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CenPEEP Heat Rate Assessment

b) Primary air to secondary air ratio


c) Inlet air and inlet gas temperatures
d) Frequency & effectiveness of air heater soot blowing
e) No. of mills in service
f) Primary air header pressure
g) Coal moisture
h) Boiler air ingress levels
i) Air heater upstream ash evacuation
j) Physical condition of heating elements, seals, sector plates,
diaphragm plates etc.
So to correctly assess any degradations in Air heater performance, it’s
important to test air heaters under same operating regime (Operating O2,
no. of mills in service, Primary Air header pressure, boiler loading) to
reduce the effect of the operational variables.

The following Air heater test indices are computed and compared with the
design / PG test and last test values. Also, these indices can be plotted
on a time line graph showing historical, design and /or acceptance test
data.

x Air-in-Leakage
x Gas Side Efficiency
x X - ratio
x Flue gas temperature drop
x Air side temperature rise
x Gas & Air side pressure drops

These indices are computed and compared with design or Acceptance test
values. For a meaningful comparison, the air & gas flows through the air
heater should be close to nominal values. This makes analysis a little
difficult especially in 500 MW units where the relative proportion of gas
flows to Primary & Secondary air heaters is not known.

3.3.1.2 Air heater leakage

It is expressed as a percentage of gas flow entering the air heater. Bi-


sector regenerative air heaters with proper seal clearances should have
leakage rates around 6% to 8% while the leakage rates for tri-sector air
heaters should be between 10 - 13%. Increase in Air heater leakage can
lead to
x Reduced Air heater efficiency

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ENERGY & EFFICIENCY MANAGEMENT SYSYEM PAGE 3-9

CenPEEP Heat Rate Assessment

x Increased fan power consumption


x Higher gas velocities that affect ESP performance
x Loss of fan margins leading to inefficient operation and at times
restricting unit loading

Typically recuperative or tubular air heaters should have zero leakage,


but tube failures due to corrosion or mechanical damage / spool tube
erosion can result in appreciable leakages. If the unit is equipped with
bypass dampers or recirculation dampers, they should also be inspected.

Air leakage occurring at the hot end of the air heater affects its thermal
and hydraulic performance while cold end leakage only increases
fans’ loading.

A significant increase in air heater leakage warrants a physical inspection


of the air heater. Possible causes of increased leakage are axial and radial
seal mechanical damage or wear; sector plate mechanical damage or
warping; rotor eccentricity or excessive air to gas side differential
pressure.
AH Leakage is quantified by using the following equations.

AL = (CO2 ge – CO2gl) x 0.9 x 100


CO2 gl

= (O2 gl – O2 ge) x 0.9 x 100


(21 - O2 gl)

AL = air heater leakage, % of gas flow entering air heater


CO2ge = percent CO2 in gas entering air heater
CO2gl = percent CO2 in gas leaving air heater
O2ge = percent O 2 in gas entering air heater
O2gl = percent O 2 in gas leaving air heater

Leakage assessment should be done by a grid survey in the flue gas


ducts using a portable gas analyzer. CO2 measurement is preferred due
to high absolute values; In case of any measurement errors, the resultant
influence on leakage calculation is small.

O2 measurement feedback using orsat or an extractive portable analyzer


is on dry basis while in situ zirconia measurement is on wet basis. The
following equation approximates the relation between the two.

O2 (dry) = O2 (wet) .
(1 - % Moisture in Flue Gas /100)

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ENERGY & EFFICIENCY MANAGEMENT SYSYEM PAGE 3-10
CenPEEP Heat Rate Assessment

Air heater leakage dilutes the flue gas and lowers the as measured exit
gas temperatures. Gas outlet temperature corrected to ‘no leakage’
condition is calculated using the following formula.

Tgnl = AL x Cpa x (Tgl – Tae) + Tgl


100 x Cpg

Tgnl = gas outlet temperature corrected for ‘0’ leakage


Cpa = the mean specific heat between Tae and Tgl
Tae = temperature of air entering air heater
Tgl = temperature of gas leaving air heater
Cpg = mean specific heat between Tgl and Tgnl
3.3.1.3 Air heater gas side efficiency

It is defined as the ratio of temperature drop, corrected for leakage, to


the available temperature head, expressed as a percentage. Temperature
drop is obtained by subtracting the corrected gas outlet temperature from
the gas inlet temperature. Temperature head is obtained by subtracting
air inlet temperature from the gas inlet temperature. The corrected gas
outlet temperature is defined as the outlet gas temperature calculated for
‘no air heater leakage’.

Gas Side Efficiency GSE= (Temp drop / Temperature head) * 100

GSE = Tge – Tgnl x 100


Tge - Tae

Tae = Temperature of air entering air heater


Tge = Temperature of gas entering air heater
Tgnl = gas out temp corrected for no leakage

Gas side efficiency is an indicator of thermal performance of the air


heater and depends on the internal condition of the air heater.
Deterioration in gas side efficiency is generally accompanied by an
increase in exit gas temperature and a decrease in air heater air outlet
temperature.

If a significant reduction in air heater gas side efficiency occurs and


operator controllable parameters (air heater soot blowing, damper
adjustments, etc) are determined not to be responsible, an internal
inspection of the air heater should be performed at the next available
shutdown. Possible causes of performance degradation include: bypass,
isolation or recirculation dampers mispositioned, air heater baskets
corroded / eroded or fouled air heater baskets. A fouled air heater will
also experience a significant increase in gas side pressure drop.
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ENERGY & EFFICIENCY MANAGEMENT SYSYEM PAGE 3-11

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