In the circulation process, the colder water, which is outside the heat transfer area, sinks and enters themud drum. The water is heated in the heat transfer tubes to form steam. The steam-water mixture is lessdense than water and rises in the riser tubes to the steam drum. The steam drum contains internalelements for feedwater entry., chemical injection, blowdown removal, level control, and steam-water separation. The steam bubbles disengage from the boiler water in the riser tubes and steam flows out fromthe top of the drum through steam separators.
Boiler tubes are usually fabricated from high-strength carbon steel. The tubes are welded to form acontinuous sheet or wall of tubes. Often more than one bank of tubes is used, with the bank closest to theheat sources providing the greatest share of heat transfer. They will also tend to be the most susceptible tofailure due to flow problems or corrosion/ deposition problems.
The purpose of the superheater is to remove all moisture content from the steam by raising thetemperature of the steam above its saturation point. The steam leaving the boiler is saturated, that is, it is inequilibrium with liquid water at the boiler pressure (temperature).The superheater adds energy to the exit steam of the boiler. It can be a single bank or multiple banks or tubes either in a horizontal or vertical arrangement that is suspended in the convective or radiation zone of the boiler. The added energy raises the temperature and heat content of the steam above saturation point.In the case of turbines, excessive moisture in the steam above saturation point. In the case of turbines,excessive moisture in the steam can adversely affect the efficiency and integrity of the turbine. Super heated steam has a larger specific volume as the amount of superheat increases. This necessitates larger diameter pipelines to carry the same amount of steam. Due to temperatures, higher alloy steel are used. Itis important that the steam is of high purity and low moisture content so that non-volatile substances do notbuild up in the superheater.
Attemperation is the primary means for controlling the degree of superheat in a superheated boiler.Attemperation is the process of partially de-superheating steam by the controlled injection of water into thesuperheated steam flow. The degree of superheat will depend on the steam load and the heat available,given the design of the superheater. The degree of superheat of the final exiting steam is generally notsubject to wide variation because of the design of the downstream processes. In order to achieve theproper control of superheat temperature an attemperator is used.A direct contact attempaerator injects a stream of high purity water into the superheated steam. It is usuallylocated at the exit of the superheater, but may be placed in an intermediate position. Usually, boiler feedwater is sued for attemperation. The water must be free of non-volatile solids to prevent objectionablebuildup of solids in the main steam tubes and on turbine blades.Since attemperator water comes from the boiler feedwater, provision for it has to be made in calculatingflows. The calculation is based on heat balance. The total enthalpy (heat content) of the final superheatsteam must be the mass weighted sum of the enthalpies of the initial superheat steam and theattemperation water.
Although not a part of the boiler per se, condensate is usually returned to the boiler as part of thefeedwater. Accordingly, one must take into account the amount and quality of the condensate whencalculating boiler treatment parameters. In a complex steam distribution system there will be severalcomponents. These will include heat exchangers, process equipment, flash tanks, and storage tanks.