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Steam Boiler & Auxiliaries

1. A boiler can be regarded as a combination of a large number of heat exchangers integrated together. The fluid on the hot side of the heat exchanger is the mixture resulting from the combustion of fuel with air. The fluid on the cold side of heat exchanger is water entering as water & leaving as steam. There are 3 main zones, within heat exchangers: a) The furnace-- where the high temperature gases of combustion are used for heating water & steam with medium to superheat. It is also called as first pass of boiler. Heat transfer through radiation is maximum in this zone. b) The convection zonewhere medium temperature gases are used for heating steam with medium to high superheat. It is goose neck shaped x-section of boiler. Final super heaters & reheaters are situated here c) The heat recovery zonewhere with relatively cool flue gases, heat can only be extracted effectively by cool fluid such as feed water, and steam with low super heat. Low temperature super heaters & are economizers located here. This zone precedes air preheaters.

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Drum Boilers & super critical (once-through)

In a drum boiler, water flows from the drum via down comers & bottom ring headers & nozzles to the bottom of furnace, where it feeds the evaporator tubes in the shape of water wall panels enveloping furnace. Within the furnace, during combustion, tubes are heated & water is changed gradually to a water/ steam mixture of increasing dryness, along its length. The mixture is returned to the drum, where dry steam is separated from the mixture. Since water/ steam mixture in the furnace tubes is of lower density than the water in the down comers, a static head difference is generated and this results in a downward flow in the down comers and an upward flow in the furnace tubes. With natural circulation boilers the flow is generated solely by the density difference. With assisted circulation boilers, the flow receives additional assistance from the pumps which are located usually at the bottom of down comers. Drum boilers are dependent on the difference in density between steam and water and as pressure increases these densities converge until at and above critical pressure of 221.05 ata, they become equal. At and above this critical point (temperature-374 degree Celsius & pressure 221.05 ata), there
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is no boiling of water i.e. there is no liquid phase and thus no boiling drum. The drum boilers are therefore restricted in application below critical pressure, -- usually around 180 ata. The temperature of superheated steam is usually around 540 deg. Celsius. In India, all utility boilers currently installed are drum boilers. Boilers at Ultra-mega power plants being setup & having unit size above 660 MW shall have super critical steam parameters, with super heat steam at 540 deg. Celsius & pressure at 255 ata. They obviously are drum less boilers and also named as once-through boilers, where all water entering the boiler tubes, is evaporated in a number of parallel single pass tubes. The feed water temperature here is 290 deg. Celsius (253 deg. in 500 MW) and super heat steam flow rate is 2225 t/hr (1675 t/hr in 500 MW) 3. Super heaters They are meant to raise the steam temperature above the saturation (boiling) temperature of steam through heat absorption from flue gas. By increasing the temperature of steam, the useful energy that can be recovered from the steam, increases and thus increase the efficiency of cycle. The maximum temperature to which steam can be heated is dictated by metallurgy & economy in initial cost and maintenance cost. Present trend is to limit this temperature to 540 deg Celsius.
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It is another method of increasing cycle efficiency. Here, the temperature of steam, from which a part of energy has been extracted in High Pressure Turbine, is raised in reheater section of boiler .It requires additional equipment like re-heater coils, boilerturbine alloy steel piping (cold reheat and hot reheat piping) safety valves, Control & regulating valves etc. which require additional costs in terms of initial investment & maintenance. Single reheat is commonly applied to unit sizes above 100MW and 2 reheats above 500 MW. 5. De-super -heaters They are used to reduce super heat temperature, as a means to control final steam temperature supplied to turbine in response to load fluctuations. Commonly used de-super heaters are of contact spray type & they are installed near final super heaters. 6. Economizers Its function in a steam generator unit is to absorb heat from flue gas and add it as sensible heat to feed water before water enters into evaporative circuit of boiler. This additional heating increases efficiency of boiler &saves fuel consumption. In all Indian, large capacity, utility boilers, economizers consist of a large number of thin walled small dia. closely packed, horizontally placed, parallel, finned tube nests located in the
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second pass, below Low Temperature super heaters but ahead of Air Pre-heaters. Feed water under pressure from Boiler Feed Pump enters from bottom and rises through economizer tubes into the boiler drum. The hot flue gases flow downwards in opposite direction.

7. Air Pre-heaters
It is also a heat exchanger for improving boiler efficiency. They are very essential for pulverized coal fired boilers. Here heat available in boiler exit flue gas is economically recovered, thus raising temperature of primary and secondary air. The heat rejected to chimney can thus be reduced to a great extent and thus increase boiler efficiency. For every 20 deg. Celsius drop in flue gas exit gas temperature, the boiler efficiency increases by 1 %. Other advantages of air pre-heaters are: 1). Stability of combustion is improved by use of hot air. 2). Intensified and improved combustion. 3). Burning poor quality coal with high ash content more efficiently. 4). Lesser heat transfer area required. 5). Less un-burnt fuel particles in furnace i.e complete consumption.

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6). In case of pulverized fuel consumption, hot air is essential for drying coal and its transportation through coal ducts to fuel burners.

Air-pre-heaters are of 2 types: a) Re-cuperative typeThere are no moving parts. Here hot flue gas is on one side and air on other side of a duct or a plate. The flow of flue gas and air are in opposite directions. Heat transfer takes place by conduction. b) Regenerative type---Hot flue gases flow through a closely packed steel matrix, consisting of sectors and rotated inside a fabricated casing. Air on its way to boiler(secondary air) /coal mills (primary air) gets heated up while flowing upward, by heat transfer from rotating matrix. This type is commonly used in large capacity boilers Air pre-heaters are usually located at the end of second pass, below economizers 8. Power plant fans Fans are very essential to supply the primary air for pulverization and transportation of coal to boiler furnace. They also supply secondary and tertiary air to the wind boxes for completion of

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combustion. They are very heavy duty fans. The most important types of fans are the following: a) Forced Draft Fan (FD Fans ) Forced draft fans supply air necessary for complete fuel combustion. They serve additional purpose of creating a draft necessary for removal of gaseous products of combustion from the furnace They operate in cleanest environment in the main boiler area and are generally the quietest and most efficient of fans in the power station, for high speed operation. b)

Primary Air Fans (PA Fans)

They are large high pressure fans which supply air needed to dry coal and transport it from pulverizing equipment (coal mills) to the boiler furnace. They are also designed to supply hot air for combustion of volatile matter in pulverized coal. They are placed before air pre-heater for feeding hot air to the coal mills. c) Induced Air Fans (ID Fans) They exhaust combustion products from boiler to outside through the chimney. Their purpose is to create mechanical draft. Its speed is automatically regulated with reference to combustion rate of fuel in furnace and load requirement from boiler. 9. Chimney (Stack) A stack is very essential for creating a natural draught for continuous flow of air and products of consumption from boiler
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furnace into the atmosphere. This natural draft is produced by density difference between atmospheric air and hot gases in the stack. Stack has the dual function of assisting the fans in overcoming pressure losses and to disperse flue gases into atmosphere at a sufficient height to cause minimum atmospheric pollution. The height of stack in a 210 MW plant is 220 meters (height of Qutab Minar is 72.5 meters) & in a 500 MW, it is 275 meters in India. 10. Boiler Feed pumps (BFP) It is a multistage pump provided for pumping feed water to boiler drum through economizer. For units of capacity up to 250 MW, the drives for boiler feed pumps are electric motors .For units of capacity above 500 MW, general practice are to employ steam turbines (turbo-pump) for driving the pumps. 11. Deaerator The presence of dissolved gases like oxygen & carbon dioxide in feed water makes the water corrosive, as they react with metal to form iron oxide. The solubility of these gases in water decreases with increase in temperature and it becomes zero at the boiling (saturation) temperature. This principle is made use of in a deaerator, where feed water is heated to its saturation temperature by the steam extracted from steam turbine. Feed water after passing through Low Pressure heaters, is sprayed from the top and
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the bled steam is fed from the bottom. The feed water after mixing with steam gets heated to its saturation temperature. Dissolved gases get released from water and are vented out. To neutralize the effect of residual dissolved oxygen and co2,sodium sulphite or hydrazine (N2H4) is injected in calculated in doses at the suction of boiler feed pump. To prevent vapor lock and cavitations problem in boiler feed pump as a result of saturated feed water flashing into vapor ,deaerator is always placed at a sufficient height above the boiler feed pump,(which is usually placed at the basement level),as it creates a net positive suction head. Deaerator serves additional functions of heating incoming feed water besides acting as a reservoir of feed water on a sudden demand

12. Regenerative Feed water heating with HP and LP

Here steam is bled from steam turbine at suitable tapping points, after it has expanded through a few stages. This bled steam is made to give up its latent & any superheat it may possess, to a heater through which feed water from condenser on its way to boiler, passes. The feed water can thus be heated to a temperature slightly below the saturation point. This method helps in saving fuel and
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thus improves cycle efficiency. Low pressure Heaters are placed after the extraction pump, while HP Heaters are positioned after the boiler feed pump. 13. Ash handling system In coal fired power plants, ash poses a big problem. Indian coal has a very high ash content in the range of 30to 45%.Major problem is of large content of silica in ash, besides poisonous gases like CO, CO2 & SO2. Modern methods of ash handling system are: a) Mechanical system---This method is used for low capacity plants. Hot ash in furnace is made to fall on a conveyor through a water seal & the cooled ash is continuously carried to dumping site from ash bunkers. b) Hydraulic System---Ash in the form of slurry is taken away to an ash pond. Water is reclaimed .It is the most popular method used in modern plants c) Pneumatic System---Dry ash with the help of vacuum pumps is taken out through ducts/pipes to silos, from where it can be disposed of locally in road construction, bricks manufacture or to some outside contractor for cement manufacture. d) Steam jet system---This method is deployed in cleaning of water walls and heater tubes inside boilers in the form of soot blowers.
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14. Electrostatic precipitator It is the most efficient &widely used method for large size power plants to remove fine dust particles. There are 4 different stages involved in dust separation from flue gases: a) Ionization of gases & charging of dust particles. b)Migration of dust particles to collectors. c) Deposition of charged dust particles on the collectors surface. d) Dislodging of dust particles from collectors & emitters with the help of rapping mechanisms. The ESP essentially consists of 2 sets of electrodes, one in the form of thin wires called discharge or emitting electrode and the other set called collecting electrodes, in the form of plates. The emitting electrodes are placed midway between collector plates and are connected to a source of high voltage DC supply, at 25 to 100 KV. Collector plates are connected to positive polarity of source and grounded. The high voltage electric field in the vicinity of emitting electrodes creates corona discharge, ionizing the gas molecules. The dust particles entrained in the gas acquire negative charge & experience a force which drives them towards the collecting electrodes, where they get deposited. The collected dust particles are dislodged by knocking the electrodes by a process called rapping. The emitting
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electrodes have a separate rapping mechanism to maintain them clean for corona discharge. Various parts of ESP are; a) Fabricated outer casing. b) Fabricated hoppers. c) Gas distribution screens-to regulate velocities. d) Emitting electrodes. e) Collecting electrodes. f) Rapping mechanisms for both types of electrodes. g) Discharging transformers with control panels. 15. Feed water System Raw water contains variety of impurities., such as(a)suspended solids & turbidity,(b) organics,(c)salts of calcium and magnesium-,which increase hardness,(d) carbonates and bicarbonates--,which cause alkalinity,(e)other dissolved ions like sodium, sulphate, chloride etc,(f)silica,(g) dissolved gases like oxygen and co2. The water must be purified before feeding it into the boiler to prevent formation of hard scales on heating surfaces,& to prevent corrosion and erosion of boiler parts and turbine blades. In all large power plants, water treatment plants are installed to clear water of all its impurities.
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Demineralizing plant (DM Plants) are specially installed to remove dissolved solids in water by ion exchange process. Reverse Osmosis process is also being used at some plants to remove high level of silica and salts and thus get high level water purity required for boiler, Turbo generator & certain auxiliaries.

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