the connecting rods.
The liners are fixed with counter sunk head bolts & tightened by hydraulic tensioning equipment.

20) BALL FEEDING MECHANISM :- On load ball charging for make up of worn out balls is provided
with a pipe connected to NDE side conveyor body where raw coal from feeder enters.

A permanent conical bin with top & bottom pheumatic operated isolating gates with interlock to
open one at a time is fixed on supporting structure. A removable bin with self weight operated conical
valve. Can be lowered down for ball filling and position on permanent bin structure for ball charging.

21) CERAMIC LINING :- The P.C. outlet duct. Classifiers. Multiport outlet assembly & P.F. shut
off gate assemblies are lined with ceramic tiles on inside surface. These are supplied by BHEL Banglore
ceramic division.

22) MILL LEVEL DP PANEL :- To ascertain the raw coal and pulverised coal bed available inside
mill, impulse lines are provided on both DE & NDE side and D.P. is measured across top & bottom of
trunion tube by deep tube principle. The density of the pulverised coal/air mixture coming out from
near top side area between screw conveyor and trunion tube is assumed as constant. As per design
principle of ball mill, the coal air ratio coming out from the mill is always constant over a long period
depending on mill wear parts condition. The amount of pulverised coal output is directly proportional to
the amount of air flow through mill. So mill output can be varied/controlled by just controlling the air
flow through mill quantity.

Depending on the raw coal input to mill and grinding cycle time the bed level can be increased or
decreased by varying the R.C. feeder speed. The density of pulverised coal varying the R.C. feeder
speed. The density of pulverised coal air mixture near top of the trunion area is constant and density of
raw coal plus pulverised coal mixture available near bottom of trunion tube area is varying depending
on quantity of coal mixture availability. Thus D.P. is created across the trunion tube top & bottom.

Since it is a pressurised mill to measure the pressure at each point a constant flow of
measurement air is maintained with the help of orifice and buffer tank pressure controller and
differencial back pressure effected due to change in coal mixture bed level is measured which indicate
indirectly the coal mixture level inside the mill. It is observed that the level DP response is more
effective at levels around 50% and above level and change can be effected and controlled very well
with change in feeder speed. The level DP transmitters are callibrated for ‘O’ to 100 mm wc as ‘O’ to
100% level. The measurement air flow is kept constant by maintaining 120 mm wc air pressure
differential between buffer tank and mill inside pressure.

To ensure that the impulse pipe lines are not getting chocked, purging arrangement is given to
blow the pipes for about 2 minutes every one hour. A service air blow at 5 to 6 Kg/cm2 pressure is
given for each impulse line with common solenoid operated NO, NC set of valves. So that the
measurement circuit is not disturbed or affected during blow down cycle because of high pressure of
purge air medium. However the DP level measurement signal is blocked during purging cycle for level
control on feeder automatic mode. (The last signal before purging cycle is retained for auto control).

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The DP panel location and impulse pipe routing is done such that the frictional losses due to
impulse line lengths on D.E. & N.D.E. side are almost equal.

24) MILL FIRE FIGHTING SYSTEM :- At Dahanu only Co2 fire fighting and water quenching
arrangement are provided for mill fires. For all other projects steam inerting arrangements are given in
place of Co2. A bank of Co2 cylinders placed at feeder floor and lines are routed to all three mills by
providing solenoid operated pneumatic valve in each line. Line going to each mill is bifurcated into four
lines with solenoid operated pneumatic valves, two for classifier body of DE & NDE and two for mill shell
connected in hot air box at DE & NDE.

The cylinder bank consisting of six cylinders to fill the mill volume and two cylinder for extended
discharge for maintaining the blanketing fo longer period.

Similar 8 Cylinder bank is provided as standby/reserve. A pressure reducing station is provided

to reduce cylinder pressure in two stages in both main and extended discharge line, with one solenoid
operated pneumatic valve and mannual isolating valve. One more bypass line is provided for main line
with only manual isolation valve and pressure reducing valves.

For puncturing/opening the Co2 cylinder from remote a solenoid operated valve is provided for
one cylinder in main discharge line and one cylinder in extended discharge line. Other cylinders are
punctured through impulse lines with chain action. Provision also is given to puncture the cylinder with
manual operated lever or cylinder can be opened by manual knob provided on cylinder.

A fire fighting panel is provided for each mill to open all the solenoid operated valves from
remote with single protected push button. One selector switch is provided to select main or reserve
cylinder bank. All the valves open indication, & temperature and pressure switch interlocks with alarm
& hooter facility is provided on panel.

For water quenching lines are provided from fire fighting line leading to following points.

i) 1 Point for each feeder.

ii) 1 Point in mixing box.
iii) 1 point in one of mill level impulse line with three way valve.
All these valves can be operated independently from the panel. P.B’s are provided for individual
valve operation. Interlooks are included in panel for ensuring adequate pr. of Co2, pnuematic air, water
etc. During Co2 injection mill is to be taken off the services, mill discharge shut off gates to be closed,
the seal air to hot air gate from cold P.A. to be closed and valve on HAG box to atmosphere to be kept
open. It should be ensured that mill is totally isolated and any entry of fresh air is not allowed to curtail
02 entry which can assist mill fire. Inert media is created by enough volume of Co2 injection. Water
quenching is done only if fire still continuoes after Co2 injection.

25) NOISE LEVEL MEASUREMENT :- Inorder to know the coal level in mill, in addition to DP
level measurement, noise level is measured as an indirect method to know the mill condition. A mill
filled with balls without any coal, when rotated will emit the maximum noise and is referred as 100%
noise level. As coal starts entering, it gives cushioning effect between ball to ball impact and noise level
starts reducing. A stand still mill with it’s suroundign auxiliaries running, will be quilet and the noise
level is calibrated for zero noise level. The microphone/noise ear is installed near the shell centre inside
the sound hood. The mill level as per level DP 50% and above will roughly indicate the noise level of
30% and below. Since noise level is dependant on many factors like, coal characteristics (soft & hard)
single end operation, ball charge etc., direct relation of noise with level cannot be ascertained. But it is
a very good indication during starting up of empty mill & filling up to satisfactory working level.

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Coal firing is one of the major mile stone in Thermal Power Station, for which mill commissioning
is major job. Unlike other mills, the tube mill has got number of subsystem. For total commissioning of
milling system number of activities are required to be planned in details and as can be seen from the
network, number of works can be completed parallely. It is experienced that all the system must be
completed fully with all interlocks and protection for sucessful and safe operation of coal mill.

It requires thorough study and knowledge of the various system for planning and execution. As
experienced it requires minimum 15 to 20 days for full comissioning of mill. Some of the mthod used
for commissioning at Dahanu will be helpful for other commissioning engineers.

1) Since no. of lub. Oil system are their in tube mill and local start/stop push buttoms are not
provided, it becomes necessary to use local starters of different rating for initial commissioning and lub
oil lines flushing.

2) All the impulse lines, especially air flow measurement lines, level DP impulse lines should
be leak tested, as it is very important measurement.

3) Fire fighting system, level DP panel commissioning, noise level calibration and remote
operation of all the drives must be completed parallely.


1) Lub oil system :-

Tank cleaning, oil filling, erection of site routed lub oil lines, removal and acid cleaning of this
lines and reinstallation with minimum instruments required for starting the flushing should be
completed well in advance. The systems mainly are –

a) Main lub oil for mill Brgs. Consisting of LP pumps, HP pump and B&S pumps

b) Main reducer lub Oil system

c) Main motor lub oil system (if provided)

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d) Girth gear greasing system.

2) Commissioning of drive group.

Cooling water system should be made ready wherever required. Since remote operation of
individual drive can not be done from original logic programmer a temporary modified programms to be
made or local starting with temporary protection arragement are required to be made. The drive group
can be divided in following steps.

a) Main motor trial.

b) Aux. Motor trial coupled with Aux. Reducer.

c) Main motor trial coupled with main reducer and Aux. Reducer.

d) Shell rotation with Aux. Motor.

Before shell rotation, shell lift measurement by running LP, HP, and B&S pumps should be
checked and all the interlocks and protection must be checked completely. During shell rotation trial
with Aux. Motor screw conveyor runout check and inspection for any rubbing etc. has to be done.

Shell rotation with main motor is then followed and all the brgs. Performance to be observed

3) Seal air system and PA system must be made ready before starting shell trial with initial ball

4) Shell rotation with ball charging is done in two stages. With 50% ball charged of all size in each
stage and noting the current for future reference. Since running the shell with ball charged ceates heat
by ball friction, cold PA must be adimitted for cooling the shell, and seal air to be given to avoid dust
and rust leakages. Hot air box manholes should not be kept open, since the loose rust flying out will
cause eye injuries. Trial of shell with ball charged is limited to 1 hour only. Linear bolts tentioning and
tightening to be done after each stage.

5) Leakages in DP measurement impulse lines and leakages within DP panel lines and fitting must
be checked very very carrrfully for 100% tightness. Since this is a very vital measurement and DP

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signal is of very low pressure say 100 mmwc only, any small leak will cause problems. Hence it is very
important to check the leaks very systematically and sincerely.

The enclosed check list can be used to monitor the readiness and completion of various activities
required for coal mill commissioning and coal firing.


Sl. No. Description of Activities

01. Motor lub oil system readiness and remote trial

02. Main motor trial run

03. Main reducer lub oil system readiness and remote trial

04. Aux. Motor trial with main reducer

05. Main motor trial with main reducer

06. Main lub oil system readiness and remote trial

07. Girth gear greasing system readiness

08. Calibration of lub oil instruments

09. Mill duct with dampers readiness

10. Mill interlocks with lub oil system

11. Fire fighting system readness

12. Shell rotation with Aux. Motor

13. Screw conveyor runout checking and mill internal adjustment

14. Mill DP panel and impulse lines readiness

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15. Shell rotation with main motor.

16. Seal air fan motor trial run

17. Seal air system readiness for fan trial and line flushing

18. PA fans motor trials

19. PA fans lub oil system readiness

20. PA fans trials

21. FD fans trials

22. ID fans trials

23. 1st stage ball loading and mill running for 1 hours

24. Liner bolt tightening

25. Iind stage ball charging and mill running for 1 hour

26. Liner bolt tightening

27. Noise level calibration with full ball charge mill running

28. Clean air flow test

29. Simulation tests

31. HFO system readiness

32. Safety valve floating completion

33. Trial coal firing.

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01. MILL BEARINGS (Lub. Unit) OIL ENKLO – 460 1600 LTRS.






(Drive shaft & main reducer) GREASE SERVOGEM-1 19 Kg.


(Inching reducer & main motor) GREASE SERVOGEM EP 2 7 Kg.

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(Lub. Unit)




(Type BH 1.15) OIL MOBIL DTE 13



Southern Region. Northern Region Western Region Eastern Region.

NALCO – Damanjodi T - Sikka – TT -

& TT
6 Mills of 3448 = 4 Mills of 3448 =
2 x 120 MW.
3 x 120 MW.

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12 Mills of 4760 = 3 Mills of 4760 =
4 x 210 MW. 1 x 210 MW. 6 Mills of 4760 =

2 x 210 MW.


6 X 4760 = 2 X 210 6 X 4760=2 X
MW. 6 X 4760 = 2 X 210 210MW

- - - MEJIA T, TT & TTT

9 X 4760=3 X 210


Supply TT
15 x 4772=3 x 500 MW 3 X 4772 = 1 X 250 16 X 4772=2X
MW 6 X 4772=2 X 250 500MW
Stcins Direct Supply


6 X 4772=2 X 250 MW 5 X 4772=1 X 500
10 X 4772=2 X 500 MW



On receiving the feedbacks from many sites and operational experience and also the
recommendations from Stein Industries some changes were made in start up and shutdown sequence.

The modified logic sequence is described with the required initial conditions, input conditions and
step logic which will be helpful for operators & shift C & I engineers for trouble shooting.



1) Lube oil pumps in main lub oil system, reducer lub, oil system and motor lub oil system are in
2) Mill is under shutdown, but running on auxiliary moter (Barring mode)
3) No mill trip protections are present.
4) Field conditions of various drives & isolation devices are already ensured and checked for
5) Logic is to be understood that either of or NDE side of the mill is started at a time.
6) Trunion smal air fan and girth gear seal air fan are not running.

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1) Check that any one “LP Pump” is running and oil flow to both drive and non-drive end bearings is
not less than 20 LPM.

2) Check that any one “HP Pump” is running and discharge pressure in all the four lines are above
20 Kg/cm2 (G).

3) Check-that any one “B & S pump” is running and discharge pressure in both the lines are above
15 Kg/cm2 (G).

4) Check that any one “reducer lub oil pump” is running and pressure after filter is above 1.5
Kg/cm2 (G).

5) Check that any one “motor lub oil pump” is running and pressure at pump discharge is above 2
Kg/cm2 (G).

6) Check that all cooling water inlet and outlet valves for all lub oil coolers and main motor cooler
are in open condition. With system charged.

7) Check that auxiliary motor is on barring.

8) Check that instrument air is available. I.e. isolation valve open. For PA general inlet shut off gate.
Purge air dampers. RC shut-off gates, air through mill control dampers. Bypass control dampers and P

9) Check that service air is available i.e. isolation valve open for mill P panel and girth gear greasing

10) Check that instrument air is available for seal air fan discharge dampers.

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11) Check that supply is available for all electrical drives.

12) Check that manual purge shut-off damper is kept open around 502 and locked.

13) Check that ‘PA permit’ condition is ensured.

i.e. Any PA fan on and PA header pressure is above 500 mmwc

14) Check that “Ignition energy permit” condition is satisfied i.e. adjacent oil elevation in service (or)
adjacent coal elevation air through mill flow is > 40 T < hr.

15) Check that feeder inlet gate and bunket outlet gate are open.

16) Check that feeder is ready for starting from remote.

17) Check that seal oil damper to feeders and mill trunions are kept open.

18) Check that girth gear seal air fan is in service.

Following is the start sequence for a coal elevation.

Step o : Pressing of elevation start push button commences the start sequence and all pneumatic
operated controlled

Step 1 : Dampers, isolation gates. Purge dampers and mill outlet gates close condition is ensured
automatically by close commands.

Step 2 : Purge dampers are opened and coal pipe purge takes places for ‘one’ minute. Then purge
dampers are closed. If seal air fan is not already run. Selected seal air fan is started. If gith gear seal
air fan is not running. It is started by a command.

Step 3 : Running auxiliary motor is switched off and main motor is started if seal air pressure is
adequate. Starting of main motor. Starts the grease pump if it is not already running.

Step 4 : PA general inlet shut-off gate and mill outlet gates are opened. Control dampers are
released for auto.

Step 5 : If mill outlet temperature is adequate. RC feeder outlet gate is opened and subsequently
feeder is started. Since command for step 5 is a two second pulse. Feeder is to be started by push
button. If the time exceeds 2 sec.

With feeder start. Start sequence gets completed.




The various modifications carried out from time to time based on problems encountered during
commissioning and feed back from other sites following modifications were done.


1) Main motor trip protection on centrifugal safety device acted. During normal mill operation. If
transmission occurs to the auxiliary reducer due to failure of free wheel drive or rachet mechanism.
Depending upon the selected gear drive. This protection is supposed to trip the main motor. However
site experienced signal spikes without motion getting transmitted, resulting mill trip-out, on centrifugal
safety device acted protection. Introduction of 2 second time delay should be enough to nullify this
problem of spurious nature.

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2) B&S pump trip will cause mill trip as envisaged in the logic. However non-availability of
lubrication to ball and socket joints with trunnion in jacked condition need not be a cause for an
emergency shutdown. B & S pump need not to be run during mill running except at the time of starting
the mill.

3) Incomplete mill shutdown sequence during boiler trip causing restart problem of mill. Whenever
mill trip due to boiler tripping, a shutdown sequence is initiated. This sequence remains incomplete
because of elasping of sequence monitoring time and gets stuck at pc pipes purging. Logic envisages
opening of purge air dampers on availability of support ignition, the time of which depends of relight-up
of boiler. The dampers once opened remain open due to time elasping, resulting in sequence hang-up.
This is causing problem in restarting of tha elevation, which is delaying the unit start up by another 20
minutes. The logic derived does not monitor the availability of PA pressure under the above conditions.
Morever the tube mill operating notice 14.2 does not call for pc pipe, purge sequence in the event of
mill tripping. Considering the above, a revision is to be made by means of resetting the shutdown
sequence, (i.e. no pc pipes purge command.) whenever mill tripping occurs due to either boiler tripping
or operation of emergency push button.

4) Level measurement signal freezing delay causing disturbance in feeder operation. The blow down
circuit inside the mill level DP panel is having a bypass vent arrangement, by which a pressure of 800
mm before blow – down valves is maintained. Whenever blow – down command is initiated, opening of
the first blow-down valve before releasing the level measurement freezing signal causes peaks in
measurement thereby disturbing feeder loading through inter lock. This distrubance continues during
the blow-down sequence whenever blow-down valve opens. The freezing signal should be released
alongwith open command of first blow-down valve and should remain frozen during the blow-down
sequence period. Signal should get reset through either NDE sequence completed or DE sequence
completed. Since the blow – down occurs every 30 minutes for a period of maximum one minute, signal
blocking during this one minute period should not cause any operational disadvantage.

5) Possibility of stand by pump auto starting on lub oil flow low in reducer lub oil system along with
main pump. Reducer lub oil system logics were modified to facilitate auto start of second pump on low
lub oil flow for more than 5 second. Since a continuous command is released as per logic, auto start of
second pump after starting first pump results. The logic is modified to release a pulse command for 5
second on lub oil flow low condition instead of continuous command after 5 seconds.

6) No time delay for LP pump stop command on oil flow low protection was provided. Actuation of
any one of the four flow switches, provided in oil lines to bearings (two each for DE and NDE) will result
instantaneous tripping of LP pumps. On occasions, unwanted tripping occurred due to spurios signals. 5
second time delay provision, as given in HP pump discharge pressure and feed line pressure protections
will enable trouble free operation.

7) Main lub oil heater are controlled by separate thermostats. As per logic heater is switched off
under the following conditions.

Oil temperature not low


Any LP pump not on and oil temperature high

Logic shows usage of single thermostat for generating temperature low and not low conditions. Because
of this, repeat on-off operation of heater occurred. In addition, heater once swithed on will remain as
long as LP pump is running irrespective of temperature status. Hence for heater off, the logic was
modifed when the following conditions are satisfied i.e.

Both LP pumps off


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Oil temperature high

8) Ball and socket pumps are protected through discharge pressure low tripping as given for HP
pumps. Additional protection was introduced for HP pumps to trip on both LP pumps off condition in
subsequent revised logics. This was extended to B&S pumps also.

9) As given in the earlier logics, one of the mill tripping conditions is mill to seal air differential
pressure not adequate. This protection will come into force only on occurance of trouble in seal air flow
to mill. With all the dampers in the seal air system, kept in fixed positions, this protection will only
cause nuisance tripping. Morever as per M/s STEIN operating notice 16.3 mill to seal air differential
pressure not adequate is used for alarm. Hence trip is delated and connected to annunciation.

10) As per logic, auxilialiary motor inching operation was possible for about one second only, as
electro-magnetic brake engaged status changes after one second from the moment push button is
pressed. Since this caused repeat start of aux. Motor unnecessarily, the logic was simplified to inch the
mill by local push button command as long as desired (taking permitted intermittent operation of the
drives into consideration) with either electro-magnetic brake engaged status of electro-magnetic brake
released status. This change enabled operator desired inching operation of the mill for speeding up
maintenance job.

11) For mill level auto control one of the input ocnditions is feeder release to auto which is derived
from two conditions as per earlier logic (1) mill level DP adequate (2) feeder on and feeder outlet gate

As per logic to sustain mill level control on auto, level DP adequate condition should remain
present, which in turn will ensure feeder released to auto status. However mill DP is a varying signal
and DP adequate conditions can not get maintained even if freezing command is extended to this logic.
Observation showed that level DP adequate that is 27% as given does not get established always and
level DP status to obtain feeder release to auto condition will cause frequent disturbance in feeder auto
control. A logic where feeder is released for auto as soon as feeder gets on and feeder outlet gate is
open will meet the operational requirement. In addition feeder can be put on auto only if selected by
auto/mannual selector by the operator. Hence DP adequate permissive is not used.

12) Feeder speed is released to filling value on mill level DP low and feeder on status. Whenever
blowdown takes place level DP disturbance causes feeder to switch over to filling value mode. To
overcome this problem another condition freezing signal not available was added alongwith the two
conditions mentioned above.

13) DP across mill is measured between hot air box pressure i.e. mill inlet pressure and classifier
outlet pressure (mill outlet pressure). The DP high setpoint is derived from the equations like mill inlet
pressure minus 50% of mill out let pressure & 75 % of this value as DP high. On acting the mill DP
high signal, which should be indicative of mill chocking will initiate the signal for running RC feeder to
minimum speed.

Since the DP is derived from two separate points i.e. mill inlet & classifier outlet pressure
measurements and more over classifier outlet being coal dust medium, pressure measurement is
problematic inspite of giving purge air through rotameter. Hence the interlock of feeder run to
minimum with mill DP high is deleted.

14) Flame failure trip logic :-

For tube mill application in boiler, the open condition of P.F. shut of gates was the only
consideration for forming the logic at the time of 1st elevation coal firing, before the flame status by fire
ball scanner gets established. Failure of open status of the gate used to result in flame failure trip,
inspite of oil flame present. For the same reason tripping used to occurs when the last coal elevation is
with drawn service. After a study the timing of “flame failure trip arming logic and P.F. gate not open
logic was changed after observing the actual operation time of the gate. This modified logic was put in
to operation and field trial showed safe and satisfactory operation.

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15) Elevation – self sustaining logic change :-

In bowl mill application for boiler, a coal elevation can sustain on its coal without either adjucent
coal elevation or oil elevation after attainin a pre-set elevation loading, determined by feeder speed.
However in case of tube mill application, such operational flexibility was not provided in the ‘Ignition
permit’ logic itself and availability of adjucent coal elevation having loading more then 30% by airflow
or oil elevation is a must for any coal elevation to remain in service. This was revised by introducing a
new logic for mil self sustaining ignition energy permit’ taking feeder run status and mill level in to
consideration. To ensure safe operation, this operational flexibility was made available only after more
than 50% boiler load condition. This new logic was implemented successfully for Dahanu mills.



Unlike bowl mill, the ball and tube mills are having sufficient pulverised coal stock available in
shell at any time of operation. The mills if not handled properly can suffer with mill fire and explosions.
As per the reports from various sites the areas prone for fires are as follows.

1) PURGE AIR DUCT :- The pulverised coal is always avilable up to purge air shut off dampers.
The more quantity of coal accumulation in the purge air duct at higher temperature and getting purge
air supply for ignition is suspectable for fires. To avoid the fires.

i) The purge air damper should be erected as near as possible to coal pipe.

ii) The individual damper should be ensured for full closing

iii) The slope of duct between purge air damper to coal pipe should be downward towards coal pipe.
So that coal will not remain accumulated.

iv) The common purge air damper should always remain open minimum 50% to ensure that the
purge air duct upto individual purge air damper remains pressurised and coal flow does not take place
in the duct. Also the opening should be minimum 50% and above to ensure enough air flow for coal
pipe purging. The common purge air damper should never be closed except for maintenance of purge
duct. During normal operation it should be locked in open position to avoid inadvertant closing.

2) MILL CLASSIFIER :- The classifier often gets chocked with light material like cotton rags plastic
bags. Cable sheaths, G.I. wires etc. These materials since lighter and not grind able get flown with air
and stuck into the classified vanes. Also sometimes the return coal chute gets closed with these
material and classifier gets filled with pulverised coal. Leading to fire.

Chocking of classifier is indicated by higher mill D.P. Classifier should be inspected and cleaned at
regular intervals. The P.F. shut off gates tight closing on torque should be ensured. The sealing of gate
with seal air can be ensured only when full closing is done. The damaged seals should be replaced
immediately. The bad condition of gate is indicated by rising temperature of non working end mills due
to P.F. shut off gate passing.


Whenever mill operation is continued with single end operation, there is always possibility of coal
accumulation in non working end of mill hot all box. Any coal accumulated in hot air box and further
into duct can lead to fire when ever the idle end is taken into service. The hot air coming in contact
with acuumulated coal is suspectable for fire. Eventhough theoritically single end operation of mill is
possible, as far as possible singal end operation should be avoided. To avoid or minimise coal
accumulation in non working end, the air through mill damper should be kept opened to have about 5
to 10 Tons of air flow (with logic modifications the non working end dampers goes open for 5%)

4) COAL PIPES :- Pulverised coal settlement in horizontal run of coal pipe is possible during startups
& shut downs when total air flow is not sufficient to have enough velocity to carry the coal into furnace.
The operation of mill with total air flow (air through mill + by pass air) at less than 70% of mill full load

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air flow should be avoided. This is especially during start up & shut down & the total air flow should be
maintained by increasing by pass air flow.

I> As per various theories the lean mixture inside shell is more suspectable for mill fires. The mill
running with less coal for long time and not taking output will result in very fine coal leading to fire
immediately with slightest ignition energy source. The mill operation without any of it’s feeder running
for more than 10 minutes to be avoided. A modification to this effect is incorporated.

II> The mill operation with very low bunker levels should be avoided. When bunker levels are low,
there is a tendancy to continue the mill operation with low feeding, which may lead to lean mixture.
Also the sealing effect of bunker with coal is not enough with coal level less than about 20% bunker
level. Insufficient sealing causes pulverised coal & hot air flow to bunker and can lead to fires.

III> Mill operation with very less ball charge.

Mills operated at very less ball charge will not give the required output and recycling time to get
the required finenees will increase. This is indicated by lower mill output, less power consumption,
lower fineness percentage through 200 mesh. This situation also can lead for mill fires. Replenishing
the ball charge for wornout balls should be made on regular basis to keep the mill properly tuned.

IV> When mills are tripped abruptly with unit tripping, enough pulverised coal is available inside the
shell Formation of localised hot spots leading to fire are more likely if mills are kept stand still. Hot mills
should be always kept rotating by inching motor to continue slow rotation to have coal mixup to avoid
any localised hot spot. Any hot spot will get covered up with fresh coal causing inerting effect. The
rotation of mill till temperature comes below 40°C is recommended. Opening of manhole doors of hot
air boxes in mill hot condition should be avoided. Any atmospheric air entry into hot mill can cause mill

5) FIRES IN R.C. FEEDERS :- On many occasions fires are observed in R.C. feeder. The reasons
may be :

I> Inadequate seal air pressure – Ensure seal air valve to feeder are in open position.

ii> Any leakage of air or coal from doors should be avoided.

iii> Feeder operation with cleanout conveyor shear pin failure should be avoided.

iv> Mill operation with very low bunker level causes reverse flow of pulverised coal to bunker due to
loss of enough sealing which is one of the reason of fire.

v> During any maintainance on feeder of nonworking end with mill in operation should be done very
carefully. The hot air and pulverised coal is available under pressure just below the raw coal feeder
outlet gate. Any coal accumulation on raw coal outlet gates starts smoldering with high temp and
atmospheric air.

Before attempting any local trial of feeder under maintaince with mill in operation, it should be
ensured that the air line to feeder outlet gate should be closed and entrapped air is released. This is to
avoid gate opening with interlock feeder starting.


Mill startup sequence is modified so that mill motor starts only after completion of coal pipe
purging completion on start command. This is to avoid mill running without any coal feed for longer
duration. Also to avoid lean mixture formation, during mill shutdown sequence, the envisaged mill
purging for 10 minutes should be done only for 10 minutes without any change of air flow. The amount
of purging for 10 minutes is sufficient to minimise coal in mill.

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At Dahanu the Co2 fire fighting system is supplied for the first time for coal mill application. The
design of system with number of pneumatic valves & interlocks is not at all good or helpful for
application during emergency like mill fire. Although the intention of giving full fledged control panel
for remote operation of Co2 Cylinders is appreciable but lot of lacunas are still there. The various
problems are as follows.

i) The end nozzle cum NRV without force closing provided initially for the inclined pipe is not at all
suitable for pressurised coal mills. The nozzles often gets chocked with pulverised coal not allowing the
Co2 flow. Modified spring loaded NRV’s provided for ensuring positive closing. Still design of NRV should
be improved.

ii) There are seven pneumatic valves in series to be opened with single push button. Failure of any
one valve will inhibit opening of solenoid on cylinder to release Co2. The pneumatic valve operation
depending on adequate air pressure, electric operated solenoid & open feedback limit switch actuation
has to be perfect. Maloperation or absence of any one component inhibits Co2 cylinder opening.
Searching and rectifying the non-operated valve during emergency like fire is not easy and not at all

All the pneumatic valves should be deleted by providing only straight through pipes with only end
point good quality & designed NRV.

iii) The high temperature inter lock as permissive to perate the system is not warranted or fool-proof.

The temperature sensing element is provided in classifier only, whereas various components like.
Hot air box, mill shell, R.C. Feeder etc. which are more likely to have fires are not sensed by the single
theromocouple provided in classifier.

The high temperature interlock is bypassed from permissive. The operation of system is warranted
whenever the operator on shift or round observes or smells any fire symptoms in mill area.

iv) The auto operated pressure reducing valves operation can not be checked or confirmed. Failure of
any pressure reducing valve opening will not allow Co2 flow.

Instead of pressure reducing valves, permanent orifices or line size should be incoported to effect
the pressure reduction.

V) The safety relief valve is envisaged on only main line header of Co2 cylinder bank. Extended
cylinder bank header also should have safety relief valve.
vi) Due to number of valves, number of flanges are involved which are suspectable for leakages.

As far as possible welded joints should be given to minimise flange joint leakages.

vii) The final solenoid on cylinder is off 24 volt rating for which separate rectifiers are given. The
quality of rectifier box is very poor.

Solenoids suitable for direct 240 volts supply should be selected.

viii) All the solenoid operated valves are of single phase supply. Whereas a common three phase
supply module is envisaged for three mill fire fighting panels for individual mills for getting singal phase
supply and the control supply is looped from one panel to other – Mix up of phase and neutral cable is
very much possible, which causes confusion and difficulty in trouble shooting.

A separate single phase supply from separate sources for individual mills should be envisaged to
avoid any mistake.

ix) Co Monitoring : - The imported LAND U.K. make co Monitors are installed near individual
classifier. The CO PPM indication is available only on local cabinet and only CO high annunciation is

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hooked up to PMS system only. Invariably it is observed that during normal healthy operation of mill
the CO PPM remains with in 10 PPM. But on every tripping on the alarm limit. The alarm appears on
PMS which is not noticed or given any priority. Action to be taken on getting the alarm is not very
clear. Since the CO PPM reaches the alarm limit on every tripping of mill. Boxing up of the mill and
activating Co2 inerting is not at all practicable or economical. The reason for increase in CO PPM on mill
tripping is well explained because air is cut off where as pulverised coal is available inside mill will give
rise in CO generation, but action to be taken is not at all clear. High percentage of CO without ignition
energy may not be the source of explosion or fire.

Giving costly and imported CO monitoring system should be futher judged for it’s effective


Most of the projects are equipped with steam inerting system for ball mill application. The
advantage will be availability of steam in sufficient quantity reducing cost of Co2 cylinders refilling. The
complicated arrangement of cylinder rack, pr. reducing station & interlock can be minimised. Only one
pr. reducing valve and good quality NRV should be sufficient.

Presently at Vijaywada & Kota steam inerting is used with local manual operation as and when
required. Now as per BHEL (Hyd) & steins recommendations, the steam inerting is mandatory
requirement and must be done with every start up & shutdown sequence with interlock hooked up with
FSSS. A lot of discussion are held up for this, but final results can be judged after implementation and
operation. Two major points to be considered for implementation are.

1) The admitted steam must be vented out in atmosphere, either by separate vent or ball feeding
line. Admission of steam which may carry coal to furnace is not at all accepted by BHEL (T) as boiler

2) Extended application of steam getting condensed and the coal in mill becomes too moist & leads to
chocking of DP level impulse pipes & also current hunting during restartups.


For commissioning and handing over the unit, putting boiler master control and coordinated

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master control in services is one of the major task. Mill auto control loops are of first priority for BMC.
The various changes made from original logic scheams are discribed herewith.

Following loops and systems involved :-

1) Primary air header pressure control

2) Mill oulet temperature control

3) Mill level DP control

4) Ignition permit for next elevation start or trip

5) Damper control rangeability

6) Air through mill Vs Mill output

7) Bypass air flow control

1) Primary air header set point :-

As per original logic a variable set point is derived as some based value and added influence of
boiler load i.e. steam flow plus position of air through mill damper with its high or low opening limit.
Eventhough theoritically it is very ideal scheam, since it is not easily understandable to operator or no
immediate change can be made in set point if operator desires so. Hence the logic was changed to
simple mannual set point variable by operator depending on requirement.

2) Mill outlet temperature control :-

The mill outlet temperature is control by hot air damper and assisted by cold air damper. The cold
air damper is operated only when hot air damper position is below 30 % or above 80%. For position of
HAD between 30% to 80% cold air damper is not taking any action. For getting faster response the
HAD band was changed to 40% to 60%. Also some times to avoid both the dampers i.e. HAD and CAD
to minimum position causing problem of getting inadequate air flow. The HAD damper signal was plant
at 30% to avoid further closing on auto.

3) Mill level DP control :-

Initially starting from empty mill to get some level DP signal it requires 40 to 60 minutes. Even
when the level signal start appearing around 10% to 20 % the response of change in level with
variation in feeder speed is very sluggish. Only when level signal is more than about 40% the response
is fast enough and feeders can be put on auto.

4) Ignition permit for next elevation start or trip :-

Initially for getting ignition permite for next elevation the supporting elevation air through mill
flow (Mill loading) was given as 90% and similary for loss of ignition energy it was 40%. Since it was a
too high, removal of oil support was difficult even at reasonable high unit load. Hence the set point was
changed to 60% and 30% respectively.

Also when air through mill is put on auto air flow was clamped at 25 tons/hr to avoid reaching the
loss of ignition energy set point.

5) Damper control rangeability :-

It is observed that the control dampers response for variation of flow is effective between 20% to
60% damper position. To keep the dampers opening between controlable range P.A. Header pressure
was required to be kept about 850 mmwc and above. This is because the pressure drop across mill is
higher than design.

6) Air through mill Vs mill output :-

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The standard curve given for air flow Vs mill output is very much depandent on mill liner and ball
charge conditions. The envisaged coal air ratio of 1 : 1.3 is not always true. Based on feedbacks from
almost all sides and as agreed by M/S STEIN representative the ratio changes according to mill
conditions as low as 1 : 0.7 and as high as 1 : 2.

Because of above variation it is very difficult to fix the curve for auto control and requires lot of
trial and error method to arrive at the correct ratio for available mill conditions. Retuning are refixing
the curve is required from time to time as per mill condition.

7) Bypass air flow control :-

To maintain total air flow, where variation is allowed only from 80% to 100% for 0% to 100%
mill out put, it is difficult to put bypass air flow on auto at lower load. It gives temperature control
problem. Bypass air flow can be put on auto at loads 60% and above.

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1) Main lub oil flushing :-

For flushing of lub. Oil lines necessary loops for supply and return lines connections are supplied,
but the filter to be provided in return line near tank was not provided. It was difficult to get the
required size and dimensional filter to accommodate in return line near the tank. BHEL (HYD) should
supply the necessary filter along with throwaway filter elements for washing purpose.

2) Main lub oil system interlocks :-

It was observed that while commissioning the HP pump, it trips very often on low suction pressure
protection inspite of full adjustment of auto pressure control valve and also throtting of LP flow. Later
on it was notice that only when oil temperature increases up to 40 degree C, suction pressure is
minimised and HP pump could be started without much problem.

3) Seal air fan capacity :-

Two seal air fans with suction sides manual operated damper and discharged side pneumatic

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on/off dampers are provided. With suction damper full open if fan started it gets over loaded and trips.
Individual seal air lines to trunion, RC feeder were throttled but still current could not be controlled. To
limit the current below FLC, suction damper was throttled and could be opened only 15% to 20%. As
per pressure and flow requirement the seal air fan capacity seems to be verymuch higher.

4) Mill inlet pressure to seal air pressure DP control damper performance :-

Auto control damper provided for DP control is local blind control. Any maloperation can be
noticed only after annuciation and tripping of mill or with cold dust leakage observation. Hence it is
preferred to keep it open manually to required position.

5) Mill inlet pressure to seal air pressure control impulse line tappings :-

As per scheme, mill inlet pressure is measured on only one end hot air box. Incase of single end
operation the DP measurement varies too much depending on the end in service. Hence the DP switch
setting finalisation becomes problem.

It was decided to take tapping from common PA header duct so that pressure measurement
remains unaffected irrespective of which end service. With this modification the seal air DP set point
from the earlier set value of 150 mmwc is resetted at 75 mmwc and is working satisfactory.

6) Clean air flow test :-

For tube mills the flow tests are conducted in three steps

(i) Established air flow through mill only

(ii) Established air flow through bypass air duct only
(iii) Established air flow by combining air through and bypass air.

Conducting no. of tests and their calculation becomes very much cumbersome. The no. of tests
are done for cross checking the correctness of designed aerofoil characteristic and invariably it is
observed that the calculated flow results from tests does not match exactly for different flow conditions
say 50%, 80%, 100% etc. and sometimes deviation exceeds more than ± 2% (allowable tolerance). In
addition to that, to ascertain the passing of fully close damper the flow value is determine from the
characteristic curve supplied. But the curve correctness at very low DP value itself is in doubt. Hence
claculation done on assumptions are not very correct. In our opinion only one test to ascertain the coal
pipe layout and orifice correctness should be sufficient and individual aerofoil characteristic to be
treated as correct as per design. Instead of calculating seal air flow from clean air flow test, it will be
better to measure seal air flow directly by pitot traverse.

Also to decide minimum air flow required for coal pipe purging separate test should be conducted
to determine the comman purge air damper minimum opening to achieve required flow.

7) Classifier vanes and their linkages :-

It was observed that operating the classifier vanes the linkages connecting to vanes can not be
adjusted for full range operation of vanes. The linkaes are fouling at extreme ends. There is no clear
cut instructions in drg. For linkage dimensions and setting procedure for vanes full open and close
position. The vanes provided are atraight plates passage. If such mistake happens or remains unnoticed
it will restrict total coal flow. Also the orientation of vane connection etc. requires full revision in design
stage and accordingly it should be idential for all classifiers.

Also it is very hard to operate the vanes linked for half classifier sector connected together (18
Nos.) The needle brgs. Provided for free operation does not have proper sealing arrangement.
Invariably the brgs. Are getting jammed and rusted. Modification was suggested for replacing the
needle brgs. With Teflon bushes. Even after modification the vane operation is not satisfactory.

8) Main reducer lub oil system :-

Flow switches are provided in lub. Oil system for interlock and protection. The flow switches are

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factory set and was found not operating consistantly in all mills. Change of flow set value and its
correctness can not be ensured or possible at sight. Also it is observed that the flow switch actuation is
dependant on oil viscocity change with increase or decrease in oil temperature. The original supplied
switches were replaced with better make KHRONE – MARSHALL flow switches, but it did not improve
the situation to satisfactory level. We are of the opinion that flow switches can be dispensed off and
pressure switches are to be provided.

9) Thermionic valve in main lub oil cooling water system :-

For main lub oil cooling water control only one thermionic valve is provided. While laying out the
CW lines for two coolers the supply lines were provided as per scheamatic drg. Modification was
required to accommodate the thermionic valve at proper location due to limited length of its
temperature sensing element. Also the CW line size and thermionic valve size are different. The line
size envisaged should be compatible for thermionic valve.

10) P.F. Shut off gate :-

For mill discharge valve (MDV) called as P.F. shut off gate, electrical actuators are provided.
Initialy it was observed that the gates are very hard to operate and motors were tripping on over load
and sometimes getting burnt. The gates originally supplied are off M/S FOURESS Bangalore and
Aurangabad make. All the gates were required to be serviced on ground. The following problems were
(i) The guide bars are roughly machined and got rusted sufficient sliding clearance between guide
bar & bush was not available.

(ii) The clearance between gate blade and guides was very less.

(iii) The knuckle pin joint provided for stem and gate connection, the pin was tack welded and
flexibility was arrested. Also the orientation of pin was not uniform for all the gates.

(iv) The matching of drive gear bush and stem threads was not proper and bush threads were getting
cutting marks. The alignment of drive and stem rod was not perfect.

(v) The sealing strips were jam.

(vi) The stem on extended condition i.e. gate open position was not covered and threads were
remaining open to dusty atmostphere.

All this problems were set right and gates were made free for smooth operation. Trials were taken
with drive on ground it self and confirmed that motor currents are within limits.

11) Leakages in Dresser coupling :-

Dresser coupling are provided at RC pipe to conveyor box and P.C. pipe to conveyor box to isolate
it from mill vibrations. Lot of coal dust leakage was observed from these couplings. While assembling
the coupling lot of grinding was required since circularity of pipes was not perfect. Also pipes were not
matching hence cutting and rewelding was done. Even though asbestos sealing ropes are provided all
the joints were leaking badly. Especially the P.C. pipe joint the gap was required to be sealed by rod

12) P.F. shut off gate erection orientation :-

When all the four P.F. shut off gates were erected as per drg, it was observed that the power
cylinders for individual purge damper which are very near to P.F. gates could not be erected because
operation and maintainance was not feasible. The damper can not be shifted way from coal pipe ‘T’ joint
to avoid coal accumulation and fire hazard. To accommodate the power cylinder 2 out of 4 P.F. shut off
gate orientation was changed to 90 degree from original.

13) Screw conveyor ribbons failure :-

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Initialy it was observed that the screw conveyor ribbons were breaking near starting point. The
ribbons at starting point where it is bolted was having single strip up to some portion. The same was
strenghtened by providing additional strip like rest of the ribbon portion.

14) Bypass air carrying fine coal powder in raw coal :-

During initial commissioning it was observed that when by pass air is admitted after starting the
mill for pre-drying the coal and attaining required mill outlet temperature, it was carrying fine powder
in raw coal directly to furnace. Initialy for filling the empty mill it requires 40 to 60 minutes to get
some bed level and only then air through mill is admitted.

Theoritically bypass air is presumed not to carry the pulverised coal from inside the mill. But the
fine powder available in raw coal gets carried away to furnance. With no control over the amount of
fines in raw coal the fuel input control the boiler becomes difficult and it has caused furnance pressure
fluctuation. This caused faster boiler pressure rise and many occasions boiler has tripped on drum level
high protection.

As per start a procedure total air flow is to be maintained minimum 80% i.e. about 55 T/Hr, that
means bypass air up to about 50 T/Hr is to be adimitted, but due to the problem stated above bypass
air flow can not be admitted to that extent. Hence to start with initialy bypass air is limited to 15 to 20
T/Hr. only and then as mill loading is increased, bypass air also is increased slowly to achive required
total air flow. Then after sufficient mill loading i.e. air through mill quantity, bypass air is slowly

15) Mill outlet temperature OK permissive for starting RC feeder :-

The monitoring time for this steps gets elasped as time taken for getting mill outlet temperature
adequate can not be determined. The start sequence gets inturrpted hence set point has been reduced
to 45 degree C

16) Mill DP high problem :-

It is observed that the drop across mill plus classifier is much higher than predicted. Because of
higher pressure drop the full air flow of 70 T/Hr. could not be passed through at rated hot PA header
pressure of 720 mmwc. To get the required flow the operating PA pressure was required to be increased
upto 850 to 900 mmwc.

To over come this problem, BHEL (HYD) as suggested few modifications which are yet to be tried.

(i) Reducing the height of venturi collar by “2” in steps

(ii) The inner ring to be extended to form conical portion
(iii) Provision of top side guide plate in hot air box to guide air flow towards centre tube.

17) Failure fo screw conveyor brgs :-

It was observed that hot air is blowing on the brgs. Inspite of sealing air arrangement. The total
sealing is not possible due to available running clearances. Whenever brgs. Have failed it was observed
that brgs. Were dry and all the grease is melted out. Earlier servogem-3 grease was recommanded for
the screw conveyor brgs. The grease was changed to high temperature servogem HTXX. After use of
this grease the failure could be avoided.

18) Mill outlet pressure measurement tapping point :-

At Dahanu the mill outlet pressure measurement tapping point is provided on classifier body
before coal powder entry into vanes. It should be in fuel pipe or in multiport outlet assembly to get
actual pressure drop of classifier.

19) Inner cone modification :-

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Many times it was observed that reason for increase in unburnt in bottom ash was due to chocking
of classifier. Big particles of coal were observed near dead zone pocket of peep hole. On inspection of
classifier it was observed the vane opening on inspection of classifier it was observed the vane opening
area is blocked with lighter material like plastic bags. Rugs, cable sheath, G.I. wires etc. Due to blocking
of this area, the coal was finding its way between the opening at inner cone bottom and diamond cone

To avoide or control entry of corse coal particles, the inverted cone arrangement as provided in
other classifier is not provided for classifier of 4772 mills. Instead it was suggested to provide swinging
type flaps to close the gap at suggested to provide swinging type flaps to close the gap at inner cone
bottom portion. Six flaps of 350 x 300 mm size and 5 mm thick plates were provided to close the gap
between inner cone bottom and diamond cone. This modification helps in preventing direct entry of
corse coal bypassing classifier vanes, where as at the same time the corse coal coming back for
recirculation is allowed to flow through this swinging flaps back to mill via refusal duct.

20 Difference in coal fineness in two ends of same mill :-

Invariably it is observed that the percentage passing through 200 mesh differs very much at DE &
NDE end. At times it is only 55% at one end when other end it is more than 85% The reasons for such
peculiar differences is yet to be studied. Also on some occations ball segregation is observed inside the
shell. All smaller balls are getting accumulated at one place and bigger size at one place. Even after
inner cone modifications, some times unburnt in bottom ash is increasing to a very high value (about

The reasons for high unburnt requires more study and R&D on the aspect of imported Austrialian
coal which is very light and its other characteristic on the performance of mill in details.

21) Main reducer gear box oil leakage problem :-

The Elekon make main reducer gear box and oil leakage problem from input side high speed shaft.
It was attended twice by replacing seals but the problem reocures. The work involved for oil seal
replacement is very high, like gear box opening, removal of shaft, removal of coupling and replacing
seal. Then normalisation work is almost equal to reerection of gear box.

It is necessary to develop a good design split seal which can be replaced without distrubing the
gear box from position.

22) Screw conveyor ribbons wear out and failure :-

It is observed that the screw conveyor ribbons made of two plates welded together are getting
split open at weld joint due to wear out. It is felt that the welding should be done with deep ‘V’ groove
and also in addition the ribbon done with deep ‘V’ groove and also in addition the ribbon plates to be
bolted at places to avoid spliting and failure.

23) Main reducer lub oil system layout :-

The arrangement of main reducer lub. Oil system pumps. Motors, filters. Coolers, isolating valves
and the instrumentation etc. is very conjusted. The layout should be compact as well as maintainance

24) Mandatory spares :-

For main lub. Oil system the L.P. pumps for unit I are imported one, for unit II it is Tushaco make
and the mandatory spares supply is of Alekton make.

The Tushaco and Alekton pumps dimensions are not matching. Mandatory spares should be of
same make as original supply for maintainance suitability.

Similary the original P.F. shut off gates are of M/s Foress make, where as the mandatory spares
gates are from M/S Galaxy. The actuator bush and stem threads does not match.

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25) Failure of ball charging system isolation gates :-

The problems like jamming of gates, shearing of pin of knuckle joint, stem threads wear out, bush
failure etc. are very frequent. This requires details study from load capacity point of view.

26) Classifier manholes :-

The classifier has only two manhole doors. Whenever classifier vane chocking is to be cleared it is
very difficult to approach all the vanes through these two doors. This size classifier should have
minimum 3 or 4 doors. Also the doors should be of swinging type for easy maintainance.

27) Falling of overhang liner in screw conveyor body :-

The liner No 18 of about 1.3 meter length (Ref. : Drg. No. 0-62-209-50684) is having an
overhang portion for about 700 mm length. It is fixed with four screw only. On many occasion the liner
has fallen out and fixing screws are found sheared off. This much be due to continous impact of
incomming raw coal on the overhang portion of this liner.

BHEL (HYD) suggested to weld all the 3 sides of liner plate with conveyor body after making
necessary chamfering for welding to strengthen the liner fixing.

27) Coal leakages from the conveyor body liner fixing bolts :-

Coal powder leakages are observed from the fixing screw holes. These liners are factory
assembled and retightening at sight is not possible. The hexagonal heads of screws are not locked in
liner holes. The liner holes should be such that the screws are getting locked.

28) Failure of needle brg. on cam of grease pump in unit II :-

In unit II the greasing system is supplied by M/s Lincoin Helious Bangalore. It has a cam operated
piston type pump. It was observed that after few months operation, pump was not delivering grease
output. On inspection it was seen that the needle brg. mounted on cam got eroded and failed. After
consulting the supplier they have changed design. The needle brgs. Were replaced with tight fitting
sleeve, and the problem was solved.

29) Failure of free wheel supplied in unit 2 inching reducer

In unit 2, one of the free wheel failed while mill ws in operation. It was observed that the free
wheel became red hot and mill had to be stopped. While dismantaling the free wheel it was observed
that the brg. and sprag rollers got seized the free wheel is having the sprag design such that it allows
transmission of motion in one direction only and in other directionit slips. The free wheel is filled with
lub. Oil Servo system 68. It is suspected that the failure would have occurred due to loss of lubricant
due to oil seal failure.

Loss of oil is observed in other free wheels also. One of the reasons suspected for loss of oil and
finding thick black paste in free wheel may be due to grease entry from gear coupling. M/s Brooke
Hansen, Belgium, the supplier of this inching reducer has suggested to change gear coupling and
provide flexible coupling with rubber bush arrangement. The same has been installed in mill 2 CD, and
performance is under observation.


(30) LAYOUT OF THE MILL FOUNDATION :- The major & frequent maintaince requirement is
removal & refixing of screw conveyors. The distance between one mill to other mill is a big constraint
for handling of screw conveyor. The spacing between mills should be increased.

(31) MILL LEVEL D.P. PANEL :- The indigenous development of D.P. Panel by switch gear dept. of
Hyderabad is welcomed but the following points should be reviewed.

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i) Quality of copper tube and fittings used has to be improved. Most of the leakages are observed in
panel. Any attempt to attend the same is difficult since the copper tube itself gets twisted & cracked.
Also it is very congested.

ii) The AVACON make solenoids though working develops problems like passing & hence good quality
imported valves must be used.

iii) Though both ends DP transmitters are enclosed in one panel and compact design is made. The
panel location becomes very critical, taking into lengths to have identical frictional pressure drops in
both DE & NDE side.

It is suggested to use preferably s.s. Tube inplace of thin copper tube.

Imported pneamatic valves of good quality to be used. (This is as per feedback from Vijaywada,
that the imported DP Panel response is very good)

Instead of having common panel for DE & NDE Panel. Individual panels for both ends can be
thought of so that any maintainance can be easy. Approch to individual componant will be adequate.

iv) The end thrended fitting inside the shell, often get bent and lost

A better protection arrangement and tack welding of end piece to be done.


At Dahanu in Unit – 1 the aux. Reducer supplied is. CMD U.K. Make and for Unit – 2 it is of
Brooke Hansen make. The difference between the two systems is as follows.

Unit –1 Unit –2
1) Make CMD U.K. 1) Make Brooke Hansen Belgium
2) Drive motor 37 KW 2) Drive motor 15 KW.
3) Hydraulic coupling between 3) Torque limitor is provided
motor a reducer box between motor & gear reducer
4) Brake application device. 4) Brake application by Electro
Electro Magnetic device. Hydraulic device.
5) For release of brake manual 5) Locking for brake release position
lever & locking system of lever not provided
6) The latch and ratchet 6) Over run clutch is mounted on
arrangement is inside the output shaft of gear box.
gear box.
7) The speed plickup mounted 7) The speed pickup mounted on DE side
inside the cover at input of input shaft and easy to access.
shaft NDE end. Gear teeth Frequency is generated by two pins
are used for frequency mounted on
generation. coupling.
8) So far no failure 8) One free wheel failure, got burnt
and seized.

Eventhough the modified 15 KW aux. Reducer selection may be based on cost basis, but for two
units at same installation place having two types of equipements, increases, spares inventory, which no
customer will like. Also while comparing, when any failure occurs in on units. Customer damands total
replacement by better system where failure has not taken place.

Because of free wheel mounting on output shaft of aux. Reducer gear box, the coupling design

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between aux. Reducer and main motor had to be changed to accommodate new system. Instead of
spring type bibby coupling, Half gear coupling is provided.

Change of coupling is being suggested by M/S Stein in view of free wheel failure.


The grease barrel and pump unit mounted in barrel cover is not appealing to anyone. For
changing of the empty grease barrel, the pump unit requires lifting to clear the barrel & This operation
is required to be done atleast once in a week.

Instead some other arrangement like permanent tank and pump, in such a way that topping up of
the tank can be done conveniently without lifting the pump. The tank of sufficient capacity serving for 1
to 2 months of grease requirement with inspection manhole etc. should be provided.


Almost all the customers are of the opinion that the grease consumption is high. At Dahanu Unit 1
the imported grease pump of eccentric plate and number of pistons type is supplied and arrangement
for piston stroke to control grease quantity is given, but this stroke change arrangement did not give
the appreciable reduction in grease consumption.

At Unit 2 the indigeneously developed pump from Banglore firm M/S Licoln Helious Group is
supplied with cam and single piston type pump is supplied to adjust grease quantity only the pump size
is required to be changed, pumps designated as orifice, 7, 6, 5, etc.

The basic difference between the concept explained in the O & M manual supplied by stein and the
discussion with M/s Lincoln representative is different. As per supplier as far as electrical operated
pump is ON it will discharge the grease continuosly irrespective of availability of atomising air. This
looks to be logically correct and the grease sequence ON and OFF timers provided in FSSS logic does
not have any meaning.


It was felt that erection, commissioning and initial operation of the tube mill is very difficult and
complicated. Because of No. of Auxiliaries and connected systems lot of control and instrumentation
work is involved. At times it was felt that the bowl mills are easier and simple.

By overcoming the initial problems and systematic erection and commissioning, the tube mills
could be stabilised and various advantages claimed with this mills could be experienced immediately.
The advantages are

1) High availability

2) Low maintenance

3) Constant capacity and fineness

4) Large reserve capacity

5) Ability to pulverise wide range of coals

6) Virtually unaffected by foreign material.

The result of these advantages can be claimed with proud beyond doubt with the excellent
performance of Dahanu Units for which the tube mills are major contributing factors.

Performance highlights are

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1) Unit 1 continuously running for more than 150 days and that to at 100 & load.

2) Station PLF more than 100 % for last Three consecutive months i.e. JAN 97, FEB 97, MAR 97.

3) Station generation for the financial year 1996-97 = 3205.5 Mus.

4) Specific oil consumption – 1.737 ML/KWH

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